MISHAPs: 00 XXX 51 A/C: PBM-5 Location: Korea Strike: Yes BUNO: Unknown CAUSE: Preparing to land at the conclusion of his 26th mission but it crashed.
News Article "...Veteran receives Navy Air Medal — 62 years later by Alan Ingram CORRESPONDENT..." WebSite: Home Life http://www.hometownlife.com/ [25MAR2011]
Navy veteran Ronald Ingram waited 62 years for Saturday.
The longtime Livonia resident, 82, stood at attention at Selfridge Air National Guard base as Navy Cmdr. Erik Isaacson pinned a Navy Air Medal to his uniform. Ingram earned the medal for his service in the Naval Reserve during the Korean Conflict in 1951, but his flight records were lost during a plane crash in Manila Bay.
The medal was adorned with two gold stars for the second and third medals he also received.
"This is indeed an honor that I will cherish forever," Ingram said, choking back tears. "I had almost given up thinking about receiving the medal when my two sons said, ‘Dad, get your records verified and certified,' which I did with the help of several members of (Patrol Squadron) VP 731, and here we are today."
While in Korea, Ingram flew 32 patrol missions over enemy territory as an aircraft waist gunner and flight engineer for VP 731. As his Martin PBM Mariner plane was preparing to land at the conclusion of his 26th mission, it crashed, and Ingram's flight records came to rest at the bottom of Manila Bay. Three crew members died, and eight were injured.
Ingram spent 13 days in the hospital recovering from second- and third-degree burns. He didn't fly for nearly three weeks, but when he returned to the air, he flew six more patrol missions over enemy territory before his service in Korea concluded.
"In the successful completion of these missions, Petty Officer Ingram contributed materially to the success of the United States efforts," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead wrote in the award letter. "By his superb airmanship, steadfast perseverance, and unselfish devotion to duty in the face of hazardous flying conditions, Petty Officer Ingram reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Some of Ingram's fellow crew members had already received their Air Medals. Since the activities of his patrol squadron were classified for 50 years, there was a delay in some of the crew members getting their medals. However, after the records were declassified, Ingram contacted some of his former Navy crew members, who offered to share their flight records with him to help in the verification process.
About three weeks ago, he learned his records had been verified, and his request was approved. He broke into tears as he told his family the news.
Isaacson contacted him about two weeks ago after receiving a letter from Roughead.
"I think I had him in tears on the phone," he said. He organized the medal ceremony, and more than 100 sailors were present to witness the presentation. Several greeted Ingram and offered a congratulatory handshake after the ceremony.
Ingram has lived in Livonia twice — once from 1952 to 1962 and again since 1985. After leaving the Navy, he worked as a machinist and eventually joined the Merchant Marines. He was a ship captain on the Great Lakes for 19 years, working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Several of his fellow captains from the International Ship Masters Association also attended the medal ceremony.
"Many thanks to my family and friends for sharing today with me," he said.
Alan Ingram is Ronald Ingram's son. He is a former Observer carrier who worked as a journalist for another newspaper before going into retail management.
MISHAPs: 23 MAY 51 A/C: PBM-5 Location: OKINAWA, BUCKER BAY Strike: Yes BUNO: 84748 CAUSE: ACC, SANK IN 5 mins. Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [25MAR98]
MISHAPs: 14 JUN 51 A/C: PBM-5 Location: SEADROME AREA MANILA BAY, PI Strike: Yes BUNO: 85145 CAUSE: HARD LNDG Contributed by Terry email@example.com [25MAR98]
"...The correct BUNO is 85148. Corrected information copied from flight Log Books of two pilots, and one crewmember..." Contributed by Andrew W. Yancey YanceyAVCM@aol.com [28MAY2002]
MISHAPs: 26 JUN 51 A/C: PBM-5 Location: Pescadores Strike: Yes BUNO: 85146 CAUSE: Struck a submerged reef while checking engines prior to takeoff from Pescadores. Aircraft sank alongside tender while preparations were being made to hoist it aboard. No injuries to personnel. (I was one of pilots aboard,but not on the flight deck.) Contributed by Ed Karcher JuliusBen@webservepro.com [12JAN2001]
MISHAPs: 27 NOV 51 A/C: PBM-5 Location: CA Strike: Yes BUNO: 59223 CAUSE: SPUN-IN FROM 4000' Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [25MAR98]
MISHAPs: 24 JAN 52 A/C: PBM-5 Location: NAS SAN DIEGO BAY AREA Strike: Yes BUNO: 59318 CAUSE: FIRE ON RAMP Contributed by Terry email@example.com [25MAR98]
"...24 JAN 52 A/C PBM 5 BUNO 59318 contains erroneous information: "Fire on Ramp." Fire actually occurred during night "bounce hops." I was a Crew 10 member at the time. [Water was wet and cold]...Bill Masser (1st and 2nd Cruise)..." [10JUL99]
MISHAPs: 31 JUL 52 A/C: PBM-5S2 LOCATION: Yellow Sea DEATHS: 02 CAUSE: Attacked by Chinese fighters http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq56-1.htm [26DEC97]
"...VP-731 Crew 11 MiG Incident - Album by Album by Jeff Sander..." WebSite: http://www.fotofinity.com/album/1147398244jsander142KDTAIW [11DEC2013]
"...Naval Aviation News October 1953 photo and write up about the 31 July 52 Mig incident..." Contributed by Jeff Sander firstname.lastname@example.org [07MAR2004]
"...31JUL52 - While conducting a partol mission, a US Navy PBM-5S2, of VP-731, based from NAS Iwakuni, Japan, was attacked by two Chinese MiG-15s over the Yellow Sea. Two crewmembers were killed and two were seriously wounded. The PBM suffered extensive damage, but was able to make it safely to Paengyong-do Korea..." Website: Aircraft Downed During the Cold War and Thereafter http://www.silent-warriors.com/shootdown_list.html [20FEB2003]
"...From my Father's (AM2 Carl F. Luce) collection..." Contributed by Brad Luce email@example.com [25JUL2002]
"...A/C SF #5, BUNO: 59277 PBM5-S2 was attacked by 2 MIG 15's about 80 miles south of Port Arthur, Manchuria on a "Fox Blue Patrol." The Patrol was flown by PPC Lt. Ernest Elson Bartlett, Jr., PP1P Lt. John Paul Finley, PP2P LtJg. Richard Elmer Sander, and other members of Flight Crew #11..." Contributed by Andy Yancey YanceyAVCM@aol.com [12JUN2002]
"VP-731 Summary Page"