On 17 August 1944, a P-47D-23, # 43-25748, assigned to 10th Air Force, 80th Fighter Group, 89th Fighter Squadron, Nagaghuli, Assam, India, departed the airfield at Myitkyina, Burma, on a bombing mission in Burma. It was last seen at about 1220 hours about 2 ½ miles NW of Kutkai, Burma, when the P-47 caughter fire after leaving the target. The pilot was 1stLt Edward C. O’Connor, # 0-732327. He was last seen by Maj. William S. Harrell, 0-428495, Capt. Elbert R. McMillin, 0-790696, and 1stLt James P. McGuire, 0-798330. A parachute was used.
Maj. Harrell and Capt. McMillin reported: Maj. Harrell was flight leader of four Juncos (modified P-47 – for bombing). O’Connor was forced to bail out in enemy held territory 2 and ½ miles NW of Kutkai (map # SO 9768). O’Connor bailed out at about 1,000 feet and his fighter crashed. He landed 150-200 yards from the crash in knee-high grass in an open field about 2 miles from the road. O’Connor left the parachute, cut his jungle pack loose and waved to those overhead. A B-25 circling dropped his emergency jungle kit near the spot. O’Connor headed NE. They ket O’Connor in sight from 1230 to 1305 hours and he crossed the road and kept walking. No enemy was in sight when the flight left. A flight of 5 Juncos returned with an A-24 to try to pick up O’Connor with the Z-24. It stayed in the area until 1620 hours but had no contact. The pilot’s parachute and the parachute from the B-25 kit were gone. There was little cover and the enemy had cavalry horses to pursue anyone.
Insufficient information in the MACR to develop this further. Information would be appreciated.
Republic Aircraft P-47 Thunderbolts
1st Air Commando Group Thunderbolts