|Pilot Lt. Joseph W. Hill, O-740420 (POW, executed)
Crashed August 25, 1943
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40F-15-CU Warhawk serial number 41-19834. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 347th Fighter Group, 70th Fighter Squadron. No know nickname or nose art. This aircraft was assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron Detachment (44th FS Detachment) operating from Fighter 2 (Kukum) on Guadalcanal. When lost, engine V-1660-1 serial number 41-19934.
On August 25, 1943 took off from Segi Airfield on a mission escorting six B-24s over Kahili Airfield (Buin) on Bougainville. Leaving the target, this P-40 was seen to be smoking slightly and loosing power at approximately 3:50pm (time unclear on MACR, might be 4:30pm).
Captain Jack A. Bade stated in MACR on August 30, 1943:
"The last I saw of Lt. Hill's plane was near Ballale. We had made the run with bombers over Kahili and were returning to Segi Field. His plane lost power and seemed to be under control as he left the formation. He could have been hit by Jap AA, Zeros or by our own aircraft."
Bailed out or ditched, Hill was captured by the Japanese and became a Prisoner Of War (POW). Transported to Rabaul he was turned over to 6th Kempei Tai (Military Police) at Rabaul. He was detained as a prisoner until executed during the Tunnel Hill massacre on March 5, 1944.
Hill was officially declared dead on March 5, 1944. His remains were recovered post war and transported back to the United States for permanent burial. On March 21, 1950 buried in a group burial at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery section 78 grave 930-934.
Missing Air Crew Report 465 (MACR 465)
FindAGrave - Joseph W. Hill (grave photo)
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April 24, 2018