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  P-51D-15-NA Mustang Serial Number 44-15199  
USAAF
5th AF
3rd Air Commando Group
4th Squadron

Pilot  2nd Lt. Jerome B. Yates, O-801355 (MIA / KIA) MS
MIA  February 1, 1945 5:30pm
MACR  13400

Aircraft History
Built by North American Aviation (NAA) in Inglewood. Constructors Number 109-28832. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as as a P-51D-15-NA Mustang serial number 44-15199. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Air Commando Group, 4th Fighter Squadron, Commando (4th Squadron). No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engine V-1650-7 serial number V-325842. Weapon serial numbers not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 13400.

Mission History
On February 1, 1945 took off from Mangaldan Airfield on Luzon pilot 2nd Lt. Jerome B. Yates on a mission to bomb and strafe a Japanese destroyer and destroyer escort off Camiguin Island in northern Luzon. This aircraft was flying with wing man P-51 piloted by 1st Lt. Robert E. LaCroix. Weather was ceiling and visibility unlimited (CAVU).

Over the enemy vessels, a depth charge dropped exploded near Lt. Yates' tail. About a second later, coolant was observed streaming from his Mustang. His wingman LaCroix informed him of the leak and he acknowledge he was going to bail out and climbed to 2,000' then successfully bailed out.

LaCroix saw his Mustang crash at 5:30pm and circled his parachute until he landed in the sea and deployed his life raft and waved. At that time, the enemy vessels were roughly 10 miles away. The destroyer was stopped and the other headed away. He landed roughly 10 miles north of Camiguin Island roughly 15 miles off the northern coast of Luzon. When he failed to return Yates was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Search
Afterwards, aircraft searched Camiguin Island shore areas and two different points of rock to the north and east an an approximately forty mile radius of the combat area. Also, the northern coast of Luzon in the vicinity of Aparri inland approximately 100 miles. No trace of this aircraft or pilot was observed.

Memorials
Yates was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. He also has a memorial marker at Hazlehurst Cemetery in Hazlehurst, MS in the new section.

References
NARA - World War II Army Enlistment Records - Jerome B. Yates

USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-51D-15-NA Mustang 44-15199
"15199 (4th Fighter Squadron Commando, 3rd Air Commando Group, 5th AF) hit from explosion from depth charge dropped by Japanese destroyer while strafing it off Camiguin Island, Philippines Feb 1, 1945. MACR 13400 Pilot killed."
Missing Air Crew Report 13400 (MACR 13400) created March 1, 1945
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Jerome B. Yates
FindAGrave - 1LT Jerome Bonaparte Yates (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Jerome Bonaparte "Bubba" Yates, Jr (memorial marker photo)

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Last Updated
March 1, 2020

 

Tech Info
P-51

MIA
MIA
1 Missing

Tech Info
Map
Feb 1, 1945
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