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418th Night Fighter Squadron (418th NFS)
U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF), 5th Air Force (5th AF)

Background
The 418th Night Fighter Squadron (418th NFS) unit was formed at the AAF School of Applied Tactics. The squadron's motif was a bumble bee standing on a cloud with a crescent moon and star behind, holding a lantern (representing radar) in its right hand and a machine gun in the left hand.

The 418th NFS shipped overseas to Milne Bay, arriving on November 2, 1943 equipped with P-38 Lightnings and P-70 Havocs. Assigned to 5th Fighter Command (V Fighter Command). On November 22, 1943 transfered to Dobodura. Next, assigned to the 308th Bombardment Wing (308th BW) and switched to P-61 Black Widow night fighters and transfered to Finschafen on March 28, 1944.

On December 10, 1943 lost is P-70 Havoc piloted by 2nd Lt Harry Crum on a training flight against the shipwreck of the Ayutosen Maru  (The Gona Wreck) and mushed into the sea with one wingtip hitting the sea, causing it to cartwheel and sink. Afterwards, the bodies of two of the crew were recovered, one crew member, Sgt William J. Weinfurther, Jr. remains listed as missing.

On April 2, 1944 lost is P-70A Havoc 42-33143 piloted by 2nd Lt. Robert M. Forrestal on a supply drop mission over Bogia and went Missing In Action (MIA).

On May 12, 1944 the squadron moved to Hollandia and was assigned to the 310th Bombardment Wing (310th BW) operating P-61s, B-25s and P-70s. On September 16, 1944 assigned to Owi Airfield. Afterwards, assigned to Morotai.

On June 15, 1944 became part of the Far East Air Force (FEAF) and was pared with the 13th Air Force, with the air echelon operating from Morotai.

On July 27, 1944 damaged on anti-shipping strike was B-25H pilot Lt Ira M. Barnett that force landed in the interior of New Guinea.

On August 5, 1944 lost is B-25H 43-4129 pilot 1st Lt. Gordon J. Schmeisser on a night intruder mission and went Missing In Action (MIA).

On November 14, 1944 the ground echelon moved to Dulag and on November 30, 1944 moved to San Jose Airfield arriving December 15, 1944 and sometime afterwards the air echelon moves to this location. Finally, on July 9, 1945 departs for Okinawa.

418th Night Fighter Squadron (418th NFS) known losses
P-38G "Veni Vidi Vici" 42-12705 piloted by Craig MIA March 4, 1944
P-70 Havoc 42-33143 piloted by Forrestal MIA April 2, 1944
B-25H 43-4129 piloted by Schmeisser MIA August 5, 1944

References
418th Night Fighter Squadron History



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