Interesting P-38 pilot mystery ...

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Airman 1st Class
Here's one for ya ...

A while back, I painted Twin-Tailed Dragons (see below). I chose Lt. William G. "Bill" Baumeister Jr's IRISH LASSIE simply because I had a picture of the plane (also below), courtesy of my friend Jack Cook. Other than Bill's Ki-43 "Oscar" damaged claim, he had no other victories, and in my research for the painting I was able to find only sketchy details about Bill - nothing referring to his apparent disappearance and long captivity in the USSR. This was simply a portrait of an average plane in markings I've been wanting to do for some time.

Tonight I get a very interesting email, which reads, in part:

Mr. Meyers,

My great aunt is Lt William "Bill" Baumeister Jr's sister, the plane's pilot that you painted for your Twin-Tailed Dragons painting. Bill landed with manifold problems safely in Burma in 1944, he was seen alive on the ground by another P-38 in his squadron and was never seen again until a released German POW said he was captive in Russian hands, numerous cables between the US government and the Russian government who denied they had him continued on until 1993 when the US stopped inquiring about him. He was sighted at 3 different camps in Siberia over the years. So for me to find a actual picture of his plane and your paintings of his plane on your website was thrilling for her as she spent thousands of fruitless hours trying all means to get her brother returned. Any info you can provide to her would be greatly appreciated . . .

I've asked the guy for copies of any documentation he may have so that I can add the story to my site. If true, I'm guessing Bill must have possessed some kind of special technical knowledge like other "special guests" alleged to have fallen in Russian hands from Korea and Vietnam.

Anybody else ever heard of Bill's mysterious disappearance?



Wow, that is amazing, Wade. Very interesting how your art could stir up a 60 year old mystery. Please keep us posted about this one.

PS: If you see or chat with Jack, let him know that there are a lot of folks that have been thinking about him.
That is truely odd. Weird. From Burma to the Gulags? How the hell can that be? Not only the distances involved, but also the circumstances.

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