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|Pilot 1st Lt. Perry J. "PJ" Dahl, O-748923 (survived) Seattle, WA
Ditched November 10, 1944 at 9:15am
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Constructors Number 422-4961. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38L-1-LO Lightning serial number 44-23957. 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 A052743 and A053073. Armed with 20mm cannon manufactured by International Harvester serial number 122618 plus .50 caliber machine guns manufactured by Frigidaire serial number 693724, 399686, 391967 and 641243.
On November 10, 1944 at 8:15 took off from San Pablo Airfield runway no. 2 on Leyte piloted by 1st Lt. Perry J. "PJ" Dahl 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. Dahl claimed an enemy aircraft shot down, his seventh aerial victory claim. While turning for a second pass at 9:15am, this Dahl collided with P-38L 44-23935 piloted by 2nd Grady M. Laseter, Jr. over Ormoc Bay between Ponson Island and Apale Point on Leyte. Damaged, Dahl managed to ditched into Ormoc Bay and was observed to crash. Also damaged, P-38L 44-23935 was observed to crash and Laseter was reported as Missing In Action (MIA)
Afterwards, no search was conducted for either aircraft.
Fate of the Pilot
Dahl survived the ditching and was aided by Filipino guerrilla forces that hid him in their camp allowing him to recover. He returned to American lines 31 days later and by January 15, 1945 returned to duty.
Dahl remained in the U. S. Air Force (USAF). He was promoted to the rank of Colonel and retired from the Air Force on June 30, 1978.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Perry J. Dahl
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-38L-1-LO Lightning 44-23957
"23957 (475th FG, 432nd FS) lost Nov 10, 1944. Pilot returned. MACR 10596"
Missing Air Crew Report 10596 (MACR 10596) created November 14, 1944
Missing Air Crew Report 10612 (MACR 10612) created November 14, 1944 for P-38L 44-23935 mentions this loss
475th Fighter Group Historical Foundation - Col. Perry J. "PJ" Dahl
Thanks to Perry J. Dahl for additional information
Nov 10, 1944
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