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USAAF, 5th AF c1943
|Pilot 2nd Lt. Kenneth "Ken" Sparks (survived)
Damaged December 27, 1942
Over Dobodura they intercepted 35 enemy planes, the first P-38 Lightning aerial combat in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA). Seven enemy planes were claimed, with Mangas credited with one. joined the melee claiming another six victories. For his gallantry during the mission, Mangas earned the Silver Star. Afterwards, this aerial battle was reported in the American press.
During the combat, this P-38s was damaged suffering jammed guns and a damaged hydraulic system. While landing at Dobodura No. 4, without hydraulics, the nose landing gear collapsed causing the aircraft to nose over and become damaged.
By February 1943 this P-38 was repaired by Sgt Donald D. Miller from the 45th Base Group, 450th Service Squadron (Provisional) at Dobodura. While under repair, the damaged P-38 was photographed with nose damage and the left propeller removed.
Service Squadron during February 1943. It is unclear if this P-38 returned to flying duty or was used for spare parts. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.
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