42-27507         P47

 

On 16 December 1944, a P-47D-23RA, # 42-27507, assigned to 10th Air Force, 80th Fighter Group, 90th Fighter Squadron, departed the airfield at Tingkawk-Sakan, Burma, on a bombing and strafing mission of Mabein, Burma. Last contact was at about 1150 hours about 12 miles SSW of Kamaing, Burma. The pilot, killed in action, was 2ndLt John E. Prinzler, # 0-821778. 1stLt Paul (NMI) Wigley and two enlisted men accompanied natives to what was thought to be the wreckage.

 

1stLt Gale H. Lyon reported he was green flight leader of a flight from Tingkawk-Sakan at 1120 hours, 16 Dec. 1944. At above 6,000’, 180 MPH, climbing, the flight approached clouds over hills SW of Kamaing, Burma. They were in the clouds for about 15 seconds with open intervals. His wingman did not appear after leaving the clouds. He stayed on course for about 30 seconds, he started a right turn over the clouds. He called Prinzler but had no reply. They flew under the clouds, saw no fire, and had no reply. They climbed to 6,500’ and he called in the missing fighter.

 

2ndLt William L. Wilcox reported that he was in the # 3 position behind and above Prinzler. Prinzler was missing after exiting the clouds. Circling did not help. 2ndLt Wesley T. Stewart reported the same. Maps accompany the MACR on fold3.com.

 

PRINZLER, JOHN EDWARD, Second Lieutenant, # 821778, USAAF

 

John E. Prinzler was born on 11 November 1924 in Southwest Greensburg, Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania, to Homer William Prinzler (1894-1979) and Elsie Blanche (Bender) Prinzler (1899-1991). Siblings included Jeanne Kathleen (Prinzler) Erhard (1923-1982), Joyce Eileen Prinzler. Living with them in 1930 was his great grandmother, Elsie Opplinger (1860-    ) (widowed). He graduated from Greensburg High School in 1942.

 

He enlisted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 11 April 1943. He completed flight instruction through advances schools and earned his commission and pilot wings, trained as a fighter pilot. On 16 December 1944, a P-47D-23RA, # 42-27507, assigned to 10th Air Force, 80th Fighter Group, 90th Fighter Squadron, departed the airfield at Tingkawk-Sakan, Burma, on a bombing and strafing mission of Mabein, Burma. Last contact was at about 1150 hours about 12 miles SSW of Kamaing, Burma. 1stLt Paul (NMI) Wigley and two enlisted men accompanied natives to what was thought to be the wreckage. 1stLt Gale H. Lyon reported he was green flight leader of a flight from Tingkawk-Sakan at 1120 hours, 16 Dec. 1944. At above 6,000’, 180 MPH, climbing, the flight approached clouds over hills SW of Kamaing, Burma. They were in the clouds for about 15 seconds with open intervals. His wingman did not appear after leaving the clouds. He stayed on course for about 30 seconds, he started a right turn over the clouds. He called Prinzler but had no reply. They flew under the clouds, saw no fire, and had no reply. They climbed to 6,500’ and he called in the missing fighter. 2ndLt William L. Wilcox reported that he was in the # 3 position behind and above Prinzler. Prinzler was missing after exiting the clouds. Circling did not help. 2ndLt Wesley T. Stewart reported the same. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines. A memorial marker is in the Westmoreland County Memorial Park, Greensburg, Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania.

 

His father, Homer W. Prinzler, born 2 April 1894, served during WW I in the U.S. Army, 51st Aeronautical Squadron, Kelly Field, Texas, to Henry J. Damm Field, New York, Corporal, # 1139478, from 15 March 1918 to 22 January 1919.