Although dropping napalm is not a great topic for Christmas, I located a picture on Fold3 taken by a photo plane from the November 22, 1944 raid that Lt. Zack Lillard was lost. On November 22, 1944 over eighty planes from three carriers launched a raid against Yap to test the use of 150 gallon belly napalm canisters for the first time by the US Navy. They used the raid to test the low level drops by electric and manual releases. Many of the canisters failed to ignite when they hit and some went into the water. The attached picture shows the napalm drops that ignited as well as the likely crash site of Zack on the East side of the airstrip. After Zack made his bombing run he returned for a low level strafing attack on the anti-aircraft positions at the east end of the runway. He went low in a shallow dive but the Japanese AA guns that had been silent thus far opened up and his plane was hit and the tail blown off. After two slow rolls out of control, he dove in to the ground from several hundred feet altitude at the east end of the runway, and the plane exploded violently. In 2009 we located the wing of Zack's F6F-5 Hellcat. In 2010 we located part of the tail. On our next search trip we hope to find the rest of the plane. More information including pictures and documents can be viewed at the following links. May Zack rest in peace until he is found! http://www.missingaircrew.com/yap/mac/22nov1944.asp http://www.missingaircrew.com/trip/Lillard-Hellcat/ http://www.missingaircrew.com/trip/lillard/Posts: 712 | From: Cameron, Wisconsin | Registered: Dec 2004
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