Wreck of Richard Bong’s P-38 “Marge” found in Papua – New Guinea

Richard Bong seen with his P-38 decorated with a photo of his girlfriend Marjorie Vattendahl (photo source: Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center)

On May 23, the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center and Justin Taylan of Pacific Wrecks announced that the wreckage of Richard Bong’s P-38, nicknamed “Marge,” had been discovered in Papua New Guinea.

This discovery is the result of an expedition in Papua New Guinea that began on May 1st.

When clicked, this video is loaded from YouTube servers. See our privacy policy for details.

At the press conference, Briana Fiandt, the curator of collections and exhibits at the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center, explained the importance of the discovery of this plane, one of the most emblematic of World War II.

The wreckage of the P-38 was formally authenticated by the last three digits of its serial number, still visible on a piece of the plane’s wreckage.

Surprisingly, this fragment, found on the right wing of the plane, still bore some of the original red paint dating back over 80 years.

The P-38 “Marge” was named after Bong’s girlfriend, Marjorie Vattendahl, and was decorated with her portrait.

The plane was lost in 1944 with Lieutenant Tom Malone at the controls during a weather reconnaissance mission. Malone had to bail out due to a faulty engine.

The location of the P-38’s wreck remained a mystery for eight decades until its discovery during the “Mission: Marge” expedition.

Richard Bong flew this P-38 in combat and became America’s ace of aces with 40 aerial victories against Japanese aircraft.

Sadly, he died in California during a test flight of a Lockheed P-80 on August 6, 1945.

Source: Richard Bong’s P-38 fighter plane, ‘Marge,’ discovered in Papua New Guinea.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2024/05/24/wreck-of-richard-bongs-p-38-marge-found-in-papua-new-guinea/

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Code Snippet ma-gdpr-youtube 1.5.0