|Pilot 1st Lt. Andrew J. Borders, Jr. (POW, executed March 5 1944, BR)
Crashed September 14, 1943
Built by Curtiss as a model H87-B3 in Buffalo, New York during 1941. This aircraft was the 508 of 699 P-40Fs powered by a Rolls Royce Merlin engine with a shorter fuselage. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40F Warhawk serial number 41-14107. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific then reassembled.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force (13th AF), 18th Fighter Group (18th FG), 44th Fighter Squadron "Vampire Squadron" (44th FS). No known nickname or nose art.
On September 14, 1943 took off from Fighter 2 (Kukum) on Guadalcanal on mission to escort B-24 bombing Kahili Airfield on Bougainville. Weather was good with clear visibility. Over the target, intercepted by A6M Zeros and shot down, last seen over Bougainville at at 12:20pm.
When this aircraft failed to return, Borders was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Fates of the Crew
Borders was captured by the Japanese and became a Prisoner Of War (POW). He was transported to Rabaul and detained as a prisoner at Tunnel Hill POW Camp until March 3-4, 1944 when he was executed during the Tunnel Hill massacre. Afterwards, the Japanese cremated his remains and placed the together in one box.
Recovery of Remains
Postwar, the remains of those executed in the Tunnel Hill massacre were recovered by the Allies, The remains were divided: 3/4 to the Americans and 1/4 to Australians. The remains were transported to the United States aboard USAT Albert M. Boe as part of remains shipment SF-167-R.
Borders was officially declared dead on March 5, 1944. After his remains were recovered and transported to the Untied States, he was buried on March 21, 1950 at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in a group burial at section 78 graves 930-934.
Missing Air Crew Report 623 (MACR 623)
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Andrew J. Borders
FindAGrave - Andrew J Borders, Jr (group burial photo)
The Siege of Rabaul (1996) by Henry Sakaida pages 19 (footnote 12 - Tunnel Hill Massacre), 93 (Rabaul's Military Prisoners - Borders 70th FS [verify])
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October 31, 2019