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  P-61B-2-NO Black Widow Serial Number 42-39455  
7th AF
549th NFS

Pilot  2nd Lt. Ashley C. Nagle, O-754539 (MIA / KIA) Akron, OH
Radar  F/O Joseph N. De Laquila, T-192732 (MIA / KIA) McKees Rocks, PA
Gunner  TSgt Philip L. Jean, 18033828 (MIA / KIA) Dallas, TX

MIA  March 31, 1945 at 5:15am
MACR  14254

Aircraft History
Built by Northrop. Constructors Number 973. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as P-61B-2-NO Black Widow serial number 42-39455. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 7th Air Force, 549th Night Fighter Squadron. When lost engines R-2800-65 serial numbers P-20081 and P-20020. Weapon serial numbers noted in Missing Air Crew Report 14254 (MACR 14254).

Mission History
On March 31, 1945 took off from Motoyama No. 1 (Southern Airfield) on Iwo Jima piloted by 2nd Lt. Ashley C. Nagle on a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) over the local area. The weather was overcast AC and AS base at approximately 10,000' with visual SFC winds ELY approximately 15 mph. This aircraft was lost five miles south of North Iwo Jima (Kita Iwo Jima). Believed to have hit Point King or was hit by small arms fire and crashed. When this aircraft failed to return, the entire crew was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Immediately, two aircraft were sent to Mount King to search for this P-61 until daybreak, and reported a fire on Point King, but no sign of this P-61 or the crew. They did observe an oil slick in the sea 1/2 mile south of Point King, and a small boat north of the island. During the day, four P-51s resumed the search at 6:30am. At 7:10, two P-61 continued to search. Air Sea Rescue sent a PBY Catalina and a destroyer to the vicinity, but found no sign of life or trace of the aircraft.

The entire crew was officially declared dead on April 1, 1946. All three earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. All three are memorialized at Honolulu Cemetery (Punchbowl) on court 7.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-61B-2-NO Black Widow 42-39455
"39455 (549th NFS, VII Fighter Command, 20th AF) crashed from unknown cause 5 m S of Kita Iwo Jima Mar 31, 1945, MACR 14254. All three crew killed, aircraft never found."
Missing Air Crew Report 14254 (MACR 14254) created March 31, 1945
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ashley C. Nagle
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph N. De Laquila
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Philip L. Jean
FindAGrave - 2Lt Ashley C Nagle (courts of the missing photos)
FindAGrave - Flt O Joseph N De Laquila (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt Philip L Jean (courts of the missing photo)

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Last Updated
March 30, 2020


Tech Info

Tech Info
March 31, 1945

3 Missing
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