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  P-51D-20-NA "Madam Wham-Dam" Serial Number 44-72607  
USAAF
20th AF
506th FG
458th FS

Click For Enlargement
Commer 1945
Pilot  Lt. Col Harvey J. Scandrett, O-399564 HQ Sqn, deputy C. O. 506th FG (MIA / KIA) North Hollywood, CA
Crashed  June 1, 1945 at 10:55am
MACR  1217

Aircraft History
Built by North American Aviation (NAA) in Inglewood. Constructors Number 39104. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-51D-20-NA Mustang serial number 44-72607. Disassembled and shipped overseas to India and reassembled.

Wartime History
This aircraft was assigned to the 20th Air Force, 506th Fighter Group (506th FG), 458th Fighter Squadron (458th FS), attached to 7th Fighter Command, 301st Fighter Wing. Assigned to pilot Major Harrison Shipman. Nicknamed "Madam Wham-Dam" with the nose art of a female inside a diamond with fuselage number 550 in black. When lost, engine V-1650-7 serial number 329056. Armed with .50 caliber M2 machine guns serial numbers 1746079, 1746466, 1746395, 1287876, 1745919 and 1745988.

Mission History
On June 1, 1945 at 7:20am took off from North Field (APO 86) on Iwo Jima piloted by Lt. Col Harvey J. Scandrett (Headquarters Squadron, deputy Commanding Officer 506th Fighter Group) as one of 148 P-51 on a Very Long Range (VLR) mission to escort 458 B-29 Superfortress (Mission 187) on a bombing mission against Osaka on Honshū in Japan.

Scandrett was one of the flight leaders leading "Red Flight" with no. 2 unknown, no. 3 P-51D 44-72610 piloted by 1st Lt. Evan S. Stuart and no. 4 P-51D 44-72578 piloted by 2nd Lt. Francis J. Pilecki. The formation flew on a course of 327° from Kita Rock (Kita Jima, North Iwo Jima) northward towards Japan. Inbound, the weather was a severe front with showers and squalls from 30,000' or more with a base at sea level to 200'. The front had a solid overcast with a base at 200' to 6,000' top.

At 10:55am ast contacted by radio at approximately Lat 31° N Long 137° E over the North Pacific Ocean. When it failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). The loss was attributed to weather conditions. In total, 27 P-51s were lost with 24 pilots due to the bad weather.

Search
Afterwards, American airmen from U. S. Navy (USN) VPB-23 plus U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) airmen from the 4th Emergency Rescue Squadron (4th ERS) plus B-29s searched for the missing pilots without success.

Memorials
Scandrett was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Silver Star, Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Scandrett is memorialized at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) on court 7.

References

USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-51D-20-NA Mustang 44-72607

"72607 (506th FG) lost Jun 1, 1945 on mission to Japan due to bad weather. MACR 14653. Pilot and plane never found."
Missing Air Crew Report 14653 (MACR 14653) created June 1, 1945
History 458th Fighter Squadron June 1945 page 3
"Other than the tragic loss of pilots H. J. Scandrett, and R. V. Harvey"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harvey J. Scandrett
FindAGrave - LtCol Harvey Jackson Scandrett (photos, courts of the missing photo)
Very Long Range P-51 Mustang Units of the Pacific War page 92 (photo)

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Last Updated
June 6, 2020

 

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P-51

POW
MIA
1 Missing

Map
Map
June 1, 1945

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