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MishapVP-43 MishapMishap


MishapsMISHAPs: 10 JAN 42 A/C: PBY-5 pbyLocation: NAS North Island, San Diego, California Strike: Yes BUNO: 2318 Cause: Confidential nature - Seaplane was damage severely when a downwind take-off was made at a strange seadrome of limited size, necessitating the last part of the run to be made in the edge of the open sea, where a strong swell was running. Damage: Damaged bottom stringers, belt frames, bottom plating and skin on side of hull between station #4 and 5.5 on left side. Crew Ok. Pilot:Ens. Kovis F. Lucas, AV-N USNR, Ens. H. W. George, AV-N USNR, Ens. G. H. Apitz, AV-N USNR, B. P. Moore, F. J. Kindsvater, V. L. Green, R. W. DeVries, L. V. Reid, and V. J. Duncan. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [23NOV2002]

MishapsMISHAPs: 31 FEB 42 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: SALTON SEA, CA Strike: Yes BUNO: 2313 Cause: SALTON SEA, LNDG ACC, HULL SPLIT SANK, BOMB SITE AND CONFIDENTIAL MATERIAL SAVED Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [17MAR98]

UPDATE "...Crew OK. Pilot ENS Rolf H. Hagen, ENS G. H. Apitz, AMM1 H. P. Buerhey (NAP), RM1 L. D. Condon, AMM1 O. C. Sandberg, AMM3 M. A. Purcell, RM3 L. T. Owen, and SEA2 H. L. DeFenbaugh..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [17JUN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 28 MAR 42 A/C: PBY-5A pbyLocation: ICELAND Strike: Yes BUNO: 2462 Cause: SANK Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [17MAR98]

UPDATE "...VP-73, Iceland det; Water-looped landing & sank; 60-19N 26-39W 4/minor inj, 6/ no inj..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [22DEC2000]

MishapsMISHAPs: 08 APR 42 A/C: PBY-5A pbyLocation: NAS North Island, San Diego, California Strike: Yes BUNO: 2306 43-P-6 Cause: ENS James in 43-P-6 departed NAS North Island, San Diego, California at 0430 PMT April 8, 1942, with orders to join up and escort convoy until released about sunset. At 1930, having completed mission, 43-P-6 transmitted ETA group. The last radio communication recieved from 43-P-6 occured at 2037 when a plane group was transmitted. Plane did not return. Search was conducted but no trace of plane was found until April 17th when a Coast Guard Cutter picked up a parachute flare tube, two float lights and an oxygen rebreather as indentified as belomging to 43-P-6 about 5-miles off shore near Santa Monica, Cal. Plane and crew missing: Pilot ENS Will R. James, ENS William E. Maurer, ENS Glenn A. Hoer, AMM3 Hal J. Weidemeyer, AMM3 Wendell L. Sparss, SEA1 .Marsdon O. Penrose, and SEA2 Clifford J. Angle. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [19JUN2001]

UPDATE "...My Cousin, Hal Weidemeyer, AMM2, died in a VP-43 Mishap while on patrol off the Caliornia Coast on April 8, 1942 in aircraft 43-P-6. I am seeking friends that knew him or had some knowledge about the crash. Also seeking copies of relevant photos of him or his crew, plane, base etc. I served an AD VW-2 formerly VX-4 and VP-101 from 1952 to 1954. I am attempting to gather information for a Family History. Any information, photos or suggestions will be appreciated...Woody Weidemeyer clwdee@aol.com..." [02MAY2004]

MishapsMISHAPs: 01 JUN 42 A/C: PBY-5A pbyLocation: NAS Alameda, California Strike: Yes BUNO: 04439 Cause: Mountains east of Half Moon Bay, Calif. "Demolished" Crew: ENSIGN Wayne Willis Campbell (Pilot) - KILLED, ENSIGN Gustave H. Apitz (no mention of him being inj or killed), AP1 William H. Stute - KILLED,AMM1 Carl Elmer Seidelman - KILLED, SN Kenneth W. Simmons - KILLED, RM3 William W. Sand - KILLED, SN Richard C. Vall - KILLED and Ronald E. McClwan - KILLED. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [22JUN2001]

UPDATE "...1942 Press Photo San Francisco 6 men were killed and one injured and missing as..." WebSite: EBay http://www.ebay.com/ [24NOV2014]

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MishapsMISHAPs: 11 JUN 42 A/C: PBY-5 pbyLocation: Kiska, Alaska Strike: Yes BUNO: Unknown [05APR2009]

UPDATE "...AMM1c William H. Lansing was killed in action over Kiska, Alaska 11 June 1942 while assigned to VP-43. The USS Lansing DE388, WDE488, DER388 was named after him. A five year long search has found his final resting place. Below you will find a related link..." Contributed by Bob Goodrich bobgoodrich@bak.rr.com [05APR2009]

History ThumbnailCameraAMM1c William H. Lansing William Henry Lansing was born 7 March 1914 in Amsterdam, New York, and enlisted in The Naval Reserve 14 February 1933. He joined the Regular Navy 8 May 1934 and was assigned to Lexington (CV-2) in August. In December 1941, Aviation Machinist Mate First Class Lansing joined Patrol Squadron 43, serving at San Diego and Alameda. Following America's entry into World War II, his squadron was dispatched to the Aleutians for the aviation buildup in the North Pacific. On 11 June 1942 as plane captain, he participated in a dive bombing and strafing attack on Japanese shipping in Kiska Harbor. While manning his exposed and unprotected station at the engine controls, he was killed by enemy fire. His courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country. WebSite: USS/USCGC. LANSING http://www.usslansing.org/

MishapsMISHAPs: 11 JUN 42 A/C: PBY-5 pbyLocation: Salton Sea, Ca Strike: Yes BUNO: 2316 Cause: Just after take-off at about 35-ft above water with 78kts indicated, pilot cut both throttles to simulate an emergency. The student (Ens.Campbell) reacted by pushing the nose over to regain speed, the immediate effect was a loss of lift and only a slight increase of speed which was insufficient to check the accelerated drop of the plane even though the yoke was pulled back prior to contacting the water. Damage: Damaged hull. Requires rebuilding station 6 bulkhead and replacing all skin and framing between 4.5 and 6.5. Crew Ok. Pilot Lt(jg) Robert M. Harper, USN, Ens W. W. Campbell, AV-N USNR, AMM2c O. T. Buckley (NAP), USN, AMM3c G. H. Nion, USN, AMM3c F. N. Hill, USN, RM3c W. L. Stillmake, USNR, Sea2c J. L. Kegg, USN, AOM2c D. W. Long, USN, and Sea2c H. J. Weidmeyer, USN. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [23NOV2002]

MishapsMISHAPs: 14 JUN 42 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: Kiska Island, Alaska Strike: Yes BUNO: Unknown Cause: Unknown

UPDATE "...Leland LaFroy Davis - Ensign, United States Navy - Navigator, PBY 04511, June 14, 1942..." WebSite: Arlington National Cemetery http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/lldavis.htm [22SEP2008]

Leland L. Davis
Ensign, U.S. Navy
Service # 0-146517
United States Navy
Entered the Service from: Mississippi
Died: 15 June 1943
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial
Honolulu, Hawaii
Awards: Navy Cross, Purple Heart May 15, 2006:

History ThumbnailCameraVP-43 Mishap Nephew Mike Davis, (from left) sister Pattie Pavlenko and brother Charles Davis recently attended the funeral of Navy Ensign Leland L. Davis, who was killed in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska in 1942 and recently was buried in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington. Pattie Pavlenko thought the call was bogus. She questioned the voice on the other end in a hostile tone, wanting to know how the woman had gotten her number.

The memory of her brother - a hazel-eyed, athletic naval officer who loved baseball - already had been laid to rest. His plane going down at sea during a takeover of a Japanese-held Alaskan island and his body forever obscured by elements had been the long-held images of his demise.

But the woman on the other end of the line, a genealogist, was trying to tell Pavlenko something different, that her brother's remains and grave site had been discovered - six decades after his death.

Ensign Leland Davis was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

"I was in a state of shock. I had to write her a letter of apology because, when I first started talking to her, I thought we were being scammed," said Pavlenko, now 79, and a resident of Columbus.

Ensign Leland "LaFroy" Davis, who died at age 25, was buried last week at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. He had been among about 78,000 World War II service members unaccounted for.

Davis piloted a seaplane, a Navy PBY-5 Catalina, that took off from NAS Kodiak, Alaska, with its seven-member crew on June 14, 1942, to attack Japanese targets in Kiska Harbor. It was part of the only military campaign fought on North American soil during the war.

After running into bad weather and heavy Japanese anti-aircraft fire, they crashed on the island of Kiska, held by the Japanese.

A telegram to his mother at the time read, "The Navy Department deeply regrets to inform you that your son, Machinist Leland LaFroy Davis, United States Navy, is missing.

"The department appreciates your great anxiety ... To prevent possible aid to our enemies, please do not divulge the name of his ship or the station."

The United States retook the island from the Japanese in August 1943.

A grave marked "Seven U.S.N. Airmen" was all that remained of the crew, and ensuing attempts to locate the site were not successful - until a Canadian wildlife biologist researching Norway rats ventured to the islands in 2002.

He found an inflatable life vest, a parachute, two parachute packs, leather boots, a sweater and fragments of footwear.

The plane's wreckage was found on the side of Kiska Volcano and not in the water as the family had believed for so long.

In 2003, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command excavated the crash site. Debris and the remains of the servicemen were found.

Pavlenko, who was still a child when her brother joined the Navy at age 18, has struggled over the years to hold on to his image.

"My youngest sister, who is two and a half years younger than me, remembers him vividly. I do not. I have laid in bed at night. I've tried to see him. I can't," she said.

"I have just imagined what happened to him and how it happened and wondered if they died instantly or if they laid there or what. But it's just wonderful that now we can have some closure in our family. We never did."

Davis, who was raised in Hinds County, loved baseball. He loved to light firecrackers, swim and steal watermelons.

"He made the Navy his career," said his brother, Charles Davis, an 82-year old Jackson resident and a World War II veteran himself. "He was a happy-go-lucky fella."

His brother was promoted posthumously to ensign.

The ceremony was beautiful and sad, family members said. Taps and the salute of 21 gunshots tore them up inside.

"We hadn't really seen our brother," Charles Davis said. "We didn't really know him for the last 60 years, and we all decided that with his exploits and his medals, he should be buried in Arlington."

The family wants people to know the sibling they never got a chance to know was a hero. And Pavlenko wants to sleep better at night.

"I hope I am at peace now," she said.

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UPDATE "...Aviation Pilot 3rd Class Albert J. Gyorfi of Wilbur, Wash..." WebSite: SERGE http://www.mun.ca/serg/AlbertGyorfi.html [22SEP2008]
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UPDATE "...Consolidated PBY 5 crash site, Kiska Island, Alaska..." WebSite: SERGE http://www.mun.ca/serg/pby.html [22SEP2008]

On July 19, 2001 the wreck of a large aircraft was noticed during a hike in a dangerous, nearly inaccessible, part of Kiska Volcano, Kiska Island, Rat Islands, Aleutian Islands. The wreck site was examined for about 45 minutes. The largest piece, a mostly intact wing missing the starboard tip, was located at an elevation of about 1100 m. Based on the shape of the wing and other details, the aircraft was identified as a PBY 5 (see here). The twisted remains of the cockpit area lay approximately 160 m west of the wing and the detached propellers lay about 175 m west of the cockpit area, and one engine was at about 250 m from the cockpit area. A debris field of dimensions 1000 m by 400 m, ranging from 800 to 1200 m asl, contained hundreds of small parts of the aircraft (but little or none of the aluminum skin of the fuselage or any large pieces of the tail area. The debris lies on an eroding slope that is snow covered for most of the year, and is partly buried in gravel or lies under small rocks. A drizzle of acid precipitation from a nearby vent in the volcano rains on the site. The site was revisited on July 27, 2002 and examined for about two hours. A 3 m long piece of the left wing tip was located at about 800 m elevation, 300 m from the main piece of the wing. An airman's leather boot lay beside this piece. An extensive snow bed covered the main piece of the wing and perhaps 50% of the debris field. A dry eroded watercourse about 1 deep with many pieces of debris in it ran down slope about halfway between the cockpit area and the propellers. Part of the instrument panel found by Luci Parker in this ditch contained a small plaque with the following inscription:

Consolidated Aircraft model b1, serial number 87 04511, 5/22/42.

This number identifies it as the aircraft commanded by Leland Davis, that was lost on June 14, 1942 (see here).

Numerous pseudo-historical accounts claim that this aircraft was shot down at Kiska Harbor, probably because of miss-interpretation of a Japanese propaganda newsreel (see here) that shows both PBYs attacking the harbor and also the explosion of a large aircraft near Trout Lagoon (Jack Todd's B-24, see here and here).

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photographs of the crash site...
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UPDATE "...Lab identifies 7 WWII remains from Alaska..." Forwarded by Ralph O. Carrigan rocarr28@comcast.net WebSite: The Honolulu Advertiser http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060511/NEWS08/605110356/1018/NEWS [18MAY2006]

The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command at Hickam Air Force Base has identified the remains of seven Navy air crewmen whose plane crashed on a Japanese-held island off Alaska in 1942, the Department of Defense announced Tuesday.

The remains, recovered in 2003, are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors. They had been listed as missing in action.

Personnel from the Hawai'i unit excavated the crash site on the slope of Kiska Volcano in August 2003. The JPAC team found a wooden burial marker, leading it to the remains buried nearby. Subsequent JPAC laboratory analysis resulted in individual identifications of all seven crewmembers.

The seven-man crew was aboard a Navy PBY-5 Catalina that took off from NAS Kodiak, Alaska, on June 14, 1942, to attack Japanese targets in Kiska Harbor. The plane crashed after encountering heavy anti-aircraft fire and bad weather.

In August 1943, the U.S. retook Kiska Island from the Japanese. The crew's remains were buried in a common grave. Its location was subsequently lost and the remains of all seven were declared to be nonrecoverable until 2002, when a wildlife biologist found the wreckage of a World War II aircraft on the slope of Kiska Volcano.

The crew members were identified as Ensign Leland L. Davis of Jackson, Miss.; Ensign Robert F. Keller of Wichita, Kan.; Seaman 2nd Class Elwin Alford of Bogalusa, La.; Seaman 2nd Class Dee Hall of Syria, Okla.; Aviation Machinist Mate John H. Hathaway of Lafayette, Ind.; Aviation Radioman 2nd Class Robert A. Smith of Glen Dive, Mont.; and Aviation Pilot 3rd Class Albert J. Gyorfi of Wilbur, Wash.

UPDATE "...The following article is about the recovery of Seaman 2c Dee Hall (VP-43) who was lost in the crash of a PBY-5a on Kiska Island, Alaska, 14 June 1942..." Contributed Deatherage, David C. david.deatherage.ctr@lackland.af.mil [20DEC2005]

San Antonio Express News

WWII Aviator Laid To Rest

Web Posted: 12/16/2005 12:00 AM CST

Carmina Danini
Express-News Staff Writer

In his last letter in 1942 to his widowed father, Navy Seaman 2nd Class Dee Hall wrote that he'd just received a promotion and he'd be sending money home to help support his younger siblings. Soon afterward, the 18-year-old Hall was reported missing in action.

History ThumbnailCameraBilly Calzada/Express-News Lee Gordon accepts a flag from the casket of her brother, Seaman 2nd Class Dee Hall, who was killed June 14, 1942. He died when his Navy PBY-5 Catalina was shot down during by Japanese forces in the Aleutian Islands. Hall was buried Thursday in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

He was one of seven crewmen aboard a Navy PBY-5 that crashed June 14, 1942, on Kiska Island, Alaska, just eight days after the Japanese captured the island.

More than six decades later, the crash site and sailors' remains were discovered. It took a few more years before scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command identified the Navy men. Hall was the first to

On Thursday, sisters Lee Gordon of Floresville and Wynema Miller of San Antonio, brother Frank Hall of La Vernia and other family members gathered at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery for his funeral. Unable to attend were James C. Hall of McKinney, at 88 the oldest surviving brother; and two sisters, Lois Duggan of Canyon Lake and Myrl Wood of Texarkana.

Gordon said the family never considered he would be found.

"We're so happy and grateful that he's finally able to come home 63 years after his death. It's like a hero's return," she said. "Our military doesn't forget and that's important for families to know." Gordon said the family is especially gratified that the military didn't quit looking for their brother and the other members of the downed crew. Her son, Keith Gordon, took his twin 12-year-old daughters, Shelby and Kelsey, out of the seventh grade at Floresville Middle School so that they could attend the service. "I thought it was important that they see this," he said. "We all grew up hearing about him being KIA and it's nice to have him back."

Hall, born in 1924 in Oklahoma, was one of 10 children. Their mother died in childbirth in 1936. Their father, Lloyd Hall, a farmer turned produce manager for a grocery store, raised the children in the Rio Grande Valley. A happy-go-lucky teen, Hall loved golf and was a good player, Gordon said. He often caddied at the club where his brother James was a pro. It was James Hall who signed the paperwork necessary so that Dee, 17, could join the Navy. A year later, a telegram arrived with the news that Dee was missing.

The Pentagon said Hall's plane took off on June 14, 1942, from NAS Kodiak, Alaska, to attack Japanese targets in Kiska Harbor. Anti-aircraft fire from the Japanese and poor weather combined to send the plane crashing on the island. The wreckage was discovered on Kiska Volcano after U.S. forces wrested the island from the Japanese in August 1943. "The remains of the crew were buried in a common grave marked 'Seven U.S.N. Airmen' with a wooden marker," Greer said. Attempts to locate the grave after the war were unsuccessful. It wasn't until 2002 that the wreckage was discovered.

A military team excavated the crash site in August 2003 and found debris from the plane and "crew-related items," Greer said. The wooden marker and the remains buried 60 years earlier were also found. "I'm really impressed that even after 63 years, the military takes care of their own," Keith Gordon said.

UPDATE "...Team Off To Aleutians To Recover Remains Of WWII Navy Aviators..." Forwarded by CARTHEN, AVCM Roy B. Retired roycar@outlook.com

Team off to Aleutians to recover remains of WWII Navy aviators

By Wayne Specht, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Monday, July 28, 2003

Searchers from U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii are expected in the western Aleutian Islands this week to attempt recovery of remains of seven Navy aviators who died when their plane was shot down in 1942.

The crewmen were aboard a twin-engine Navy PBY-5A amphibious reconnaissance aircraft that went down on Kiska Island, which Japanese forces occupied during part of World War II.

Ian L. Jones, an Iowa-born associate professor of biology at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, came upon the PBY-5A wreckage in 2001 while conducting field research on rats living on the island.

Central Identification Laboratory searchers will arrive via Air Force cargo aircraft on Adak Island, where approximately 4 tons of equipment will be loaded aboard a chartered boat, said spokeswoman Ginger Couden.

"The team, its equipment and a helicopter will be taken to Kiska Island, where team members will stay aboard the boat for the duration of the three-week excavation," she said.

The crash site is at the 2,750-foot level of Kiska Volcano's northwest face. Searchers will need a helicopter to reach the site.

According to military records, an American search team found the aircraft wreckage in 1943 and buried the crewmen in a common grave at the crash site, Couden said.

John Cloe, historian for the Alaskan NORAD Region and Alaskan Command at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, listed the crew casualties in his book, "The Aleutian Warriors," a history of the 11th Air Force and FAW-4.

The crew of the PBY-5A, assigned to VP-43, consisted of pilot Warrant Officer Leland Davis, Co-Pilot Ensign Robert F. Keller, Petty Officers 3rd Class Albert L. Gyorfi, Robert A. Smith and Elwin Alford, and Petty Officer 2nd Class John H. Hathaway.

Military records list the seventh crewman as Seaman 2nd Class Dee Hall.

"Attempts were made in 1946 and 1947 to recover the servicemembers but teams could not reach the site due to heavy snow," Couden said.

Cloe's account of the mission in his book, extracted from the Naval history of Patrol Air Wing 4, indicates the pilot and crew headed into flak-filled skies over Kiska. Their plane was hit by Japanese anti-aircraft fire.

"Suddenly, the PBY came apart in a violent explosion," historical records say. "Pieces of burning metal fluttered down on the hillside below."

Cloe said pilot Davis "was the last casualty of what was called the Kiska Blitz," the consistent bombing of Japanese targets in Kiska Harbor.

The laboratory recovery team is visiting Kiska when snow and ice accumulation is expected to be minimal.

"This time of year they can expect clouds, rain and fog but no snow, even at the 2,500-foot level," said National Weather Service spokesman Dave Percy, adding that winds in the area mostly are under 29 mph but can kick up to 35-40 mph.

The recovery team consists of nine specialists with skills in forensic anthropology, logistics, photography, medicine, explosive ordnance disposal and mortuary affairs.

Couden said the team is one of 18 based in Hawaii that search for and recover remains of American military and civilian personnel unaccounted-for from World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars and the Cold War.

The laboratory has identified more than 1,100 individuals previously listed as unaccounted-for since it began operations in 1973.

Due to recent advances in forensic science, investigators sometimes use mitochondrial DNA from a maternal-line blood sample to compare to DNA from a bone fragment of a deceased servicemember. The comparison can lead to positive identification of remains.

"We used mitochondrial DNA in about 50 percent of our cases in the last five years," Couden said.

She said laboratory officials encourage family members of unaccounted-for servicemembers to submit a reference DNA sample "so that it is on file if we determine later we need to compare samples."

Couden said records indicate more than 78,000 Americans are unaccounted-for from World War II, 8,100 from the Korean War and 1,800 from the Vietnam War. Also, 120 servicemembers are missing from the Cold War and one from the Persian Gulf War.

MishapsMISHAPs: 21 JUL 42 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: North Pacific Strike: Yes BUNO: Unknown Cause: Combat area north pacific. Crashed not enemy action. Crew killed: Pilot LT Roy Edwin Green. Jr., Ens Joseph I. Segall, and Mach. Weimar E. Neunzer. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [28JUN2001]

UPDATE "...Found to following report in the VP/VPB-43 casualty report files at the National Archives at College Park, MD: PBY-5, BuNo 4491, VP-43, Crashed with crew 21-Jul-42 off Nazen Bay, AK: (Problem with this BuNo. I have it listed with VP-91 and lost 20-Nov-42 (not listed on VP-91 page though). I will check on it further next time I'm at the Archives). DEAD CREW: Green, Roy E., Jr., Lt, USN, (CA), Segall, Joseph Irving, Ens, USNR, (MA), Neunzer, Weimar Pdmuno, Mach, USN, (CA), Mercer, Harvey, ARM2c, 4135276, (CA), Smith, James Monroe, AMM2c, 2722306, USN, (WA), Hulse, Earl Robert, ARM3c, 3424652, USN, (KS) and Heath, Richard Gordon, AMM3c, 3684994, USN, (ID)...." Contributed by Thomas Bass fortnut@gmail.com [12NOV2010]

MishapsMISHAPs: 25 AUG 42 A/C: PBY-5A pbyLocation: Dutch Harbor Strike: Yes BUNO: 04469 Cause: Missing in the vicinity of Dutch Harbor WFI Research Group wreck1@localnet.com [17MAR98]

UPDATE "...Below are the full names of the VP-43 crew & passengers lost 25-Aug-1942 en route to NAS Kodiak, Alaska. Source is supplementary statement concerning finding of death report in VP/VPB-43 casualty report file held at the National Archives in College Park, MD..." Contributed by Thomas Bass fortnut@gmail.com [12NOV2010]

CREW: Raithel, Stanley Orison, LT(jg), USNR, A-V(N) (PPC), Shanahan, William Miles, Ens, USNR, A-V(N), Cannon, Houston Richard, CAP, USN, (he was a Chief Aviation Pilot, not a Captain), McNeill, Wayne Davis, AMM3c, USN, Walker, James Harley, Jr., AMM3c, USN, Johnson, Harold Hershey, ARM1c, USNR and Hines, Richard Clinton, ARM3c, USN.

PASSENGERS: Young, Lawrence Hilgard, LT(jg), USNR, D-V(G), Sullivan, William Peter, Jr., LT(jg), USNR, SC-V(G), (from Dutch Harbor), Goodwin, Paul Fisher, LT(jg), USNR, D-V(G), (from VP-62), Owen, Harris Kelly, SC2c, USN, (from USS Oriole) and Tearney, James Edward, LT(jg), USNR, D-V(G), (from S-21).

UPDATE "...I am researching my husband's WWII MIA father (Captain Houston R. Cannon). He served from 07DEC41 to 31MAR42 when while serving in the Aleutians with VP-43 his PBY disappeared. Captain Cannon served with VP-102, VP-26, and VP-13....Some background: After his graduation from Flight School at NAS Pensacola, Florida in May 1939, he was assigned to VP-13 that became VP-26. He was a member of Plane Crews 26-P-6 and 26-P-7 during overseas flights from NAS Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to NS Sangley Point, Philippines, via NAS Midway Island, wake and Guam, in June and December 1940, respectively. I understand it was the second and fourth of flights of such distance in a military plane and considered quite a feat. In DEC 40, VP-26 became VP-102 and joined forces with VP-101 IN PI. The squadrons received the Presidential Unit Citation for their bravery, herosim (and ingenuity) against purusing Japanese from Cavite, PI to Darwin, Australia via Java Sea, Dutch West Indies, etc. He was granted leave and returned to the states via the USS Mt. Vernon ((formerly the ocean liner Washington). He was then assigned to VP-62, came home to Texas for five days before returning to San Francisco, where he soon was to fly a PBY to San Diego and join VP-43. He arrived in AK approx. 13JUN42. The notification of his APR 42 promotion to Chief Aviation Pilot arrived the day his PBY disappeared, so he never knew it. Any information on Captain Cannon would be appreciated...Judy Cannon CannonGrambo@cs.com..." [03JUN2001]

UPDATE "...VP-43, Patwing-4; Missing on a flight from Cold Bay to Kodiak, Ak; Pilot Lt Stanley G. Ratthel, Ens W. M. Shanahan, Cap H. R. Cannon, Amm3c W. D. McNeil, Amm3c J. H. Walker, Jr., Arm1c H. H. Johnson, Arm3c R. C. Hines, Lt(jg) L. H. Young, Lt(jg) W. P. Sullivan, Jr (Dutch Harbor), Lt(jg) P. F. Goodman (VP-62), ShipsCook2c H. K. Owen (USS Oriole), and Lt(jg) J. E. Zearney (S-21)..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [22DEC2000]

UPDATE "...My cousin, Lt. Stanley Orison Raithel, USNR, VP-43, deployed with the Squadron from NAS North Island, San Diego, California to Alaska in early June 1942. He was awarded the Air Medal for participation as commander of a patrol plane during the "Kiska Blitz" and other operations against the Japanese during June 1942. He was PPC of PBY-5 BuNo.04469 missing on a flight from Cold Bay, Alaska to NAS Kodiak, Alaska, on 25 August 1942. The aircraft, as far as I know, was never found..." Contributed by Al Raithel, Jr., Captain, USN (Ret.) Araitheljr@aol.com [22FEB2000]

UPDATE "...I have to assume the last name is Cannon. If so the aircraft was a PBY-5, #04469 assigned to VP-43. Houston R. Cannon CAP serial # 03598128 was one of the 12 men aboard that went missing in the vicinity of Dutch Harbor..." Contributed by WFI Research Group wreck1@localnet.com [25AUG99]

UPDATE "...PBY-5...04469...VP-43...CPW-4...25-Aug-42...Missing on flight btwn Cold Bay & Kodiak, Alaska...Pilot Lt. Stanley G. Ratthel...Ensign W. M. Shanahan...Captain H. R. Cannon...W. D. McNeil, AMM3c...J. H. Walker, Jr., AMM3c...H. H. Johnson, AR1c...R. C. Hines, AR3c...Lt(jg) L. H. Young...Lt(jg) W. P. Sullivan, Jr ...Lt(jg) P. F. Goodwin VP-62...H. K. Owen ...Lt(jg) J. E. Zearney ..." Contributed by Terence [20DEC99]

UPDATE "...Trying to locate info on my father was missing in the Aleutions 25 Aug. 1942. He flew PBY-5 in Battle of Java, Pat Wing 10. Have his diary which correlates with battle stories from "Fate of Wing 10" and other PBY Catalina WWII books. Would really appreciate! Thanks. Jerry Cannon judyc33@email.msn.com ..." [25AUG99]

MishapsMISHAPs: 26 AUG 42 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: AK, ALEUTIANS NR AMLIA ISL, AK Strike: Yes BUNO: O4427 Cause: Open sea landing, taken under tow by the USS Williamson (AVP-15), depth charge under wing exploded, plane capsized and sank Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [17MAR98]

UPDATE "...Found to following report in the VP/VPB-43 casualty report files at the National Archives at College Park, MD: Full names of the missing crewmen: Millon, Donald Alfred, AP1c, (m), (NE), Palko, Edward Hollen, ARM2c, (m), (TX), and Cabral, Edward August, ARM3c, (m), (CA)...." Contributed by Thomas Bass fortnut@gmail.com [12NOV2010]

UPDATE "...Two depth bombs on starboard wing while being towed accidentally exploded which caused eventual loss of plane. This aircraft had been forced to land in open sea due to violent air currents making further flight impossible. The USS Williamson (AVP-15) proceeded to take the plane in tow. During the tow operations, the airplane shipped considerable amount of water and decision was made to bring patrol plane in astern of the USS Williamson (AVP-15) and transfer personnel and confidential gear to ship. In the process of disembarking the planes crew, the bow of the aircraft made several hard contacts with the propeller guard of the ship. Immediately after one of these contacts, two depth bombs affixed to starboard wing of plane fell into the water and exploded a few seconds later causing personnel casualties, extensive damage to the USS Williamson (AVP-15) and the aircraft to capsize. Al confidential gear except the bomb sight had been transferred to the USS Williamson (AVP-15) before plane sank. Crew: Pilot Lt(jg). Rolph Hagen/Minor inj, Ens. S. L. Nelson/Minor inj, AP1c. Donald A. Million/Missing, Rm2c. Edward H. Palko/Missing, Rm2c. Edward A. Cabral/Missing, Amm1c. Walter R. Veth/Missing, Amm3c. William F. Hostetler/Minor inj, and Amm2c. George Palko/Minor inj..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [30JUN2001]

UPDATE "...52-12N 172-56W AP1c D. A. Millon/Killed, Arm2c E. H. Palko/Killed, Arm3c E. A.Cabral/Killed, Amm1c W. R. Veth/Killed, and 4/minor inj..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [22DEC2000]

MishapsMISHAPs: 10 MAR 43 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: Missing since 1840 on routine flight from Dutch Harbor to Kodiak, Alaska Strike: Yes BUNO: 7279 Cause: Wreckage sighted on 25 Jun 1945. Search was made of remains and no signs of life found. Nine sacks of mail were found and all first class was turned over to Post Master Kodiak. Evidence indicates all occupants killed. Cause of crash: Probably mistook Lake Bechanof for Shelikof Straits and let down to soon for better visibility. May have been adverse weather, radio failure, instrument failure or icing. Crew & pass killed: Pilot: Lt.R. C. Gish, Ens. E. F. Schmidt (co-pilot), AP1c. H. H. Estes, Amm2c. L. H. Sommerville, Qm3c. T. D. Duff, Aom3c. J. Rampini,Jr., Amm2c. Harvey H. Eggersluss, and Rm2c.John C. Herring. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [12JUL2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 30 MAR 43 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: NAS Adak, Alaska Strike: No BUNO: 04400 Cause: On beginning run for take-off the nose wheel fold back, allowing plane to nose down and skid on its bow keel, plane had going only 50-ft and was moving very slowly. This plane had a nose wheel collapsed on Jan 7, 1943. At that time it had 629hrs of operating time. It is recommended that PBY-5A change No.73 "Replacement of Nose Wheel Downlock Spring" be effected on all planes as soon as possible. Damage: Hydraulic gear damaged and pulled through #1 bulkhead. Nose wheel doors badly wrecked and buckled. Keel damaged badly forward and aft of nose wheel well. Torque tubes bent and link arms and fitting broken. Crew: Pilot Lt Jesse B. Jolly, USNR and Ens J. I. Murphy, USNR & crew Ok. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [06DEC2002]

MishapsMISHAPs: 30 AUG 43 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: Saratoga Passage off Oak Harbor, Wa Strike: Yes BUNO: 7284 Cause: Crashed while making a night landing> Pilot took off in company with three other PBY-5As at about 1941. At about 2140 due to changing weather conditions, decision was made to discontinue night flying and Watkins was cleared for a final landing. On his first approach he made contact with water but was not satisfied with the landing and resumed flight, continuing in the landing circle and making a second approach the plane made two distinct bounces, and upon striking the water the third time, was in a nose down attitude and crashed. Plane broke in two just forward of the wheel wells, and the entire wing in one section was torn off the tower. The forward section sank immediately and the wing shortly after. The hull, from the break just forward of the wheel wells aft, remained afloat and was salvaged. Damage:Strike plane and engines. Crew: Pilot. Lt(jg). R. J. Watkins Usn/Seriously inj, AP1c. C. H. Hutchinson (co-pilot)/seriously inj, Ens. J. F.Kagay/Seriously inj, Rm3c. Emmett L. Covey (fo)/Killed, Rm3c. R. E. Miville/Minor inj, Aom3c. S. Simmons/Minor inj, Amm3c. R. J. Schneider/Minor inj, and Amm3c. J. E. fant/Seriously inj. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [26JUL2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 04 OCT 43 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: Straits near Twin, Wash Strike: No BUNO: 33975 Cause: Enroute to operational area. After departing Ault Field, pilot encountered instrument weather in the Straits of Juan de Fuca, but reached an area of good weather outside Vancouver Island. Experiencing radio trouble, pilot elected to return to Ault Field for repairs. After almost hitting a cliff during return trip, pilot made an instrument landing in water near Twin,Wash. When visibility improved, pilot attempted a take-off. Bouncing badly during take-off run which open the bottom, pilot cut throttles. Leaking badly, he headed for shore with full power, he attempted to lower landing gear, ripping off the nose wheel doors and making the gear inoperative. Plane was finally beached among rocks, staving in bottom. Plane was later salvaged. Damage: Major overhaul recommended. Crew Ok. Pilot Lt(jg) Norwood M. Cole, AV-N USNR, Ens Robert T. Hensa (co-pilot), USNR, Ens R. R. Waldren, USNR, AMM3c J. E. Fant, AMM3c R. J. Schneider, ARM3c R. E. Miville, ARM3c D. R. Wither, AOM2c S. Simmons, and ARM3c Margalis. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [10DEC2002]

MishapsMISHAPs: 06 OCT 43 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: 8mi. SW of Merrill Ring, Wash Strike: Yes BUNO: 39978 Cause: Bad weather made instrument approach necessary. Bow gun blister restricted visibility, on final approach pilot saw he was to low and gunned his engines, just as left wheel touched 6-ft from the main shoulder of the runway 30-ft short of the mat. The upslope of he mat made the landing harder and the landing gear trusses snapped and the wheels were driven into the retract position. The plane was thrown into the air, but since the elevator cable shives had been torn loose in the vicinity of the tower, the pilot lost control and was unable to go around again. A normal landing was made in the soft sand at the far end of the runway. Passengers crowded into the blisters when the crash was eminent and the shift of weight enabled a nose up landing in a semi-stall attitude. Damage: "Aircraft demolished" Crew and passengers OK.Pilot: Lt(jg). N. P. Wyman Usnr, Ens. A. M. Moriaty, Ens. R. E. Rozak, Amm3c. F. L. Purvis, Rm3c. D. S. Jessey, Rm3c. C. E. Brehend, Aom3c. E. C. Talley, Amm2c. A. A. Ranta, Amm3c. H. B. Hill, Rm2c. C. L. Hunihka, and Rm3c. A. S. Hardee. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [27JUL2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 19 OCT 43 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: Aleutians Strike: Yes BUNO: 33999 Cause: Pilot departed Ault Field, Clover Valley about 0900 in company with three other planes. He was flying in #2 position in a very loose formation. On Straits of Juan de Fuca he encountered instrument weather and lost contact with the other planes. Evidently trying to follow shore line, he struck a tree with the port wing and crashed at an altitude of 11oo-ft near crest of a ridge. Two men extricated themselves from the wreckage which burned almost immediately. All others believed to have been instantly killed. Eleven of the twelve plane formation landed safely. Damage:"Strike" Crew: Pilot: Lt(jg). Charles H. Essig A-V(N) Usnr/Killed, Ens. Edgar E. Anderson A-V(N) Usnr/Killed, Ens. John A. Erdwins NA Usnr/Killed, Amm3c. Williard Mullenix Usn/Killed, Amm3c. Gerlad W. Knight Usnr/Killed, Rm3c. Richard J. Buschle Usnr/Killed, Rm3c. Bernard J. Lauer Usnr/Killed, Rm3c. Roy Highsmith,Jr/Killed, Aom2c.Daniel T. Blair Usnr/Minor inj, and Aom2c. Robert C. Peterson Usnr/Minor inj. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [29JUL2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 04 NOV 43 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: Search mission near NAS Adak, Alaska Strike: Yes BUNO: 33968 Cause: Plane was forced down at sea by malfunctioning of the port engine necessitating its shut down while in flight. In addition the starboard propeller was fathered by mistake, thus stalling the starboard eng. The landing was made downwind. Wind was about thirty knots with swells of 10 to 15-ft, wing tip floats were not lowered. Pilot was not in the seat at time of accident. Ens. Honsa was in the first pilots seat. However Lt(jg).Cole who was in the second pilots seat handled the controls on landing and feathered the starboard propeller. This is brought out by statements. Pilot errors as assigned would thus be given to Cole. Damage: Major overhaul recommended. Crew OK. Pilot. Lt(jg). Carl Scott Whitman A-V(N) Usnr, Lt(jg) .N. M. Cole(co-pilot) A-V(N) Usnr, Ens. R. T. Honsa Usnr, Ens. D. U. Hovick A-V(S) Usnr, Amm2c. L. J. Bauer Usnr, Rm3c. D. R. Luther Usn, Amm3c. D. W. Naughele Usnr, Rm3c. L. R. Morgalis Usnr, and Aom3c. C. Collins Usn. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [30JUL2001]

UPDATE "...This plane later became N84857 on the civil register and was badly damaged on May 9, 1985 at Lewiston, MT. It was recently reported to be in the Seattle area for restoration. Regards. William Villani Villa274@cs.com..." [27MAY2002]

MishapsMISHAPs: 17 JAN 44 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: NAS Attu, Alaska MASSACRE BAY Strike: No BUNO: 33969 Cause: ACC Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [17MAR98]

UPDATE "...At morning turn-up he pilot experienced difficulty in starting port engine, and kept it running for a time on the primer with the manifold pressure indicating about 30" and the RPM's about 800. It was advised by the squadron Executive Officer to cut engines and take a standby plane, as no standby plane was immediately available, the ground plane Capt made an inspection of the port engine and discovered ice in the carburetor air. This was purportedly removed and pilot restated the engines, this time having no difficulty in checking out the port or starboard engines to his own satisfaction. He accepted the airplane, taxied out, and took-off. About one and half minutes later the plane crashed into Massacre Bay. Several competent and reliable witnesses reported observing the port engine on fire prior to crash, that the plane landed in the water, wheels up, seemed to run about 100-ft, and then exploded. Plane: "Strike" Crew Killed Pilot: Lt(jg) Merle James Noe A-V(N) USNR, Ens. Donald Arian Mattison A-V(S) USNR, Cap. James W. Bolton USN, Rm2c. Abner S. Archer USNR, Aom3c. Leo A. Hoff USNR, Amm2c. Julian D. Malcolm USNR, Rm3c. Clifford Guidry USNR, Rm2c. William C. Miller USNR, and Amm2c. Walter E. Grissom USN..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [30JUN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 26 AUG 44 A/C: PBM Marina Location: Alaska area Strike: Yes BUNO: Unknown Cause: Crew drowned Pilot: Cap Houston R.Cannon, Lt(jg) Pault F. Goodman (VP-62), ARM3c Richard G. Hines, AMM3c Wayne D. McNeil, and AMM3c James H. Walker. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [02OCT98]

MishapsMISHAPs: 31 MAR 44 A/C: PBM Marina Location: Western Aleutians Strike: Yes BUNO: 34017

UPDATE "...Found to following report in the VP/VPB-43 casualty report files at the National Archives at College Park, MD..." Contributed by Thomas Bass fortnut@gmail.com [12NOV2010]

Failed to return from search mission in western Aleutians. Wreckage & 5 survivors in 2 rafts located in "zero" weather at 1230 31 Mar 44 90 miles off Attu. At 1300 the wreckage was seen to sink. Contact with rafts was lost due to weather. After an extensive search the rafts were next found at 1300 03 Apr 44 but the survivors had died of exposure. 5 bodies recovered & interned at Attu. Bodies of remaining 3 known to have been in the plane when it sank & are not recovered.

BURIED: Little Falls Cemetery, Attu, AK approx 07-Apr-44: Wyman, Newell Putnam, Lt, USNR, A-V(N), (d), (PPC), (NY), Moriarity, Anthony Mannix, Ens, USNR, A-V(N), (d) (CP), (MN), Rozuk, Raymond Edwin, Ens, USNR, A-V(S), (d) (N), (OH), Ranta, Arvo Arthur, AMM2c, USNR, V-6, (d) (FE), (MN), and Olson, Charles LeRoy, Jr., AOM2c, USNR, V-6, (d) (gunner), (TX)

MISSING: Ryther, LaVera Marvin, AMM2c, USNR, V-6, (m) (FE), (SD), Huschka, George Leo, ARM2c, USN, (m), (Radio), (ND) and Hardee, Armestead Sigrest, ARM2c, USNR, V-3, (m), (Radio), (MS)

MishapsMISHAPs: 00 MAY 45 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: NAS Attu, Alaska Strike: Yes BUNO: 48384 Cause: 25mi.NE, NAS Attu, Alaska, CAPE KOROVINE Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [17MAR98]

MishapsMISHAPs: 24 MAY 45 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: Cape Korovin, Atka Island. Aleutians Strike: Yes BUNO: 48348 Cause: Plane descened through overcast from 5,000-ft to 2,000-ft, with 2300-RPM, 20" mainfold pressure in auto ruch, alternateair, both engines on port fuel tank. Cowl flaps closed, all engine readings normal. At 2,000-ft, pilot increased manifold pressure to 31" and decreased RPM to 2100, continuing descent through broken clouds, at 1200-ft, RPM on starboard engine started dropping off and fuel pressure dropped to about 10lbs. Starboard engine was put in cross-feed, leaving both egines on port self-sealing tank and port fuel pump. Starboard engine cut out at 800-ft, followed quickly by port engine. Fuel pressure on both engines dropped below 10lbs, use of wobble pump failed to bring fuel pressure up. Both engines came on momentarly before pilot cut throttles close off just before landing. A full stall landing was made on water, twenty-five miles northeast of Atka Island, in 4-5-ft swells,. no damage to plane on landing. The first rescue vessel arrived at 2004, wind at this time was 30-40kts with 12-ft swells. Plane was not secured for towing untill 2240. All perosnnel were removed from aircraft at 2330. At 2347, two was lost and could not be reclaimed because of sea conditions, darkness, aand proximity of land in poorly charted waters. Plane drifted onto beach, soetime during the night. "Strike" Crew Ok: Pilot Lt(jg) D. D. Magowan USNR, Lt(jg) D. E. Walker USNR, Ens H. B. Storne USNR, AMM2c A. J. Opyrtos USNR, ARM2c R. O. Buri USNR, AMM3c R. L. Hanks USNR, ARM3c E. J. Bascal USNR, and AOM3c J. R. Bolte USNR. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [21FEB2002]


Note NOTICE: "...I would like any information on the crash of a PB4Y-2 of VP-871 (A recalled Oakland squadron) near Atsugi in December of 1951. Pilots Lt Seymour & Lt Johnson (?) All killed! I was the best friend of LT Seymour in VPB-43 in the Aleutians in WW II..." Capt. Gene Guthrie USNR-Ret pbygus@gte.net

"VP-43 Summary Page"