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|Pilot 1st Lt. Donald W. Christians, O-732162 (KIA, BR) IA
Crashed April 16, 1944
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Constructors Number 1861. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as F-5B-1-LO Lightning serial number 42-67350. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group (6th PRG), 26th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (26th PRS). No known nickname or nose art.
On April 16, 1944 took off from Nadzab No. 3 Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. Donald W. Christians on a mission to escort A-20 Havocs over Hollandia. Returning the formation encountered a severe weather front. Returning, while landed in poor visibility at Saidor Airfield collided with B-25D 41-30337. Christians was killed in the crash. Afterwards, this aircraft was written off. Afterwards, the mission was dubbed "Black Sunday".
Christians was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned the Purple Heart, postumously. Afterwards, buried at Saidor. Postwar, his remains were transported to the United States for permanent burial. was buried at Pleasant View Cemetery in Little Rock, IA at plot L grave 13.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - F-5B-1-LO Lightning 42-67350
"67350 (F-5A, 26th PRS, 6th PRG) in collision with B-25D 41-30337 while landing at Saidor during infamous Black Sunday mission to Hollandia."
26 Photo [26th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron Yearbook] page 5 (dedication), 7 (photo)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38J Lightning 42-104352
Black Sunday (2000) by Michael Claringbould mentions this loss
FindAGrave - Donald W. Christians (grave photo)
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