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Conrad Tolladay

Conrad G. Tolladay was born 18 September 1919 in Madera California. His mother's maiden name was JACOBSON. Conrad flew a Lockheed P-38 Lightning he called "Oh Kay" in the China Burma India Campaign during World War II. He named the plane after his wife. Conrad served in the Tenth Air Force 80th Fighter Group 459th Fighter Squadron known as the Twin Dragon's. Following is a brief timeline that shows only dates of formation and movement of his squadron. However as you read through it you'll get an idea of where he was and what was going on. "The story of the Burma campaign is multi-facetted. The fighting took place not only in the air but in the jungle, mountains and across the arid Burmese plain, baked as dry as a desert in the summer sun. Men often fought face-to-face and hand-to-hand but the campaign became very much a modern war seeing the airlifting of entire divisions, aerial re-supply, landings by glider, casualty evacuation from small jungle airstrips and the deployment of landing craft in support of sea borne invasions and river patrols. The country and its climate were the enemy of both sides. Disease and infection could and did decimate armies - tick-borne scrub typhus, malaria, leeches and "jungle ulcers" representing just a few of the medical hazards faced by the combatants. Nor must one forget the monsoon - a period of .... months when the rains falls in steady sheets day after day creating conditions where a soldier’s clothing would literally rot off his back."

Timeline: WEDNESDAY, 1 SEPTEMBER 1943 CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): A detachment of the 9th Photographic Squadron (Light), Tenth Air Force, based at Pandaveswar, India begins operating from Dinjan, India with F-4's and F-5's. The 459th Fighter Squadron is activated at Karachi, India and assigned to the 80th Fighter Group. The squadron begins training with P-38's.

FRIDAY, 5 NOVEMBER 1943 CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER OF OPERATIONS BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force): The 459th Fighter Squadron, 80th Fighter Group, transfers from Karachi to Kurmitola, India with P-38's. They will fly their first mission on 14 Nov 1943.

November 16, 1943 BURMA: P-38 pilots with the Tenth Air Force’s 459th Fighter Squadron down three Ki-43s at 1100 hours while escorting bombers against Meiktila.

To see an online tribute to Conrad, written by his descedants see theAmerican World War II Orphans Network Link and the Purple Heart Registry

Conrad disappeared 17 Jan 1944. He was ofically listed as MIA for a year and a day. On 18 Jan 1945 he was declared dead. Conrad's name is inscribed in a monument at the World War II Manila American Cemetery and Memorial located about six miles southeast of Manila, Republic of the Philippines within the limits of Fort Bonifacio, the former U.S. Army Fort William McKinley. He received a Purple Heart as well as an Air Medal for his service and sacrifice. His other awards and decorations can be viewed atThe Air Force Personel Center

The next link will take you to more information on the P-38 called a Forked Tailed Devil by Axis Power Pilots in World War II. For a profile of the aircraft including weight, armament and range statistics, the United Staes Fighter Hall of Fame has a site worth checking out. The Aircraft Information Archive also has a number of images of the P-38.

  • A Bibliography of Resources for the CBI
  • A directory of Fighter Assocaiations
  • Air Force Sites of Interest

  • Books: James M. Fielder A History of the 459th Fighter Squadron: The Twin Dragons CBI, 1943-1945 Pub 1993

    Book Review at site: The Forgotten Air War:

    Web site on Burma with picture taken January 1945

    Madera County War Memorial

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