|Pilot 2nd Lt. Allan B. Camp, O-743407 (KIA, BR) Hopewell Township, NJ
Crashed August 20, 1943
Allan Benjamin Camp was born September 18, 1916 in Bridgeton, NJ. He enlisted in the U. S. Army and arrived in New Guinea on August 15, 1943 and was
assigned to the 475th Fighter Group (475th FG) "Satan's Angels", 432nd Fighter Squadron (432nd FS) "Clover" as a P-38 Lightning pilot and was killed five days later on August 20, 1943.
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Delivered to the U.S. Army as a P-38H Lightning, serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas 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.
On August 20, 1943 took off from 17 Mile Drome (Durand) near Port Moresby piloted by 2nd Lt. Allen Camp on a mission against Wewak to escort B-24 Liberators. Returning from the mission, the P-38s landed at Marilinan Airfield to refuel then
took off again bound for Port Moresby. During the return flight, Camp disoriented and
attempted to land at Terapo Airfield. While landing, he overshot the runway and crashed
into the Kerema River and was killed.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash,
a diver was flown to Terapo Airfield. Using a boat, the diver recover Camp's remains several days later.
There were instructions to salvage the wreckage ashore, but it is unclear if this salvage was ever performed. Ultimate fate unknown.
Camp was officially declared dead on August 20, 1943. Postwar, he was buried at
Woodruff United Methodist Church Cemetery in Woodruff, NJ. His grave stone lists his unit as "337 AAF Ftr Sq", this was not his unit when killed.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Allan Camp
DVRBS.com Allan B. Camp
"SECOND LIEUTENANT ALLAN CAMP was born in 1916, the son of Frank and Mabel Camp, of Hopewell Township in Cumberland County NJ. By 1920 his father owned a farm there , and Allen Camp grew up on the farm, the third of four children. Besides Allen Camp, there were two older brothers, Frank Jr. and Howard Camp, and a sister, Martha Camp Piper. Allan Camp graduated from Bridgeton (NJ) High School. Prior to entering the Army, he lived in New York, working as a bank clerk. He also was a member of the New York National Guard. He was activated in 1941.
Allan Camp qualified for flight duty once he had been activated. He served at Fort Stewart, and was commissioned at Williams Field, in Chandler AZ. He married Elizabeth Ames, at Glendale CA, on June 14, 1943, and they made their home briefly with her Aunt and Uncle, who had raised her, in Berlin NJ. Miss Ames was related to his brother-in-law. After a brief honeymoon, Allan Camp left for overseas.
Lieutenant Camp wrote from Australia on July 23, 1943 upon his arrival there. His last letter was dated August 15, 1943, and stated that he had entered the war zone.
Second Lieutenant Camp was killed in action while serving with the United States Army Air Force in New Guinea. His commanding officer, Captain Frank Tompkins, wrote to the family. He was 26 years old, and was survived by his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth A. Camp, of 251 White Horse Pike, Berlin NJ, his brothers and sister, Mrs. Martha Piper, and his wife's aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Harney J. & Carolyn Piper. Allan Camp was buried with full military honors in New Guinea. His death was reported in the October 2, 1943 edition of the Camden Courier-Post."
ANGAU War Diary - 21 August 1943
"Port Moresby - District Services: The Assistant District Officer TERABO informed by signal: Plane proceeding TERAPO today with Diver(.) arrange transport from strip to TERAPO, and boat to take Diver to spot where plane crashed into the River(.)"
ANGAU War Diary - 23 August 1943
"Port Moresby -- Intelligence The Assistant District Officer, Terapo, instructed by signal: Commanding General Fighter Command desires you take all measures to get plane ashore(.) advise urgently any bodies in plane(.)"
FindAGrave - Allan Benjamin Camp (grave photo) death location listed as Germany incorrectly
Possum, Clover & Hades: 475th Fighter Group in World War II pages 41, 288 (appendix B)
(Page 41) "Another Wewak mission was flown on the next day without much further action than chasing off several unwilling Japanese fighters. Some of the 432nd Squadron stopped to refuel at Marilinan and most of them were off again within a few hours. Lieutenant Allan Camp was one of the last off.
He must have become confused and lost his way, because he was next heard of trying to land at Karema [sic] about fifty miles northwest of Port Moresby. Apparently his disorientation caused him to overshoot the strip and crash into the Karema river inlet near the Terapo Mission. His loss was the first for the 432nd."
(Page 288, Appendix B) "Lt. Allen [sic Allan] Camp was in Capt. Tompkins flight during a bomber escort mission to the Wewak area. A few Japanese fighters were sighted but no combat resulted. Camp landed at Marilinan to refuel and apparently became disoriented during the flight back to base. He overshot the strip and crashed into the Karema River inlet near Terapo Mission. He was from New Jersey." p. 288
Thanks to Edward Rogers and Keith Hopper for addition research and analysis.
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December 1, 2019