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  P-51D-20-NA Mustang Serial Number 44-63458  
USAAF
7th AF
21st FG
72nd FS

Pilot  2nd Lt. Arthur Zellweger, O-722199 (MIA / KIA) Stephenson County, IL
MIA  June 2, 1945 at 9:35am
MACR  14715

Aircraft History
Built by North American Aviation (NAA) in Inglewood. Constructors Number 122-31183. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-51D-20-NA Mustang serial number 44-63458. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the Central Pacific and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 7th Air Force, 21st Fighter Group, 72nd Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engine V-1650-7 serial number V-327749. Weapon serial numbers: RI-1331165, LC-1502584, RC-1330813, LC-1330790, RO-1331235, LI-1764888.

Mission History
On June 2, 1945 took off from Motoyama No. 1 (Chidori, Central Field) on Iwo Jima piloted by 2nd Lt. Arthur Zellweger on a dive bombing mission against Chi Chi Jima. This aircraft was flying as wing man for 1st Lt. Clyde M. Decker. The weather was good visibility with 8/10 cloud coverage with tops at 8,000' down to sea level. After dive bombing the target, this aircraft failed to rejoin formation. Flight leader 1st Lt. Clyde M. Decker called for him over the radio but got no reply. Cloud cover obscured the ground and no crash was observed. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Search
Afterwards, Air Sea Rescue service and 7th Fighter Command both unsuccessfully searched for this aircraft. A large splash observed at the mouth of the bay was investigated, but no smoke, fire, debris or oil slick was observed.

Memorials
Zellweger was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He is memorialized at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) on the courts of the missing, court 5.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Arthur Zellweger
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-51D-20-NA Mustang 44-63458
"63458 (72nd FS, 21st FG) lost from unknown cause over Chi chi Jima in Bonin Islands Jun 2, 1945. MACR 14715. Pilot killed."
Missing Air Crew Report 14715 (MACR 14715) created on June 3, 1945
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Arthur Zellweger
FindAGrave - 2Lt Arthur Zellweger (courts of the missing photo)

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Last Updated
June 1, 2020

 

Tech Info
P-51

Map
Map
June 2, 1945

MIA
MIA
1 Missing
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