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  P-51K-10-NT Mustang Serial Number 44-12054  
5th AF
348th FG
342nd FS

Pilot  1st Lt. Clark E. Kooper, O-693142 (MIA / KIA) Logan County, NB
Crashed  March 13, 1945 at 11:15am
MACR  13527

Aircraft History
Built by North American Aviation (NAA) in Dallas, Texas. Constructors Number 111-30187. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-51D-10-NA Mustang serial number 44-12054. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 348th Fighter Group, 342nd Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engine V-1650-7 serial number V-329960. Weapon serial numbers noted on Missing Air Crew Report 13527 (MACR 13527).

Mission History
On March 13, 1945 took off fro San Marcelino Airfield on Luzon a fighter sweep mission over Hainan Island. Weather was broken cumulus 6/10 to 8/10 to 14,000'. Kooper was flying with wingman 2nd Lt. Robert G. Dow, Jr.

At 11:15, over Samah Airfield on southern Hainan Island, the formation was intercepted by five enemy fighters. After breaking off from the engagement, wingman Dow observed smoke coming from this aircraft's engine.

This aircraft's engine failed and Kooper bailed out. This Mustang crashed into the South China Sea roughly 20 miles off the southeast tip of Hainan Island off the coast of China. 2nd Lt. Robert G. Dow, Jr. observed the crash. Kooper was observed to bailed out and was observed to land safely. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Dow did not circle him further, afraid of attracting or alerting the enemy fighters. After observing him land safely, Dow turned on his emergency beacon to mark the position and climbed to 10,000' to contact "Playmate" (Catalina) and reported the loss location.

Afterwards, Air & Sea Rescue Squadron and the U. S. Navy were immediately notified searched for this aircraft, including a flight of four aircraft from the squadron, searching a radius of fifty miles from where Kooper was last observed. There were nil sightings.

Kooper was officially declared dead on March 14, 1946. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at MAC. He also has a memorial marker at Nebraska Veterans Cemetery in Alliance, NB at section E, row 1, site 18.

NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Clark E. Kooper
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-51D-10-NA Mustang 44-14621
"14621 (F-6D, 301st Service Squadron, 8th Service Group, 5th AF) crashed off Lae in Huon Gulf Morobe Papua New Guinea due to engine failure Dec 1, 1944. MACR 11901. Pilot killed."
Missing Air Crew Report 13527 (MACR 13527)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Clark E. Kooper
FindAGrave - 1Lt Clark E Kooper (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Clark Eugene Kooper (memorial marker photo)

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Last Updated
March 12, 2020


Tech Info

March 13, 1945

1 Missing

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