|Pilot Lt. Russell P. Lecklider (rescued) Toledo, OH
Crashed March 31, 1944
Built by General Motors, Eastern Aircraft
Division as model G-40. Delivered to the United States Navy (USN) as TBM-1C Avenger Bureau Number 25286. Assigned to squadron VC-40. No known nickname or nose art.
On March 31, 1944 took off from Piva Yoke Airfield (Piva South Airfield) on Bougainville on a bombing mission against Rabaul. Over the target, this Avenger crashed to the east of Rabaul. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Fates of the Crew
Lecklider was rescued and returned to duty.
Lecklider passed away January 7, 1977 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery at Section 67 Site 1398.
Dr. J. Donald Zollinhofer, ADRC adds:
"I would also like to know if you have info about my dad's TBF 25286 which was shot down east of Rabaul, New Britain Island. I can provide some information about that as well.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - TBM-1C Avenger 25286
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List March 1944 - TBM Avenger 25286 pilot Lt R. P. Lecklider
FindAGrave - Russell Paul Lecklider (Arlington National Cemetery)
Thanks to J. Donald Zollinhofer, ADRC for additional information
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June 29, 2019