Mission: Marge


Welcome, adventurers and history enthusiasts, to an expedition like no other!
Join us as we embark on a thrilling journey into the heart of Papua New Guinea, in search of one of the most legendary fighter planes of World War II – the P-38 Lightning, “Marge” flown by America’s Ace of Aces, Richard Bong.

Richard Bong, America’s most daring ace, fearlessly took on the might of the Japanese forces, carving his name into the annals of history with each victorious mission. With his beloved Marge’s photo emblazoned on his plane, he became an icon.

In late 1944, another pilot, Lt. Tom Malone found himself at the controls of “Marge,” tasked with a weather reconnaissance mission.  A malfunctioning engine forced him to bailout and “Marge,” the cherished P-38 Lightning, met her end on a plantation in New Guinea.

For over eight decades, what remains of “Marge” has been a mystery.  Now we have joined forces with Pacific Wrecks to unveil the mysteries hidden in that distant land.

Our mission, should we choose to accept it (and trust us, we do!), is threefold:

Mission: Marge • Threefold Approach

Locate & Document

Research & Share

Community Connections

Globe with map art of Papua New Guinea with a red push pin stuck in the center of the island.
large group of children and a few adults from Papua watch as two crouching white men try to open technical tools in a field.
a crowd of exuberant, happy, Papua village children in bright clothes smile and laugh at the camera

Locate and Document:
Armed with cutting-edge technology, we aim to pinpoint the exact location of “Marge’s” final resting place and find definitive proof that the remains are “Marge”.  The team will be looking for data plates, serial numbers, or maybe even a remnant of the nose art that made the real Marge “
the most shot after girl in the Pacific”.

Research and Share:
The Pacific Wrecks team will be doing a full site survey to document every piece of wreckage at the site. No stone will be left unturned.  The team will also gather extensive video and photographic footage that will be shared with all of us eagerly following along virtually.

Community Connections: The people of Papua New Guinea are at the heart of this expedition.  We expect this trip to be just the beginning of a long friendship with the National Museum of New Guinea and of course the people who treasure and safeguard the crash site.  In the end, it is not just about uncovering relics of the past, but about forging connections that transcend borders.

black and white photo of man pointing to imprint of smiling woman's face on aircraft.
navy blue square filled with raised map of New Guinea in white

"Mission Marge": In the News

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