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MishapsMISHAPs: 08 AUG 42 A/C: PBY pby

UPDATE "...Anxious to speak with anyone who has knowledge of Ensign Fergus F. Kelly's crash in the Aleutians on 8 Aug 42. I am his niece and am researching for a biography of my uncle. At the time of his death, the family was provided with no particulars. However, they were able to find out that he began his training at NAS Floyd Bennett Field, New York, Dec. 1940. He was then sent to NAS Jacksonville, Florida for training in 1941 and was with VP-91 out of NAS Norfolk, Virginia until Pearl Harbor. He was then sent to the Pacific and ultimately to VP-62. Any recollections or information would be much appreciated. Maureen Devlin Maureennet@aol.com..." [07JUN99]

UPDATE "...The only information I have is that Ens Kelly was in VP-91 when we commissioned the squadron December 1, 1941. He was transfered to VP-62. I will inquired from other pilots if they remember him...George B. Winter pbycat@bellsouth.net..."

UPDATE "...I spoke with Harley Miller yesterday who was the sole survivor of my uncle's crash. He told me that they were returning from a bombing mission at NAS Attu, Alaska & Kiska, which were then occupied by the Japanese. Their radar was shot out by a Japanese plane and they were flying blind. They very nearly made it back but were in such thick fog and without radar that they didn't see the mountain until much too late. It was a daunting experience to speak with this man. It was also distressing to contemplate that the communication my mother received from the Navy at the time of his death indicated that the crash was not the result of enemy action. I can only conclude that there was a tight lid on allowing it to be known that Americans were being shot at on American soil. I don't know what else to conclude. I have still not received a response to my request for his records. According to St Louis, his should NOT be among those destroyed in the fire of 73. So, I will wait for them. Thank you. Maureen Devlin Maureennet@aol.com..." [09JUN99]

UPDATE "...Your posting caught the eye of a Mr. Duane McEwen of Juneau Alaska, who kindly informed me that he has a book entitled "Those Navy Guys and Their PBY's" written by an Elmer Freeman, that not only mentions that crash of Kelly's PBY, but also as a picture from it's crash site. He noted that it is a wonder that anyone could have survived, and could see why one would have scars. It only mentions that 7 died, so Harley and Bowers were not mentioned. I'll try to contact Mr. Freeman about the photo, it might be the same one Harley has? Perhaps there are other photographs taken at the scene? Just received the form from Ted and will make copies and send it off to Harley, it appears that this form will help with the obtaining of records at the National Archives and at the St. Louis office. Just received a copy of Harley's discharge papers which show he had served in VP-42, VP-102, VP-62, and VPB-151. He mentions in his letter that perhaps someone form the VP-62 web site might still be alive who remembers him. He hopes to locate a Mr. Thomas, first name may be Dave? He is sure that Thomas and some others from VP-62 visited him in Dutch Harbor Hospital but has no recollection of events. Terry informed me that "c" in the injury column on the accident report indicates "Minor Injuries". With Harley in the Hospital for months, and Bowers dying shortly after the crash, I would hate to see what they classified as "Major"?! I emailed the National Archives and Records Administration and hope to get some info from them...Sincerely R. H. Bork Villybob@aol.com" [04MAY99]

UPDATE "...Now I don't think that Harley really wants this to get around, but it sure would mean alot to me to be of assistance to a man that I greatly admire...It appears that the VA has "lost" his records. Perhaps it was due to the fire in 1973, I do not know, but now Harley is unable to get all the benefits that he is entitled to. Yes they can see all the scares on his body, but they have no proof that he has received them from that PBY crash...I did send him a copy of the accident report of his plane, which has a "C" in the injury column for him and Bowers, while all they others who were killed have an "A" in it...Harley was the one on radio duty there at their air base at Olongapo in the Philipines when the message of the attack on Pearl came across. He took turns in the attack on the Japanese forces until only 50 out of 500 were left. He and the others commandeered a small French liner and ran the blockade. When Japanese fire hit his plane moored near the aircraft tender Willie B. Preston, in Port Darwin,he and his buddies swam for that ship which was set ablaze from stem to stern. He thinks that the Japanese figured it was done for and so didn't waste anymore ammo on it. One of his buddies took a bullet in the heart, but they managed to get the fires out and limp away...It was Harley that dragged himself to the tail-section and pulled his dearest friend, M.D. Bowers, AMM1c out, only to have him die later at the hospital. He was the only son of his crippled mother, whom Harley went and visited after the war...Harley gained consciousness long enough to wave his one good arm at the rescue plane before slipping away again...A broken jaw, spinal injuries, etc, but later he applied for active duty and flew bombing raids on Iwo Jima...When Harley took a stand for his new found religion, they intended to slam him down hard. But when Harley pointed out to them that the flag stood for freedom of worship, and he had more metals than almost anyone on the base and then asked them if they were going to deny him what the flag stood for and what he had fought for, he took the wind out of their sails!...Might the crew that rescued Harley have made a report on his condition, that might now support his claim? Where might such a report be? Might the hospital ship, or the hospital north of Seattle have some records that would also support his claim? They did give him a photograph of his demolished PBY, when he was in the hospital but that is all he has...He has a Presidental citation, etc, etc, but really I think all this courageous man, now in a wheelchair, with a wife in poor health also, just wants is help with dealing with the injuries resulting from that crash....Harley E. Miller VP-42 looking for anyone with knowledge of the crash of Fergus Kelly's PBY on Unalaska 09AUG42, and aware of his resulting injuries! Any help would be greatly appreciated!...Sincerely R. H. Bork Villybob@aol.com..." [28APR99]

UPDATE "...Just opened a letter from Ted (wreck1@localnet.com)! Boy that guy is on the ball! Informed us of where the ship's and hospital files are, and where Harley's medical files should be. He has kindly offered to send us the 180 form. He mentioned that they should be there but also mentioned the fire that destroyed many records there in 1973. Just got e-mail back from the records office, and they confirm that navy records were not involved in fire, but Army, Army Air Corp, Air Force records were. They did acknowledge that records could be recreated or reconstructed. Just opened a letter from Terry (), confirming it was August 9, not 8th. Next opened letter from Harley, he said he was helped to remember it was the 9th by remembering it was nine on the plane that day. He mentioned that Cdr. Malcolm P. Hanson USNR was just along to operate the radar, and observe its use in their bombing etc. Harley said if he had Hanson's widow's address he would send her a letter...Thanks for everyone's support!...Sincerely R. H. Bork Villybob@aol.com" [29APR99]

UPDATE "...I would be interested in hearing from anyone with knowledge about the crash of the PBY (VP-62) piloted by Fergus Kelly that crashed on Unalaska Island 8-8-42. It crashed in heavy fog, after having it's radar knocked out during attack on the Japanese...Two crew members, Bowers, and Harley Miller were taken to the hospital, but only Miller survived. Any information on this crash would be greatly appreciated! Sincerely, R.H. Bork Villybob@aol.com..." [25APR99]

MishapsMISHAPs: 09 AUG 42 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: Struck side of Cape Kouishka, Unalaska, Aleutians Strike: Yes BUNO: 04414 CAUSE: Demolished. Crew& pass. Pilot Ens. Fergus F. Kelly/Killed, Ens. Leroy H. Dougherty/Killed, Ens. Juluis D. Hodges/Killed, Acmm. Harold A. Spencer/Killed, AP1c. Paul W.Witham/Killed, Rm3c. Nathan Silver/Killed, Cmdr. Malcolm P.Hanson/Killed, Amm1c. M. D. Bowers/Minor inj, and Rm3c. H. E. Miller/Minor inj. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [29JUN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 26 FEB 43 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: NAS Kodiak, Alaska Strike: No BUNO: 04991 Cause: Accident occurred while plane was being taxied to test nose wheel shimmy dampener. Three runs had been made and the second run brakes were used to stop. During the fourth run at ground speed of 60-knots, throttle was closed and plane coasted. Brakes were applied, but do to conditions there was insufficient braking to stop plane on a wet and slipper runway. Nearing the end of he runway, pilot selected "Wheels Up", but only the nose wheel retracted. As the plane went down on its nose, the starboard wheel partially retracted, plane settled on starboard wing. Damage: Starboard wing buckled, float punctured and smashed. Actuating piston of starboard landing gear bent double. Fairing on starboard wheel well bent and torn. Keel buckled and hull pushed in, bulkhead forward of station #1 torn. Crew Ok. Pilot Lt(jg) Richard Allen Glaspey, USNR, ACMM R. A. Petterson, USN, AMM3c K. Brittain, USN, AMM3c D. H. Frazier, USN, ARM3c F. Adams, USNR, ARM3c E. P. Fawnsworth, USNR, and Sea2c W. P. Simpson, USNR. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [05DEC2002]

MishapsMISHAPs: 18 MAY 43 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: Routine patrol out of NAS Adak, Alaska Strike: Yes BUNO: 7271 Cause: From Administrative Report; this PBY-5A failed to return from a routine patrol out of Adak, Ak. No messages were received after take-off and the Army had no track on radar of a plane in the sector assigned to this plane for search. Weather at time of take-off was complete darkness, ceiling 600-ft, visibility seven miles with fog patches near the field and obscuring the surrounding mountains and peaks in the sector. It is the opinion of the reporting officer that the aircraft crashed into a mountain before reaching its sector while pilot was flying on instruments. Plane and crew missing: Pilot. William C. Leedy, Ens. Earl C. Alter, AP1c. Preston Bright, Amm1c. Walter B. Kerry, Amm2c. Edwin H. House, Jr., Rm2c. Allen F. Walker, Aom2c. Roland L. Hughes, Amm3c. Llewelly Richards, and Amm3c. Thomas S. Newbold. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [17MAR98]

MishapsMISHAPs: 24 MAY 43 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: LULUK BAY, ADAK, AK Strike: Yes BUNO: O4411 Cause: WEATHER Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [Updated 28DEC2003 | 19JUL2001 | 22DEC2000 | 17MAR98]

UPDATE "...From Administration Report: After returning from routine patrol, this PBY-5A crashed into Kuluk Bay while attempting a landing in the NAS Adak, Alaska. Weather at the time consisted of rain, fog, zero ceiling, one and quarter miles visibility. It is the opinion of the reporting officer that the crash was the result of weather conditions and also pilot fatigue caused by six months of continuous operations in the Aleutian area. He recommends that pilot's be ordered to the continental United States for two weeks of rehabilitation after every three month period in the area. Damage: "Strike" Crew killed: Pilot Lt(jg) Paul C. Spencer, Lt(jg) Ralph I Parlette (co-pilot), Lt(jg) Jack G. Gray, RM2 Robert Allen Mathes, AMM2 Donald Monroe Griffth, RM2 William E. Littler, ACM Michael J. Chrzanowski (paa), AP1 Dodge A. Lincoln (nap), AOM3 Oscar A. Joerger, and RM2 Henry H. Haley..."

MishapsMISHAPs: 18 JUN 43 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: NAS Adak, Alaska Strike: No BUNO: 04412 Cause: Administrative - Transportation - The starboard wheel locked was evidenced by the appearance and condition of the landing mat. The plates of the landing mat were placed end to end, running lengthwise at the butt joint of the next plate rising above the level of the plate the wheel was ridding on, would slice a piece of the tire, which resulted in a blowout. At this point the plane swerved over to the side of the landing strip onto the soft shoulder, tilted over on starboard wing, scraping the raised float, bending the wing and nosing the bow wheel into soft earth enough to damage bow wheel door. The urgency for removing the crashed plane from the landing area, resulted in its being towed and virtually dragged away. Damage: Bent starboard wing panel, aileron and aileron cutout section. Ruptured starboard float and retracting assembly. Broken bombers window and buckled sliding door. Two buckled frames. Two stringers buckled, etc. Crew Ok. Pilot Lt(jg) Stephen B. Pitt, AV-N USNR, Lt(jg) E. Matheney, AV-N USNR, AP1c J. W. Waggoner, AMM1c J. F. Stam, AMM2c E. P. McKellar, ARM2c M. A. Rees, AOM3c C. Echeson, and ARM3c A. W. Gregory. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [08DEC2002]

MishapsMISHAPs: 31 MAY 44 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: Unknown Strike: Yes BUNO: 34033 Cause: Force landed at sea due to self sealing fuel line from port engine fuel pump became disengaged at its connection to the cross-feed valve. Causes for the subsequent damage and sinking were as follows; unfavorable weather conditions, I.E. ceiling 500-ft, visibility 4-miles, wind south at 18-knots, sea moderate.Large quantity of gas in bilges rendered use of power bilge pumps extremely hazardous. Heavy fumes reduced the physical and metal efficiency of the crew in there effort to save the plane. Plane capsized under tow and sank. Crew OK. Pilot Lt William H. T. Squires A-V(N) USNR, Lt(jg) J. N. O. Hovick A-V(N) USNR, Ens Walter R. Stelley A-V(N) USNR, Amm1c W. W. Hawkins V-6 USNR, Amm1c W. H. Montgomery V-6 USNR, Rm2c H. Kramer, Jr. V-6 USNR, Rm1c R. D. Morris USN, and Amm3c H. E. Upibanski V-6 USNR. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [09AUG2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 03 OCT 45 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: NAS Adak, Alaska Strike: Yes BUNO: 48386 Cause: Transfer of personnel and material for Commandant 17th Naval District. SMITH crashed into the NE slope of Old Woman Mtn (1434-ft);Nas Kodiak after attempted landing in a PBY-5A. At time of crash the ceiling was estimated at 500-ft, visibility was two miles, and wind was ESE 20 to 28kts, gusty. Two approaches for landing were made. In the first, he flew down-wind on the north side of runway #25 in an attempt to land on runway #7. Ceiling made this approach impossible and he continued the traffic circle up-wind on the south side of runway #7 for a down-wind landing on runway #25. The approach turn was started too soon for a down-wind landing and plane crossed end of runway at approximately 100-ft and came closest to runway at estimated 150-ft past the intersection of runways #25 & #28. The plane either bounced or was pulled up for another attempt and normal power climb was started ahead with wheels still down, until end of runway was crossed when a steep climbing turn was started to the left. Not enough altitude as obtained to clear surrounding hills and plane crashed from apparent stall with power on. "Strike" Crew & passengers: Pilot Lt.Cmdr G. R. Smith USN VPB-62/Killed, Lt(jg) J. R. McNeil A-V(N) USNR/Killed, Ens W. E. Tostman A-V(N) USNR/Killed, ARM2c R. K. Nagle USNR/Killed, Rad Elect J. F. Flack USN/Killed, Lt P. P. Butler USNR/Killed, T3c K. E. Dugger USNR/Killed, Y3c R. G. Nelson USNR/Killed, ARM2c O. F. Krumm USN/Seriously inj, AMM2c C. Kuntzelman USNR/Seriously inj, Lt(jg) C. B. Hoote USNR//Seriously inj, Lt(jg) F. P. Jenkins USNR/Seriouslu Inj, AMM2c J. J. Catalana USNR//Seriously inj, Lt M. Wingert USNR//Seriously inj, and Y3c J. A. Hewitt USNR//Seriously inj. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [Updated 23FEB2002 | Updated 22DEC2000 | 17MAR98]

UPDATE 03OCT45 Mishap Report - PDF File 99KB "...Complete Mishap Report - NA34/A12 - NAS Kodiak, Alaska - 95:BRL:mah - 0807 - JUL 9 1946..." [25MAR2003]

UPDATE "...I am a C-130 Flight Engineer currently stationed at CGAS Kodiak, Alaska. My son is interested in finding out more information on the PBY-5A of VP-62 that crashed into Old Woman Mt. on 03 Oct 45 while stationed at NAS Kodiak, Alaska. He has found what he is certain to be the wreakage of that aircraft last summer while playing in the area and has a desire to retreive the remains and turn it over to the Kodiak Military History Museum at Fort Abercrombie. Depending on several things, (i.e. the museum wanting it, as well as, the difficulty in recovering it) this may become his Project for his advancement to Eagle Scout. He is a member of BSA Troop 626 which has been active since that era. To aid him in his effort, any photos or information on the crew, the squadron and the accident, would be most appreciated. Thank you for your time...Bob Carter flytngneer@hotmail.com..." [05AUG2000]


MishapsMISHAPs: 00 AUG 78 A/C: P3 VP-62 Mishap ThumbnailCamera LOCATION: Jacksonville International Airport TYPE: Wheels Up Landing SRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 00 BUNO: 151381 CAUSE: Pilot Contributed by Timothy M Walker AW1(AW/NAC) USN Retired tmwalker@bellsouth.net [14FEB98]

UPDATE VP-62 Mishap ThumbnailCameraNewspaper Article "... I served with VP-62 from 1975 - 1978. I have attached scanned files of the Jacksonville Times Union story, with the date on one visible above the image. This should clarify the mishap accident date..." Contributed by Steve Riley navy8@comcast.net [30AUG2019]

UPDATE "...Official "P-3 Aircraft Location Report" files (prepared by the Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company Military Field Service Department) show 23 February 1978 as the correct date. Also all other publications that refer to P-3 accidents have mentioned this date..." Contributed by Marco P.J. Borst p3orion@wxs.nl WebSite: http://home.wxs.nl/p3orion/index.html [30DEC98]

UPDATE "...I flew as the SS#3 operator. Radar, Mad, ESM, and IRDS. It was a great job for a kid from a small town in Iowa. As per your date of the VP-62 wheels up landing, I called the squadron last Friday and they confirmed the August 1978 time frame. The reason I remember it so well is because it happened on my last flight before I got out of the Navy. I got out on 18 AUG 78 and came back in on 23 MAR 79. On the tuesday or wednesday before I got out I flew over Jacksonville International Airport (JIA) and saw the wreckage still on the runway. It was the primary topic of discussion for the rest of the flight. I will obtain the official date and pass it on this week. Please check your reference as I believe it is incorrect. As they say, I was there ..." Contributed by Timothy M Walker AW1(AW/NAC) USN Retired tmwalker@bellsouth.net [22DEC98]

UPDATE "...There is a P-3 crash at NAS Jacksonville, Florida mentioned with VP-62. This crash did not happen in the month given, but on 23-2-78!..." Contributed by Jan van Waarde jvw@worldonline.nl [18DEC98]


MishapsMISHAPs: 10 JUL 2003 A/C: P3 LOCATION: NAS Jacksonville, Florida TYPE: DEATHS: 00 BUNO: 163005 CAUSE: Unknown Contributed by FILLIPUCCI, AO1(AW) Ernie Retired afillipucci@bellsouth.net [08SEP2003]

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UPDATE "...I just wanted to add some information about the VP-62 fire in Sept. 2003 I was stationed there until August of 2004 and the cause was ruled as "internal failure of the O2 manifold, causing auto-ignition" it was not improper servicing. The aircraft side number was 005, not 004 as stated on one remark..." Contributed by PR1 Mark Northern mark.northern@navy.mil [03OCT2012]

UPDATE "...VP-62 The cockpit fire in the VP-62 P-3C happened to 163005 on 10jul03. Cause was an accident during oxygen servicing..." Contributed by Jan van Waarde jwaarde@chello.nl, Navy/USMC/USCG/NASA Updates Editor WebSite: http://www.scramble.nl Dutch Aviation Society / Scramble [02DEC2004]

UPDATE "...Cockpit Fire Photos (Oxygen) of the P-3C that belonged to VP-62 at NAS Jacksonville, Florida...." Contributed by NETTLES, Bullet Bob bulletbob_1@email.msn.com [09SEP2003]
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