VPNAVY VP-9 Mishap - Soviet Shot Down 22JUN55 - No Loss Of Life
VPNAVY Address

MishapVP-17 MishapMishap


MishapsMISHAPs: 11 APR 44 A/C: PBM-3DMarina Location: SW, RYAN FLD, TUCSON, AZ. Strike: Yes BUNO: 48220 Cause: SQD MOVEMENT, ENG FIRE, CREW BAILED OUT, PLANE CRASHED Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [16MAR98]

UPDATE "...Crashed and burned result of port engine failure. Rate of decent on single engine 700-ft per minute. Wreckage scattered for two-hundred yards. At scene crash, inspection station revealed no bad valve seats on port engine. Plane took off from USMCAS Eagle Mountain Lake, Tx., in company with seven other Mariners from VF-17, at 0905, on a duly authorized flight in accordance with Patrol Squadron 17's mouvement order 2-44. Flight proceeded westerly along Green Airway #5 at 10,000-ft under contact conditons. Approximately fifteen minutes before port engine failed, a noticable loss of power was apparent. All engine instrument readings were normal, except the BMEP guage, which read 98 to 1102, and fuel flow which was 120 gallons per hour for port engine, 75 gallons per hour for starboard engine. Port tachometer read 2175 RPM and 20-in manifold pressure, and propellors were synchroized. Just prior to failure, the flight engineer noticed dirty brown smoke coming from #3 and #4 cylinders, while lookout in the deck turret noted smoke from either #13 or #14 cylinders. Immediate prime gave a 200 to 500 increase in RPM, but it failed to restart. Single engine procedure was immediately carried out. Fuel was cut off to port engine; ingnition turned off at port engine, bomb bay tanks jettisoned, port prop feathered. Bomb bay doors failed to close by switch on pilot's panel, but were closed from bombay panel. Indicated altitude was now 7,770-ft. In addtion all expendable gear was jettisoned. After looking at the surrounding terrain which was 5000-ft to 6000-ft above sea level, studying the regional map, which indicated no nearby places for a sfae water landing and noting that he was losing altitude at nintey-five to nintey-eight knots airspeed with 2600 RPM aand 45" H.G. on starboard engine. Lt. Dornbos gave the order to abandon airplane. The abandonment was orderly and when Lt. Dornbos left the pilot's cockpit; the plane was heading away from Tucson at 6,780-ft. Recommendation is made for investigation of underlying cause of rich mixture which is believed to have been eventully caused engine failure. Crew ok. Pilot>Lt.John H. Dornbos A-V(N) USNR/Minor inj, Co-pilot Ens Alfred M. Gillstrom USNR, Ens Francis D. Hanrahan USNR, Ens John F. Scully USNR, AMM1c William D. Wiegand USN, AMM1c Samuel W. Smith USNR, AMM3c Donald E. Folsom USNR, ARM2c Edward Metzler USN, ARM3c John C. Kammer USNR, AOM2c John E. Nolan USNR, and Sea2c Lionel E. Micinski USNR..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [04FEB2002]

UPDATE "...I've just stumbled over this web page - the above plane was piloted by my late husband, John Dornbos. He told the story so often of how he jettisoned his crew but was late jumping himself because he was chasing the plane's mascot, a dog - when he finally caught him and jumped, at something like 400 feet (?), the ripcord wrenched the dog from his arms and he had to watch it fall to the ground. He himself landed in a cactus bush and spent the rest of the night having the burrs picked out of his butt by two army nurses. Nancy Dornbos nandorn@cfl.rr.com..." [03FEB2002]

MishapsMISHAPs: 03 MAR 45 A/C: PBM-3D Marina Location: Unknown Strike: Yes BUNO: 45244 CAUSE: Damaged beyond repair attempting to take-off to an Air-Sea-Rescue mission in enemy held territory. Crew OK Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [Updated 15OCT2003 | 30MAR98]

MishapsMISHAPs: 06 MAR 45 A/C: PBM-3D Marina Location: Unknown Strike: Yes BUNO: 45281 CAUSE: HIT REEF TAXING Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [30MAR98]

MishapsMISHAPs: 14 MAR 45 A/C: PBM-3D Marina Location: LINGAYEN, PI Strike: Yes BUNO: 45352 CAUSE: Collision with obstacle. No injures. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net

UPDATE Mishap "...I was searching the Internet for information about my old PBM squadron VPB-17 and came across Steve Eakins summary (dtd 06 Oct.98) about the PBM crash south of Lynguyen. I'd like to offer a little more detail about that sad day.

AS I remember it, 55 years later and at age 82: On the morning of June 30, 1945, a number of PBMs departed from Linguyen for Tawi Tawi. After takeoff the planes joined into a V formation on Comdr. Cutter and headed south over the low land between Linguyen and Manila. I was flying at his left-wing position. As I recall it was a clear day and every thing seemed to be going along perfectly when Comdr. Cutter started to descend. I held my position until it was obvious he was in trouble. His airplane lost power just at the point where fuel would normally be transferred from the hull tanks to the wing tanks. From my location in the cockpit I couldn't see what was happening behind the airplane but I was kept informed (via the intercom) and learned that Mr. Cutter's airplane had exploded on impact and was immediately engulfed in flames. We headed for the nearest water that was only a few minutes away, landed and anchored the plane. Several members and I armed ourselves, inflated a life raft, paddled ashore and walked inland. We, after a short time, met a several survivors walking out. We got them into our airplane and took off for Linguyen and the USS Currituck II (AV-7). . Since we had not taken on fuel since our previous flight, we decided to take the risk and fly back over land in order to get the survivors back to the tender as quickly as possible. A boat was waiting for us and took us to the tender.

Commander Cutter's plane carried another crew, (or part of another crew), in addition to his own as I recall. A PPC, by the name of Roberson, was flying as his copilot. The two pilots escaped through the cockpit windows. Ltjg Roberson was not injured.

Another PBM from the flight landed in the same area as we. I learned many years later that it was Lt. Hicks and that he had to make a forced landing. I thought, at the time, that he had landed to help the survivors.

Commander Cutter flew with our crew on a couple of flight after that disastrous day. Once to Palawan for medical treatment for his burns. He could have gone home but chose instead to remain with his squadron. He was conscientious and well liked. I hope he is alive and well..." Contributed by George R. Hauser grhauser@sbcglobal.net [11NOV2000]

UPDATE "...History USS Currituck (AV-7) - Three PBM's gone down due to water in fuel. One crashed on land, while the others were able to land on water, about 90 miles down the coast from Lingayen Gulf. Crews picked up by friendly Philippinos and taken to make-shift hospital seven miles inland, all suffering fro second and third degree burns. USS Currituck (AV-7) dispatched a medical team consisting of LT Topol (DC), USNR LT, Green (MC) USNR, Albert Keenan PHM2, and Wayne Hackley, PHM3 in a crash boat down the coast. Rubber rafts were used to get ashore and upon landing they located a U.S. Army radio station and were directed to the make-shift hospital. This took some time as there were Japaneese patrols in the area. There was no medical equipment at this location and the burns had been covered with bamboo leaves, and it seemed unlikely that any of the men would live. Medical attention was provided by administering morphine and sulfa power. Blood plasma was started and the men were moved back to the coast. Keenan took the first two casualties on the first plane and other seaplanes followed until all were back aboard USS Currituck II (AV-7). Randolph K Prather, S1/c VPB-17 (now of Baker, LA) and one other crewman survived and spent considerable time on USS Currituck II (AV-7) before being transfered to a hospital ship, and later to the states..." Contributed by Steve Eakin steve.sseakin@oigp.net..." [06OCT98]

MishapsMISHAPs: 14 APR 45 A/C: PBM-3D Marina Location: PI Strike: Yes BUNO: 45334 CAUSE: COLLISION WITH OBSTACLE Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [30MAR98]

MishapsMISHAPs: 25 MAY 45 A/C: PBM-5S2 Marina Location: China Sea Strike: Yes Deaths: 11 BUNO: 59126 CAUSE: Enemy Fire "...I, the pilot, and my copilot were the only two survivors of the crash that occurred as a result of enemy fire as we were making a night masthead bombing attack on a Japanese destroyer...VPB-17 was stationed aboard the Seaplane Tender USS Currituck II (AV-7) in Philippines" Contributed Fred W. Forman FForman3rd@aol.com [07JUL99]

UPDATE "...My name is William Cass. I wrote a poem in memory of my great uncle who was killed on patrol in a PBM on May 25, 1945. I have attached a poem about the Purple Heart his mother received.. William Cass wscass69@speakeasy.org..." [Crew Added 09DEC2001 | 01DEC2001]

By William Scott Cass in loving memory of William Stephen Cass
VP-17 History ThumbnailCameraCrew

Top Row from Left to Right: Marion Nutter, P. Orberdorffer, W.S. Cass, Chester Shoemake, Gerry Slick, and Oliver Plumb. Front Row from Left to Right: Ralph Halstead, Robert Bunge, Fredrick W. Forman, Amedo Ligrani, and Robert White

At the bottom of the beautiful laden sea,

lies the grave of someone I knew, but never met.

He lived his life as a sailor, but he died as a savior.

The ones he left behind will always

remember his passing, he received a

blessing, that should be in red, not in purple.

The red would stand for the blood

spilt to receive it, the gold

figurehead stands for the First

Commander who gave it.

The colors that hold it stand for the

Glorious Country that cries each time it is given.

On the back of the medal the names are

scrolled to remember those who received it.

The shape is in that of a heart to show

where the true idea of giving it came from.

The purple and gold are in memory of

where you may be now, and where we

someday may join you.

UPDATE On May 26th LTjg F. W. Forman, Baltimore, Maryland failed to return from a mission. It was not until July that it was found that his plane had been shot down. The only survivors were LT Forman of Baltimore, Maryland and his co-pilot, ENS R. S. Bunge, East Hartford, Conn. They made there way to the China Coast and, on the basis of their evasion and escape knowledge, located friendly Chinese who evacuated them inland to Kunming. Those lost included ENS A. Ligrani, Cass, W. S., AOM3c(T), Shoemake, C. M., AMM1c, Suck, G. R., AOM3c, and White, R. D., ARM3c(T)..." Contributed by Thomas Edwin Russell tompbm@aol.com

UPDATE "...A member of my crew (DINK Singletary) was along for the ride. His name is never listed on the list of people on the plane..." Contributed by Dane Williams MAXGLNDORA@aol.com [07OCT2000]

MishapsMISHAPs: 30 JUN 45 A/C: PBM-5 Marina Location: PI Strike: Yes DEATHS: 8/KILLED, 6/SERIOUS, 11/MINOR BUNO: 59200 CAUSE: FORCE LANDED DURING FERRY FLT Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [30MAR98]

UPDATE "...Crew & pass; Lt.Cmdr. Leeds D.Cutter/Seriously inj, Arm3c. Walter S.Dalyie/Killed, Arm3c. Walter F.Flynn/Killed, Amm3c. Kenneth Charles K???,Jr (last name hard to read)/Killed, Sea1c. Mireel/Killed, Ens. Edgar H.Stadtler/Killed, Amm3c. Douglas S.John,Jr/Killed, Amm3c. Stanley B.Exar (died 1 Jul 45), Aom3c. Richard D.Bentz (died 1 Jul 45), Lt(jg). Leon H.Robinson/Minor inj, Ens. Ellis L.Collons/Seriously inj, and Ens. Warren C.Gessner/Seriously inj..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [02JAN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 16 SEP 45 A/C: PBM-5 Marina Location: OKINAWA Strike: Yes We lost our airplane in the typhoon that hit Okinawa on 16 September 1945. Following that loss I put together hand-written notes on the event. The following Statement was typed from those notes by a Navy yeoman. It was then submitted to the Navy. The Navy drafted an accident report from the statement. The statement is retyped verbatim below spelling and grammar errors included. Contributed by George R. Hauser grhauser@sbcglobal.net [23JAN2005]


24 September 1945


I was the pilot of plane number 59198 on September 14,1945 and number 3 man in a three plane section flying from Sangley Point to Chima Wan, Okinawa. Both engines operated well throughout the flight. The flight arrived at Chima Wan at 1630, and the crew except for the plane watch reported to the Tender Barataria. The section was to leave the next morning, the 15th of September.

On the morning of the 15th, after checking mags. , props etc., I awaited my turn for takeoff. Take offs were at 3 minute intervals. After take off and an altitude of approximately 200 feet was reached the port engine started popping. With this warning I climbed to an altitude of 600 feet and reached the downwind side of the landing approach when the engine lost nearly all power. It was not possible to get over 29 inches of manifold pressure or more than 2000 R.P.M. on the faulty engine. The manual prop control had no effect on the prop speed. A one engine approach was made with no attempt to feather the port prop as the settings were high enough to overcome the drag of the engine. When on the water the engine ran very roughly and required about 1 inch of throttle to keep it going. A buoy was made and maintenance men checked over the engine. Nothing definite was reached as to the cause of the engine failure. A check of cylinder pressure revealed that several cylinders were operating well below normal pressures. A great deal of oil soaked carbon had deposited in all but five of six exhaust stocks. The maintenance crew decided the only remedy would be an engine change. Nothing further was done on the 15th to repair the engine.

At 1830 on the 15th of September an anchor cable pendant was taken out and installed on the buoy so that the plane could be properly secured as it was known that a storm had formed well to the south but on two check we were assured that it would not hit until late on the 16th. The winds began to pick up at 0530 on the 16th and by 0700 Ens Moses, the night plane watch officer, started both engines to relieve the mooring of the stress caused by the wind and swells. Due to the condition of the port engine he was forced to cut it and ride the wind on one engine. It was impossible to get to the plane because of small boat availability at the time. At approximately 0830 one of VPB 20's planes broke loose, drifted into VPB 17 plane number 59100 knocking it loose from its mooring. It broke loose from the VPB 20 plane and was last seen drifting into a small tender anchored in the bay. Later on the beach the VPB plane number 59100 was found a total wreck. It had been pounded against coral formation by the heavy seas.

It had been the intention to fly all flyable planes away. Plane 59198 was not flyable due to engine trouble. Plane 59100 had been destroyed by the VPB 20 drifting into it and its later collision with the tender and coral along the beach. This left only one plane number 59069, flyable. It was flown away without jets in a very heavy sea. Lt.(jg) Whitman, pilot, displayed great skill in handling the plane. His takeoff was without a doubt the best witnessed all morning.

At 1100 I left the ship in a whaleboat with instructions to evacuate all but three men and to ride the plane until the whaleboat came back whereupon I was to evacuate the plane and secure all compartments and hatches. It was so difficult to bring the boat alongside that I ordered all men aboard without gear. The bow of the whaleboat was being thrown up against the bomb bay one second and the stern wedged under the tunnel. After getting in the plane and evacuating all but 2 men and myself the boat departed and dropped the relieved men on the beach. The wind continued to pick up. The swell were like rolling mountains that tossed the plane around like a toy. The swells were high enough to cause the mooring cable to tighten like an "E" string on the crest and loosen way up on the trough even though the buoy was kept near as possible to the port bow hatch against the wind by the engine. About 1400 the whale boat returned to take the rest of the men off the plane. The water was tossing the boat all over. It was impossible to come alongside with the boat. The coxswain brought the bow as close as possible and as the boat sank in a trough one man at a time jumped from the plane to the boat. On the second approach the boat was lower than the usual waterline of the plane and was suddenly lifted. The bow gouged a large hole in the hull below the waterline. I was in the bow of the plane while the other two men were getting into the boat. I secured the bow hatch and all compartment doors on my way aft. I jumped into the boat and the first ordinance man snapped the waist hatch lock. The boat pulled away and that was the last we saw of plane number 59198. We were very busy bailing out the whaleboat that took on water faster than we could bail.

The winds during the night picked up to 80 m.p.h. On the morning of the 17th plane 59198 was not at the buoy. The beach was littered with PBMs and PB2Ys. On hunting for VPB 17 planes I counted 14 planes on the beach, so high and dry that it seemed impossible to imagine that the swells had set them there. Plane 59100 was found chewed up by the coral and rough sea. The beach was littered by her parts. Plane 59198 apparently went down at the buoy as the bow line was through the doughnut and it was anchored at both ends.

While on the beach we were refused any assistance from the 14th C.B.s but were taken in by the 31st M.A.G. who couldn't do enough for us. They issued clothes to every officer and man, gave us bedding and quarters, and declined to accept any pay for meals by the officers. They issued us a jeep and then apologized because they had so little to give us.

MishapsMISHAPs: 02 OCT 45 A/C: PBM-5 Marina Location: OKINAWA Strike: Yes BUNO: 59130 CAUSE: TAXI ACCIDENT HIT UNDER WATER OBJECT Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [30MAR98]


MishapsMISHAPs: 00 XXX 54 A/C: P2V P Neptune VP Mishap "...Circa 1954... NAS Iwakuni, Japan..." Contributed by Edward A. Rausch via RAUSCH, Edward lydadel@aol.com [14JUL2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 11 JAN 63 A/C: P2V P Neptune LOCATION: NAS Kodiak, Alaska TYPE: Collision with mountain STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 07 BUNO: 135559 CAUSE: Attempted landing in rainy weather SEE VP-17 Crew - In Memorium - VP-17 Crew

Memorial PictureIn memory of lost friends...7 Die In Kodiak Plane Crash January 11th, 1963... [Last Updated 16JUN2012]

MishapsMISHAPs: 00 MAY 63 A/C: P2VP Neptune LOCATION: NAS Kodiak, Alaska TYPE: Landing Gear Collapse STRIKE: No DEATHS: 00 BUNO: 147961 CAUSE: Mechanical Contributed by BAUMANN, Fred razbdaz1@comcast.net [29MAY2006]

UPDATE  History ThumbnailCameraVP-17 Mishap "...ZE-1 Nose wheel collapse. Nobody considered this a mishap, thank God no one got hurt, but I just got out the nose well after servicing the Batteries, in for a Major Check 3rd Intermediate on NAS Kodiak, Alaska (5-63). We had to change both engines after plane rested on each prop. BAUMANN, Fred razbdaz1@comcast.net..." [29MAY2006]

MishapsMISHAPs: 00 JUN 64 A/C: P2VP Neptune LOCATION: OKINAWA TYPE: Landing Gear Locked Up STRIKE: No DEATHS: 00 BUNO: Unknown CAUSE: Mechanical

UPDATE "...VP-17 00JUN64--Navy Plane Crashlands At NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan" ...I was our Squadron's Photographer's Mate from 1963-66, and was one of two photogs on the Crash Team that day. (I actually covered most of the crash alerts on the base while we were there). We were in the mess hall when the alarm rang, but still made it to the field within a few minutes and pulled up about 20 feet behind the line of crash trucks. The crews were foaming down the runway while we got our camera gear set up. I've forgotten the name of the other photog, but one of us was shooting a 4 x 5 speed graphic with a 16 neg film pack, and the other was on top the van with a 16mm Bell & Howell movie camera on a tripod which was locked-down to the roof. Then we waited an eternity while crew 6 dumpted fuel. The landing was as smooth as anything I'd seen. The cockpit hatch popped open & the crew poured out. I remember describing it as similiar to the VW at the circus with the never-ending stream of guys leaping through a small opening.! The entire event was textbook perfect...the plane's crew, the crash crew, the tower...! When we processed the film and sent it back east, the prints looked like everyone was having "just another day at the office!" But everyone knew it could have turned out different. It took a couple of hours at the "E-Club" before the adrenalin finally went back down!...G. Ray Hawkins hawkins@artnet.net..." [11OCT2004]

UPDATE "...A/C BUNO 135555 was the aircraft involved. It was flown by Crew 6. I was the Nav/Tacco aboard that flight. As I recall we were launched to search for one of our squadron aircraft which was on a routine patrol but had been out of radio contact for several hours..." Contributed by COCHRAN, CDR Thomas L. Retired rollingc@charter.net [13FEB2002]

UPDATE "...00JUN64--Navy Plane Crashlands At NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan" "...I was In the one wheels up oki, it was a hair raising story leading up to it...I was the only {injured} out of the crew...Cut my Knuckle on a chunk of prop the duty driver was saving in back seat of truck...No, I think my Plane Captain Bill Hastings hurt his tailbone sliding down off the wing, hitting the fomed runway and feet sliding out from under him..." Article submitted by Richard D. Hunt RRRNwestcr@aol.com

VP-17 P2V Mishap ThumbnailCamera "SKIDS ALONG FOAM - A twin-engined P2V Navy Neptune patrol plane piloted by Navy Cdr. W. A. Berry skids along a foamed runway at NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan after it landed here with its wheels locked. Military authorities revealed details of the incident yesterday. None of the 11 crewman were injured..." USAF Photo

Navy Plane Crashlands At NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan

A U. S. Navy patrol bomber carrying a crew of 11 landed safely on a foamed runway at NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan last week after its landing gear locked during a routine training flight, it was revealed yesterday.

An air force spokesman said that the P2V twin-engined Neptune piloted by Navy Cdr. W. A. Berry was attached to patrol squadron 17, Naha Naval Air Facility, Naha Air Base.

The incident occurred late Thursday. Although the aircraft sustained minor damage to its fuselage and propellers, none of the crewmen were injured.

The emergency was discovered while the aircraft was returning from a patrol mission and preparing to land at Naha air base. After several attempts to dislodge the jammed gear the crew radioed ahead declaring an emergency and elected to attempt the difficult "wheels-up" landing.
NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan was chosen for the landing rather than Naha due to its longer runways and better emergency facilities.

Within minutes after Berry radioed his plight, NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan firemen and crash crews began foaming the concrete runways as the stricken aircraft circled several miles ahead.

The plane lumbered in and hit the runway in what observers at NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan termed a "perfect" wheels-up landing. Crash trucks and personnel clad in heat-resistant suits swarmed over the plane but were not needed as sparks from the crash landing did not ignite fuel tanks as had been feard.


MishapsMISHAPs: 03 AUG 70 A/C: P3P3 Orion LOCATION: Nevada TYPE: Explosion STRIKE: Yes DEATHS: 10 BUNO: 152159 CAUSE: Poss Ltng Strike SEE VP-17 Crew - In Memorium - VP-17 Crew [Updated 28JUN98]

Memorial PictureIn memory of lost friends "...10 Die In Nevada Plane Crash..." [Updated 31AUG2015]

"VP-17 Summary Page"