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  P-47D-16-RE Thunderbolt Serial Number 42-75883  
5th AF
58th FG
69th FS
AWM Sept 21, 1944
Pilot  1st Lt Joseph V. Adamow, O-801661 (survived) Philadelphia, PA
Crashed  August 25, 1944 at 11:40am
MACR  14349

Aircraft History
Built by Republic at Farmingdale, NY. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-47D-16-RE Thunderbolt serial number 42-75883. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 58th Fighter Group, 69th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. When lost engine R-2800-63 serial number P-12683. Armed with .50 caliber machine guns serial number 657668 maker Hayes Wheel Co., 658798 maker Hayes Wheel Co., 659489 maker Hayes Wheel Co., 917923 maker Savage Arms, 658791 maker Hayes Wheel Co., 1084546 maker High Standard, 970466 maker Frigidare Co. and 917668 maker maker Savage Arms.

Wartime History
On August 25, 1944 took off from Saidor Airfield piloted by 1st Lt Joseph V. Adamow on a weather reconnaissance mission against Wewak. Returning, he became lost in bad weather and uncontrollable and was last seen by 2nd Lt. Russell B. Anderson to have bailed out and the parachute open. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Fate of the Pilot
After bailing out, Adamow bailed out and landed unhurt in a large tree. After freeing himself, he wandered in the jungle, foraged for food and survived off his emergency supplies alone for a week. On the eighth day, native people spotted him and shadowed him then approached him and provided food and help him carry his pack. On the tenth day after the crash, he observed a friendly plane and signaled it with smoke, but it failed to see him. On the eighteenth day, September 18, 1944 he reached Allied forces and was rescued.

On the twentieth day on September 20, 1944, he reached the north coast of New Guinea. On September 21, 1944 he was photographed putting on a new pair of boots at Mililat then transported on a barge to Madang then back to his squadron. On November 22, 1944 he returned to the United States.

Ed Wandall (nephew in law of Adamow)
"Joe Adamow is my wife's uncle. I have a photo of Joe taken the day after he walked out of the jungle."

NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Joseph V. Adamow

USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-47D-16-RE Thunderbolt 42-75883
"75883 (69th FS, 58th FG) crashed due to bad weather near Mililat, Madang, Papua New Guinea Aug 25, 1945. MACR 14349. Pilot bailed out and returned to his unit. "
Missing Air Crew Report 14349 (MACR 14349) created August 27, 1944
The Canberra Times "Pilot Rescued After Month's Wanderings" September 26, 1944
Accident Report on frame 351 80155, frames 386-391
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-47D Thunderbolt 42-75883
As of 2001, US Army CILHI had this aircraft's serial number and pilot incorrectly listed as MIA
Air Force Historical Research Agency IRISNUM: 00057129 includes data on the rescue of Adamow
Thanks to Ed Wandall and Edward Rogers for additional information

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Last Updated
August 25, 2019


Tech Info

Tech Info
August 25, 1944
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