|Pilot F/O Joe B. Barton, T-61059 (MIA / KIA) KY
MIA April 3, 1944 at 12:00pm
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 475th Fighter Group, 432nd Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
When lost, this P-38 had engines V-1710-91 serial numbers 42-95237 and V-1710-89 serial number 42-31220. Weapon serial numbers Browning .50 caliber machine guns 410141, 397342, 407092, 406957 and Oldsmobile 20mm cannon 121607.
On April 3, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield piloted by Barton on a strike mission over Hollandia. Barton was flying as wingman for 1st Lt. Clifford J. Mann as part of "Clover Green" flight. The weather was low broken clouds at approximately 2,000'. Over the target, intercepted by Ki-61 Tonys and shot down, crashing at the southern end of Lake Sentani. Last sighted by 1st Lt. Clifford J. Mann at 12:00pm. When this aircraft failed to return and was listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
1st Lt. Clifford J. Mann via Missing Air Crew Report 14285 (MACR 14285) page 6
"We entered combat formation at 9,000'. I led my two ship flight into trail behind Clover Green.
As we made outside turn to the right, I noticed two Tonys closing fast on my wing-man, F/O Barton. I told him to drop tanks and we broke off in a steep diving turn to the right. We cleared the Tonys at 4,000 feet and in the meantime had lost Clover Green Flight. Noticing a string of P-38's below me, I started down to join up with them. At this time my wingman was again chased by two enemy planes, probably Tonys. I dove and turned slightly to the left. I then noticed my wing-man turn steeply to the left into a cloud. I was unable to follow him. I again turned back toward the target area but lack of gas made it necessary for me to turn back for base. I was unable to contact F/O Barton by radio. I last saw him south east of Sentani Lake."
Afterwards, no search was made for this aircraft or pilot.
Barton was officially declared dead on February 7, 1946. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Barton also has a memorial marker at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Lewisburg, KY.
Missing Air Crew Report 14285 (MACR 14285) created April 4, 1944
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joe B. Barton
FindAGrave - FltOff Joe Bryne Barton (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Joe Bryne Barton (memorial marker photo)
475th Fighter Group Association - 432nd Fighter Squadron Personnel - Joe B. Barton (KIA)
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June 4, 2019