|War Flyers In The Headlines
"...some of the men who in the more recent pass have distinguished themselves to the point where they merited and won newspaper headlines. Among them are such flyers as:
Lt. John J. Durkin
For the second time, Second Lt. John J. Durkin of Westfield, N.J., has had his name crossed off the “missing list.” His first involved a rescue at sea, following a crash landing [P-38 ditched November 8, 1943] in which he was first reported killed. His second adventure occurred only recently when he was attacked by Zeros [sic Oscars] while returning form a raid on Wewak. [P-38H Lightning 42-66826 force landed November 16, 1943]" To escape them he ducked into a cloud and though he eluded the Zeros he also lost his direction, since his compass had been damaged during the combat, and when his motor went dead after it ran completely out of gas he picked out a nice green spot in the jungle for a crash landing. It proved to be more swampy than he anticipated and after a night spent on his plane wing, he waded through water up to his nick to reach higher ground. Encountering some friendly natives, he was guided through the jungles and crocodile swamps from village to village. Some ten days later he managed to get a message through to an allied air base and, long after he had been given up as “lost,” was picked up by a Catalina flying boat and returned to his base."
Photograph of 2nd Lt. John J. Durkin awaiting rescue
"You are looking at 2nd Lt. John J. Durkin of Westfield, N.J. as he emerged from the jungle escorted by friendly natives, after being “missing” for days. This was his second reappearance after bing 'lost'."
Credit: Flying Aces Magazine Date: April 1944
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