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|Pilot 2nd Grady M. Laseter, Jr., O-760336 (MIA / KIA) Wilbarger County, TX
MIA November 10, 1944 at 9:15am
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Constructors Number 422-4939. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38L-1-LO Lightning serial number 44-23935. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 475th Fighter Group (475th FG) "Satan's Angels", 432nd Fighter Squadron (432nd FS) "Clover". No known nickname or nose art. When lost engines V-1710-111 and V-1710-113 serial numbers A052688 and A053191. Armed with 20mm cannon manufactured by International Harvester serial number 123878 plus .50 caliber machine guns manufactured by Frigidaire serial number 391134 plus three manufactured by Colt serial numbers 1025841, 1025333 and 1025633.
On November 10, 1944 at 8:15am took off from San Pablo Airfield runway no. 2 on Leyte piloted by 2nd Lt. Grady M. Laseter, Jr. on a scramble mission to intercept Japanese fighters over Ormoc Bay. The weather was ceiling and visibility unlimited (CAVU).
At 9:10am flying at 10,000' the formation was intercepted by twelve Ki-61 Tonys flying eastward in close formation. The P-38s made a first pass from the right rear. While turning for a second pass at 9:15am, P-38L 44-23957 piloted by 1st Lt. Perry J. "PJ" Dahl collided with this aircraft over Ormoc Bay between Ponson Island and Apale Point on Leyte. Damaged, Dahl managed to ditched into Ormoc Bay and was observed to crash. This aircraft was observed to crash and Laseter was reported as Missing In Action (MIA)
Afterwards, no search was conducted for either aircraft.
Laseter was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Purple Heart, posthumously. Laseter is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the mission.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Grady M. Laseter, Jr.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-38L-1-LO Lightning 44-23935
"23935 (475th FG, 432nd FS) collided with another P-38 over Ormoc Bay. Pilot KIA."
Missing Air Crew Report 10612 (MACR 10612) created November 14, 1944
Missing Air Crew Report 10596 (MACR 10596) created November 14, 1944 for P-38L 44-23957 mentions this loss
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Grady M. Laseter, Jr.
FindAGrave - 2Lt Grady M Laseter, Jr (photo, tablets of the missing)
Nov 10, 1944
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