Bail Out

 United States 67th Ftr-Bmbr-Sq

F-51 Mustang


7th September 1950

18th Ftr-Bmbr-Gp

1st Lt. Jack A. Lightner


 1st Lt. Jack A. Lightner


KIA 7th September 1950

F-51D Mustang 45-11727

18th Ftr-Bmbr-Gp

67th Ftr-Bmbr-Sq

On fire, unsuccessful low altitude bail-out in Tsushima Straits 20 mi SE of Pusan

Witness:  Col. Robert R. Blank (deceased)



Korean War

My brother, 1st Lt. Jack A. Lightner, was killed attempting to eject from a Mustang during the Korean War.  Here are a few of the details in the event you are interested. He was one of over 200 Mustang pilots who lost their lives during the Korean War.

Details of Ejection:  Lt. Lightner was assigned to the 67th Fighter Bomber Squadron of the 18th Fighter Bomber Group.  The squadron was engaged in low level ground support missions in the Pusan Perimeter flying out of Ashiya due to the loss of United Nations controlled airbases in southern Korea.  On his 47th mission Lightner had destroyed two large tanks, three trucks, and damaged another medium tank but in the attack his Mustang was hit by enemy fire.  Escorted by Blank, Lightner attempted to nurse his damaged plane across the Tsushima Strait back to Japan. 

However, his aircraft's engine caught fire and Lt. Lightner attempted to bail out. According to eye witness Blank, Lightner's parachute harness apparently caught on protruding knobs and instruments in the cockpit and Lightner was able to free himself only seconds before impact.  Blank said: "The plane was about 300 feet above the water; it suddenly nosed over into a 45 degree dive.  Lightner got out but never had a chance to open his chute.  He struck the water just behind the aircraft at almost the same instant as the plane."  He obviously died instantly.

 Location of Ejection:  20 miles off Korean coast, enroute to Ashiya, Japan over the Tsushima Strait (southern Sea of Japan)


Further Biographical details and photographs can be viewed by visiting the clicking on the flag


I would like to extend my appreciation to Dr. Jerry Lightner for permitting me to include his late brother's details on this website