|Missing In Action (MIA)||Prisoners Of War (POW)||Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)|
|Chronology||Locations||Aircraft||Ships||Submit Info||How You Can Help||Donate|
|Pilot F/Sgt Donald Alfred Williams, 421125/130600 (survived) Nelson, NZ
Ditched December 24, 1943
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Constructors number 28460. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-40N-15-CU Warhawk serial number 42-104698. Disassembled and shipped overseas to New Zealand as part of defense aid.
Assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Kittyhawk serial number NZ3135. Reassembled by No. 1 Aircraft Depot (1 AD) at Hobsonville Airfield on July 8, 1943. Assigned to 17 Squadron with code "I". No nickname or nose art.
A total of forty-eight Allied fighters were assigned to this fighter sweep of Rabaul. The formation including twenty-four RNZAF Kittyhawks: twelve from 16 Squadron and twelve from 17 Squadron. Plus, land based U. S. Navy fighters including sixteen F6F Hellcats from VF-33 plus eight F6F Hellcats from VF-40.
17 Squadron was divided into three sections of four Kittyhawks. This P-40 was no. 2 in the third section led by P-40N NZ3133 piloted by F/Lt. J. H. Mills with this aircraft as wingman plus P-40N NZ3137 piloted by F/O D. L. Jones and P-40N NZ3174 piloted by Sgt R. A. Covic.
At 11:10am the formation passed Cape Saint George on the southern tip of New Ireland and flew up Cape Saint Georges Channel. The weather was clear with 17 Squadron approaching the target area at an altitude of 18,000'. Over the target area, 16 Squadron was the first to spot two groups of roughly twenty A6M Zeros over Simpson Harbor climbing from the left and soon afterwards both RNZAF squadrons dove to intercept.
As the third section flight leader F/Lt. J. H. Mills dove, he engaged a Zero then broke sharply to avoid a collision and when he pulled up noticed his wingman F/Sgt Donald Alfred Williams was not with him in formation and he did not see him again. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA) and officially written off on January 31, 1944.
Williams was engaged by Zeros and hit by gunfire that injured in his left arm and right foot but was able to bail out roughly 25 miles from Rabaul off the coast of New Ireland near near Gavutu Island [sic?]. While withdrawing, 16 Squadron P-40N piloted by S/L Arkwright observed a P-40 shot down that was likely piloted by Williams.
S/L Arkwright, 16 Squadron combat report December 24, 1943:
Fates of the Pilot
|Discussion Forum||Daily Updates||Reviews||Museums||Interviews & Oral Histories|