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|Pilot 2nd Lt. John J. Gerrity, O-888821 (MIA / KIA) PA
Crashed March 11, 1944
Built by Republic. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-47D Thunderbolt serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 40th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
On March 11, 1944 took off from Gusap Airfield on a mission over Wewak. Over the target near Dagua, this P-47 was chasing a Japanese fighter and while trying to maneuver crashed into the sea. When this aircraft failed to return, it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
Gerrity was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Previously, Gerrity was a SSgt in the 374th Troop Carrier Group, 33rd Troop Carrier Squadron and was the regular co-pilot of C-47 "Flying Dutchman" 41-18564. General Kenney offered him fighter pilot training and field commission to 2nd Lieutenant and transfered to the 40th Fighter Squadron as a fighter pilot.
Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) John J. Gerrity
40th FS Operations Log - March 11, 1944
"This aircraft [P-47 piloted by Gerrity] spun in 3-5 miles NNW of But Airfield."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John J. Gerrity
FIndAGrave - 2Lt John J Gerrity (tablets of the missing photo)
40th Fighter / Flight Test Squadron Associate "WWII Honor Roll" [via Wayback Machine July 23, 2008]
Thanks to Carlos Dannacher and Edward Rogers for additional information
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