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|Pilot 2nd Lt. Hulen A. Leinweber, 2057646 (MIA / KIA, BR) Houston, TX
Crashed June 10, 1945
Built by North American Aviation (NAA) in Inglewood. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as a P-51D Mustang serial number unknown. Disassembled and shipped to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 35th Fighter Group, 40th Fighter Squadron. This Mustang was assigned squadron number 48. No known nickname or nose art.
On June 10, 1945 took off from Mangaldan Airfield between 12:30pm piloted by 2nd Lt. Hulen A. Leinweber flying Mustang Squadron Number 48 on a dive bombing mission against Japanese targets in the mountains in Ifugao Province in Luzon in the Philippines. This Mustang was part of "Moko Blue #2" flight in a formation of sixteen P-51s. The formation flew at an altitude of 9,000' down to the deck during the attack. The weather was 6/10 cumulus from 2,000' to 7,000' and over the target 2/10 cumulus at 7,000'.
The formation bombed and strafed target 100 yards north of Lamut. Ten bombs hit in target area south of the river with unobserved results. Fourteen bombs hit north of target area. Flight made two strafing passes, setting one truck afire, which was parked at the side of the road. Sighted enemy convoy parked on Highway 4 north of target, extending north four miles from Payawan.
Over the target, this aircraft was reportedly hit by anti-aircraft fire that caused the right wing to break off and crash south of Ilap. Pilot Leinweber was not seen to bail out. When this aircraft failed to return, it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
During August 26-28, 1947 a team from American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) located the crash site south of Ilap but did not find the remains of the pilot and he was declared non-recoverable.
Recovery of Remains
The remains of Leinweber were recovered and turned over to Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) by the National Museum of the Philippines and University of Illinois at Chicago.
Leinweber was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. He also has a memorial marker at Morton Cemetery Richmond, TX at section PC3, lot 129, space 7.
On June 29, 2018 Leinweber was officially identified by the Department of Defense (DoD). Interment services are pending.
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