Witness to history: Doug Canning

Captain Doug Canning was the first of the P-38 pilots to spot the Yamamoto flight. Presented here are his main impressions of the mission and the heated debate that still surrounds it.


On the Yamamoto flight:

‘I saw two Betty bombers and two ‘vees’ of three Zero escorts, each trailing right and left of the Bettys. I then called in “Bogies 10 o’clock high!” The mission report states that I said 11 o’clock high but my memory says 10 o’clock.’


On Rex Barber destroying the Betty:

‘He corrected and began shooting at the bomber, getting hits on the fuselage and the right engine. Shortly after that the bomber crashed in the jungle.’


On the Yamamoto kill:

‘I can easily say that even though I saw non of this action, my interest in this mission and my direct connection with all those involved, leads me to only one conclusion: only Rex Barber shot down Yamamoto’s aircraft.’