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  P-51D-20-NA Mustang Serial Number 44-63373  
5th AF
8th Service Group
301st Airdrome Squadron

Pilot  2nd Lt. Jack Helm, Jr. (survived) Dallas County, TX
Crashed  February 25, 1945
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by North American in Inglewood. as a P-51D-20-NA Mustang. Constructors Number 122-63373. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-51D-20-NA Mustang serial number 44-63373. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 8th Service Group (8th SrG), 301st Airdrome Squadron (301st ADS) part of the Far East Air Force-Combat Replacement Training Center (FEAF-CRTC) based at Nadzab Airfield. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On February 25, 1945 took off from Nadzab Airfield No. 1 piloted by 2nd Lt. Jack Helm, Jr. on a training mission. During the flight, this aircraft suffered mechanical failure and the the pilot bailed out. This Mustang crashed roughly 20 miles west of Nadzab Airfield No. 1 and was destroyed on impact.

Fate of the Pilot
Helm landed unhurt and was rescued and returned to duty.

NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Jack Helm, Jr.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-51D-20-NA Mustang 44-63373
"63373 (302st Service Squadron, 8th Service Group, 5th AF) crashed 20 mi W of Nadzab airfield, Morobe, Papua New Guinea due to mechanical failure Feb 25, 1945. Pilot bailed out and survived, aircraft was destroyed."
USAAF Overseas Accident Reports - February 1945 - P-51D 44-63290 pilot Muir

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Last Updated
February 25, 2020


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