Bolt, Donald David, Capt

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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1055-Pilot, Single-Engine Fighter
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1950-1954, Missing In Action (MIA)
Service Years
1943 - 1954
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Stephen Willcox-Deceased to remember Bolt, Donald David, Capt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Philadelphia, PA
Last Address
Pusan East (K-9) Air Base, South Korea

Casualty Date
Oct 02, 1950
Hostile, Died while Captured
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Korea, North
Korean War
Location of Interment
Bel Air Memorial Gardens - Bel Air, Maryland
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Korean War Fallen
  2014, Korean War Fallen

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Army (USA)67th Fighter-Bomber Squadron18th Fighter-Bomber GroupUS Air Force
Prisoner Of War (POW)US Air Force
  1943-1943, US Army (USA)
  1948-1949, AAF MOS 1055, 67th Fighter-Bomber Squadron
  1949-1950, AAF MOS 5401, 18th Fighter-Bomber Group
  1950-1950, 15th Fighter-Bomber Group
  1950-1950, 18th Fighter-Bomber Group
  1950-1950, 67th Fighter-Bomber Squadron
  1950-1950, Prisoner Of War (POW)
  1950-1954, Missing In Action (MIA)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1945 World War II
  1950-1950 Korean War
 Colleges Attended 
University of Maryland at College Park
  1946-1948, University of Maryland at College Park
 My Aircraft/Missiles
P-51/F-51 Mustang  
  1950-1950, P-51/F-51 Mustang
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
"Aircraft Type: F-51D, Tail Number: 44-84982, Crewmembers Associated With This Loss: Bolt, Donald D 1Lt USAF POW, Circumstances of Loss: Hit by AAA 20 mi N of Pyongyang at Opariuk RR Tunnel, crash landed in a rice paddy." Source: Korwald Loss Incident Summary,
"Captain Bolt was a pilot of a P-51 Mustang fighter. While attacking target near Pyongyang, North Korea on October 2, 1950, his Mustang was hit and he was forced to land. After evading the enemy for several hours he was taken Prisoner of War. He was declared dead on March 31, 1954." Source: Korean War Project,

A month prior to the incident that took his life, Lt. Bolt was flying out of Taegu, South Korea on a mission when his aircraft was heavily damaged by machine gun fire. Though not injured, he crash landed the plane on a deserted airstrip at Pohang. He was rescued several hours later. On October 2, 1950, while on a pre-dawn mission, his aircraft was damaged again by ground fire. He successfully cleared a ridge of hills before he bellied-in on an open rice field which was surrounded by a ring of trees. Lt. Bolt left the cockpit and ran toward the trees, then quickly ran back toward the plane and pointed toward the trees. The flight leader flying above could see enemy troops climbing out of truck. The aircraft made a strafing pass and fired his machine guns in the space between the trees and Lt. Bolt's position, warning the enemy to stay away from the aircraft. The flight leader called for help and stayed over head until replaced by other aircraft. Thoughout the day, aircraft provided cover, occasionally strafing to warn the enemy troops, but soon Lt. Bolt was surrounded by the enemy. It was hoped a helicopter would be able to fly to the spot from Kimbo to Pyongyang, but  it was later learned that the early H-5 helicopter's maximum range wouldn't allow the helicopter to fly to Pyongyang and return saftely to friendly territory. Thus, although the support aircraft continued to protect Lt. Bolt, nothing could be done to rescue him. Lt. Bolt was last seen alive and under the wing of his Mustang, but after dark set in he was on his own. Although the last pilot to see Lt. Bolt alive considered strafing the enemy troops. He was, however, concerned such action would trigger the troops attacking and immediately killing Lt. Bolt. "...after our forces took Pyongyang, the Graves Registration people reportedly found Lieutenant Don Bolt's body buried in a shallow grave just a short distance from his airplane. He had been shot in the back of the head, execution style."  Source: 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing in Korea, Part 13, Korean Tales Unsung Heroes of the Korean Air War by Duane E "Bud" Biteman, Lt. Col, USAF, Ret,
Donald David Bolt was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Wiliam David Bolt and Edith Mae Riddaugh. Source:  In 1930 he lived with his parents in Amsterdam, Virginia. Source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census,  He enlisted in the U.S. Army on February 17, 1943. Source: U.S. World war II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946,
He graduated from his aviation training in 1945 and was commissoned as a 2nd Lt. He left the military in 1946 to attend the University of Maryland to obtain a degree in Architectural Engineering, though I do not know if he completed his degree, as he volunteered for a recall to active duty in 1948. In 1948 through 1950 he was at Clark Field in the Philippines. In 1949, however, due to Air Force economy measures, he and other pilots were grounded and their pilot ratings suspended. They were given the choice of becoming a civilian again or to remain in active duty in a ground position at current rank. Lt. Bolt served as a Public Information Officer in 1949 until 1950, when the Korean conflict left the military with a shortage of pilots. Those who opted to remain in the Far East where allowed to retain their former flying rating, provided they volunteerd for combat duty in the Korean War. 1st Lt Bolt left in July of 1950 via Japan and arrived at Taegu, South Korea in on 31 July. Source: 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing in Korea, Part 13, Korean Tales Unsung Heroes of the Korean Air War by Duane E "Bud" Biteman, Lt. Col, USAF, Ret,

"Name: Donald David Bolt
Birth Date: 4 Apr 1924
Gender: Male
Home City: Aberdeen
Home State: Maryland
Citizen Status: US Citizen
Death Date: 31 Mar 1954 (Note: Presumed death date)
Processed Date: Nov 1976
Casualty Country: Korea
Casualty Type: Hostile-Died While Missing
Casualty Cause: Aircraft Loss/Crash Not at Sea
Casualty Air: Fixed Wing Air Casualty-Pilot
Service Branch: US Air Force
Component: Reserve
Rank: Captain
Pay Grade: Captain"
Source: Korean War Casualties, 1950-1957,

Captain Bolt is buried at Bel Air Memorial Gardens, Bel Air, Maryland

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