39th Fighter Squadron Diary
Recorded by S-Sgt Donald Elmore Thomas
May 17, 1942 to Sept 6, 1944
The first mention of Lt. Lee Costly Haigler in the Squadron diary is on June 2, 1943. The entry
Gallup, Salmon, Randall, McGuire, Rogers, Urquhart, Baker, Forest, Lane, Mettler, Haigler,
Paregoy, Flood, and Tansing were off at 0735 for an escort for the transports to Wau and Bulolo
area. The area was patrolled at an altitude and returning with the second group of transports.
Landing here at 1025. No enemy sightings on this mission and the operations officer was
ordered to have the planes based up as soon as possible for another mission of the same kind.
They were then called off on an interception mission one this area. They were recalled when at
14,000ft. No enemy sightings here but they bombed the Bulldog strip with minor damage. No
more flying today.
Not mentioned on June 3, but was on June 4:
The only mission for the day was a weather hop over the entire area around Wau, Bulolo, Lae
and etc. Captain Gallup and Lt Haigler were the pilots on this taking off at 0830 and landing at
1045. That was the only mission for today. Of course there was a regular volley ball game. No
damage for this game.
Lt. Haigler is mentioned in 25 entries between June 8 and November 9, 1943. The following are
the last three entries before Lt. Haigler loss starting with November 11:
Captains King, Denton, Lts. Cella, Lane, Flood, Prentice, Widman, Mettler, Andrews, Rothbeg,
Randall, Walters and Haigler took off at 1010 from Dobodura and returned here at 1210. The
other pilots and ground crew stayed over there because of bad weather.
No flights today although the rest of the pilots returned and ground crew returned from
Lt. Andrews and Haigler were escorting a F-5 to Rabaul this morning and ran into a terrible
storm front, The mission was forced to cancel and became separated. Lt. Haigler has not been
heard from since and is missing. Another good pilot lost.