On 19 November 1944, a P-38J-5, # 42-67291, assigned to 10th Air Force, 459th Fighter Squadron, departed Chittagong, Burma, on an escort mission to Mokoalin, Rangoon, Burma. It was last seen on fire. 2ndLt Joseph E. Ficklin, # 0-7604##, was the pilot. The crash was a battle casualty. The last contact was by radio with 1stLt Robert A. Hargis, 0-750582, and 1stLt Joseph L. Huesmann, 0-1286651.
Lt. Hargis reported: The escort was for a formation of B-24 bombers. At about 1150 hours, enemy aircraft attacked the formation and cover fighters. After Hargis’ first pass, Lt. Ficklin called and said his P-38 was on fire. Hargis could not see it. Lt. Huesmann added that someone said manifold pressure could not be maintained.
FICKLIN, JOEPH EDWARD, JR., Second Lieutenant, # 0-76041
Joseph E. Ficklin was born on 24 January 1923 in Los Angeles, California, to Joseph E. Ficklin (1900-1966) (Iowa) and Alice (Armstrong) Ficklin (1902-1986). Siblings included Mary Joan (Ficklin) Neal (1928- ) and Samuel Henry Ficklin (1935- ). In 1930 his father was a restaurant proprietor and in 1940 he worked for the W.P.A. On 4 November 1942, he married Hazel Lucille Anderson (1923-2014) in California.
After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight instruction and advanced flight schools. He earned his commission and pilot wings as a P-38 fighter pilot. He was sent overseas to the 10th Air Force in India. On 19 November 1944, a P-38J-5, # 42-67291, assigned to 10th Air Force, 459th Fighter Squadron, departed Chittagong, Burma, on an escort mission to Mokoalin, Rangoon, Burma. It was last seen on fire. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He earned the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.