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  P-38L-1-LO Lightning Serial Number 44-248??  
5th AF
475th FG
431st FS

Pilot  1st Lt. Floyd H. Fulkerson, Jr. (WIA, rescued)
Force Landed  December 25, 1944
MACR  none

Pilot History
Fulkerson joined the 431st Fighter Squadron (431st FS) during June 1943. His first victory claim was February 3, 1944. His secnd victory claim was December 7, 1944 over Ormoc Bay off Leyte. On the December 25, 1944 mission over Clark Field area he was credited with two Ki-43 Oscars. In total, he was credited with four victories and flew 124.5 combat missions.

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-38L-1-LO Lightning serial number 44-248?? (last two digits unknown). Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 475th Fighter Group (475th FG) "Satan's Angels", 431st Fighter Squadron (431st FS) "Clover". No known nose art. Possibly, nicknamed "Whose Next".

Mission History
On December 25, 1944 took off from Dulag Airfield on Leyte piloted by 1st Lt. Floyd H. Fulkerson as one of fifteen P-38s on a fighter sweep and escort mission for B-24 Liberators attacking Mabalacat Field near Clark Field. Arrived over the target at 21,000' and were intercepted by 20 enemy fighters attacking from two directions.

During the air combat, Fulkerson was credited with two Ki-43 Oscars shot down, but was hit in both tail booms and his P-38's coolant system was damaged but still had power but was unable to return to base.

Instead, he force landed in a cultivated rice paddy, skidding across the field until his aircraft came to rest against an earthen berm. The impact cracked several of Fulkerson vertebrae. This aircraft was one of three P-38s lost on the mission. Also lost on the mission was P-38L 44-24846 piloted by Koeck and P-38L 44-24889 piloted by Provencio.

Fate of the Pilot
Located by Filipino guerrillas, he was taken to safety and spent a month in their camp until rescued by an L-5 that flew him back to base. Due to his spinal injury, he did not return to combat.

NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Floyd H. Fulkerson, Jr.
USAF Aerial Victory Credits - Floyd H. Fulkerson
Thanks to John Dejanovich for additional information

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Last Updated
November 30, 2019


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