42-104992       P40

 

On 9 July 1944, a P-40N-5, # 42-104992, assigned to 10th Air Force, 80th Fighter Group, 88th Fighter Squadron, assigned to Shingbwiyang, Burma, departed the airfield on a flight with others to support the attack of the enemy-held Myitkyina airfield and base. It was piloted by 2ndLt Thomas F. O’Connor, Jr., # 0-813209. It was last seen by Capt. Owen R. Allred, crashed one mile west of Maingna, Burma. He saw a used parachute 1/8th mile away from the crash. He saw Lt. O’Connor’s fighter with five enemy fighters on his tail and fired into the enemy closest to O’Connor. A British patrol brought in the ASN plates off the crashed plane, which was the one flown by O’Connor.

 

O’CONNOR, THOMAS FRANCIS, JR, Second Lieutenant, # 0-813209, USAAF

 

Thomas F. O’Connor Jr. was born on 15 July 1922 in Oak Park, Cook Co., Illinois, to Thomas F. O’Connor (1892-1969) (CONN.) and Pauline Magdeline (Herman) O’Connor (1897-1989) (OH) (married 20 December 1919 in Chicago, IL). He had a brother, James O’Connor (1925-    ), and a sister, Jeanne O’Connor (1934-    ).

 

After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight instruction and advanced flight schools. He earned his commission and pilot wings. On 9 July 1944, a P-40N-5, # 42-104992, assigned to 10th Air Force, 80th Fighter Group, 88th Fighter Squadron, assigned to Shingbwiyang, Burma, departed the airfield at Myitkying, Burma, on an interception mission. It was piloted by 2ndLt Thomas F. O’Connor, Jr., # 0-813209. It was last seen by Capt. Owen R. Allred, crashed one mile west of Maingna, Burma. He saw a used parachute 1/8th mile away from the crash. He saw Lt. O’Connor’s fighter with five enemy fighters on his tail and fired into the enemy closest to O’Connor. A British patrol brought in the ASN plates off the crashed plane, which was the one flown by O’Connor. He was able to bail out and land unharmed but was captured by the enemy and soon executed. His remains have never been recovered. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with an Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart.