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  P-38 Lightning Serial Number ?  
5th AF
8th FG
80th FS

Pilot  1st Lt. Elwood C. Krisher, O-437977 (MIA / KIA) Conesus, NY
Crashed  August 21, 1943
MACR  none

Pilot History
Prior to the war, Krisher resided in Conesus, Livingston County, New York. He enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps on July 17, 1941 in Rochester, New York. During his service, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Purple Heart (posthumously).

Aircraft History
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army, serial number unknown. Likely, this aircraft was a P-38H or early model P-38G. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 8th Fighter Group, 80th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On August 21, 1943 took off from 3-Mile Drome near Port Moresby around 10:00am as one of sixteen P-38s providing close escort for B-25 Mitchells on a mission against Dagua and But near Wewak.

Part of a four fighter element led by Norbert "Norb" Ruff. When Ruff's aircraft experienced an oil failure and he was forced to aboard and return to base alone, and turned the flight over to Guttel.

There were scattered clouds over the target and an overcast en route over the mountains. The formation was attacked by between 20 and 40 Ki-43 Oscars about 15 miles south of Dagua, eleven of which were claimed to have been shot down. This P-38 was lost in the engagement. One P-38 smoking badly was seen in the vicinity of Dagua. It went through the clouds at 1,000" and was not seen again.

When this aircraft failed to return, it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost were P-38 piloted by Guttel and P-38 piloted by Feehan.

Krisher was officially declared dead on January 12, 1946. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

No Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) was created for this loss
Dunkirk Evening Observer Friday, October 1, 1943 page 1
"Flier Gets Award: Headquarters, South Pacific, Oct. 1--(UP) -- Lt. Gen. George C. Kenny, commander of Allied air forces in the southwest Pacific, today awarded the air medal to 1st Lt. Elwood C. Krisher, missing, RFD 1, Conesus, N. Y. "
Beatrice Daily Sun Tuesday, July 27, 1943 page 1
"[photo caption] Three P-38 Lightning pilots indicate by spread fingers the bag of Jap Zero fighter planes, totaling 14, shot down in an aerial battle near Lae, New Guinea, June 21, Here are Lieutenants James O. Ince, Boulder, Colo., Charles K. Taylor, Magnolia, Miss., and Elwood C. Krisher, Conesus, N. Y. Ince and Krisher were each credited with a Zero while Taylor got credit for a probable."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Elwood C. Krisher
FindAGrave - 1Lt Elwood C Krisher (tablets of the missing photo)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-38 Lightning piloted by Krisher
Ruff Stuff page 128
"[Krisher] was part of one of the most costly missions flown by the 80th on August 21, 1943; one that still affects Norb today. None of the other pilots who returned from this mission knew what had happened to them."
MacArthur's Eagles: The U.S. Air War Over New Guinea, 1943-1944 page 84, 343
"The 80th lost 2nd Lts. Robert E. Feehan, John Guttel, and Elwood G. Krisher."
Japanese Army Air Force Fighter Units And Their Aces appendix

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Last Updated
June 4, 2019


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