|Pilot Captain Charles P. Sullivan (O'Sullivan) (survived) Eureka, IL
Crashed September 20, 1943
While flying a P-400 fighter near Port Moresby on June 17, 1942, Sullivan scored his first aerial victory, a Japanese bomber. While flying a P-38, Sullivan downed a Ki-43 near Gasmata, New Britain, on January 6, 1943; a Zero over Lae on March 3, 1943; a Zero probable over Huon Gulf on March 4, 1943; a Betty near Port Moresby on April 12, 1943; and finally, a Ki-43 Oscar near Lae on July 26, 1943.
Charles Sullivan recalls in Faith Determination and a bit of Irish Luck:
Instinctively, I shoved the P-38 into a violent dive, dropping my auxiliary gasoline tanks as I went. It was then that I felt the shudder of bullets striking my plane. He had bit my left engine, which began spraying oil that started a smoky fire. I raced for the clouds below at speeds of nearly 500 miles per hour. The plane shuddered and shook from the strain. I looked back. I was pulling away from the Japanese fighter, but he was still stalking me. Oil began to spray on my windshield, obscuring my vision. I thought about parachuting right then, but instead I cut off the flaming engine and feathered the propeller, which stopped the fan and turned the blades so they would cut through the air with minimum drag. The fire in the left engine went out and my windshield cleared - but the stalker was still with me."
Sullivan managed to escape into a cloud, but flying on only one engine, and the stalking fighter disappeared. Without the left engine and its generator, he was without radio to report he was headed back to base. Experienceing problems with his right engine, he made a force landing around noon, sustaining a cut to his scalp, and spent the rest of the day cutting a path to trees nearby and spent the night there.
After an altercation in a village where he shot two villagers, he evaded natives for two weeks until locating an Australian Army patrol. Departing with a liason pilot aboard an observation plane, it sufferred engine problems, force landed and flipped over in the landing. Unhurt, the t. The following day, a C-47 picked him up at Dumpu Airfield , and returned to base at Port Moresby on October 20, 1943 a month after his force landing.