|Pilot 2nd Lt. Robert J. McDonald, O-746138 419th NFS (MIA / KIA) MI
MIA April 18, 1944 at 10:15am
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38J-10-LO Lightning serial number 42-67788. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 18th Fighter Group, 419th Fighter Squadron. This aircraft was attached to the 419th Night Fighter Squadron, Detachment "A". When lost, engines: V-1710-89 and V-1710-91 serial numbers A-035710 and A-035710.
On April 18, 1944 took off from Piva Airfield on Bougainville piloted by 2nd Lt. Robert J. McDonald armed with a single 500 pound bomb as one of three P-38s on a strafing mission against anti-aircraft guns and coastal guns in the Buka-Bonis area. The flight was led by Lt Donald Dessert with Lt. Robert LaCroix plus this aircraft.
Over the target, this P-38 was hit in the right engine and set on fire over Sorum Point on Bougainville. McDonald successfully parachuted from the burning airplane at approximately 10:15am.
Ten minutes later, a PBY Catalina arrived to attempt a rescue coverd by P-40s and P-38s but did not spot him and the rescue attempt was unsucessful.
McDonald was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-38J-10-LO Lightning 42-67788
Missing Air Crew Report 3739 (MACR 3739)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
Robert J. McDonald
FindAGrave - 2Lt Robert J McDonald (tablets of the missing photo)
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February 18, 2020