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MishapsMISHAPs: 07 FEB 43 A/C PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 LOCATION: Espirtu Santo Island, New Hebrides Strike: Yes BUNO: 31958 Cause: Accident occurred about thirty seconds after take-off. The plane was seen to start a turn to the left shortly after take-off and then it lost altitude rapidly and crashed into the sea one-half mile off shore. "Total Loss" Crew Killed: Pilot 1st Lt H. M. Roberts USMCR, Capt. Benjamin C. Y. Fuller A-V(C) USMCR, Lt Harold W. Ervin USAAF, S/Sgt Ernest L. Bakey USMCR, Cpl Richard P. Chanard USMC, Sgt Herbert E. Knecht USMC, Cpl Henry B. Nielson USMC, Cpl Alvin A. Nowrk USMC, Pfc Lester C. Simkins USMC, Pfc James K. Davis USMC, Pfc Robert S. Edwards USMCR, and Pfc Johnny F. Tarzi USMC. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [19AUG2001]

UPDATE "...Memorial sites for PB4Y-1, Bureau # 31958 being constructed. Would like to hear from family and friends of crewmembers to assist in personalizing memorial pages. My uncle was aboard the plane: PFC Lester Cyril Simkins, USMC. Lost at sea, 7 February 1943, Espiritu Santo Island. FYI - the crew consisted of: CAPTAIN BENJAMIN C.Y. FULLER, 06429, USMCR, 1st Lieutenant HARRY M. ROBERTS, 010127, USMCR, Staff Sergeant ERNEST LEE BAILEY, 424511, USMCR, Corporal RICHARD PAUL CHENARD, 377571, USMC, Private JAMES KENNETH DAVIS, 412257, USMC, Corporal HENRY BATTLING NIELSEN, 326640, USMC, Corporal ALVIN ANTHONY NOWAK, 355159, USMC, Private First Class LESTER CYRIL SIMKINS, 406170, USMC, Private First Class ROBERT STEPHEN EDWARDS, 413293, USMCR, Sergeant HERBERT EDWARD KNECHT, 356626, USMC, Private JOHNNY FRED TARZI, 390788, USMC and 1st Lieutenant Harold Welch Ervin, 854304, ArmyAir Force. I have a website dedicated to the crew, with additional information about my uncle and LT Ervin. I also have a photo of the crew and their aircraft that was taken shortly before the mishap! Here are the links: http://hometown.aol.com/ax2usn/page4.html (for Uncle Lester and crew), http://hometown.aol.com/ax2usn/page3.html (for LT Ervin), and http://hometown.aol.com/ax2usn/page5.html (for the crew photo). All of this information is from family genealogy records as well as FOIA requests..." Bobby Jean Simkins AX2USN@aol.com..." [19MAY2002]

UPDATE "...I'm searching for information about my uncle's plane, which crashed shortly after takeoff on 7 February 1943, off the coast of Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. I am building memorial sites for all souls lost that day, and a complete listing of the crew can be found at http://hometown.aol.com/ax2usn/page4.html. The information I have is sketchy, and obtained from a FOIA request. If you have any information about this aircraft, or the squadron it was assigned to, it would be very helpful. Thanks! Bobby Jean Simkins AX2USN@aol.com..." [05SEP2001]

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