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MishapVP-51 MishapMishap


Note NOTICE: "...Searching for facts, pictures, or any info about these two planes and their crews. They went down March 5, 1943 after a bombing mission near Munda in the Solomons, They were VP-51 alias VB-101 serving under William A. Moffett, Jr. Lt. Commander, USN. My brother, Lee Baldwin ARM3c USNR, was on one of those planes. I have not been able to find out which plane. Does anyone out there know? Any details would be appreciated. Thanks. Lillie Ann Flora Lab1sf3kjp@msn.com..." [19MAY2002]

MishapsMISHAPs: 01 OCT 41 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: 170 miles east of Boston, ME Strike: No BUNO: 2301 Cause: Administrative flight. Take-off from Portland, ME for NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada. Plane entered overcast at 500' and climbed to 15,000' before top was reached. Severe icing was encountered when an attempt was made to let down. De-icing system was deployed successfully and plane reversed its course to return to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Plane made an instrument landing at 1730 just before dark. Damage: Port bow stove-in, bombardiers window and shutter broken. Lower three horizontal members of rudders bent upward aft of rudder hinge post, plastic panels of port waist hatch broken. Crew Ok. Pilot ENS Emil E. Glanz AV-N USNR, ENS Robert Fleming AV-N USNR, ENS Harry E. Harmon AV-N USNR, AMM1 Leonard H. Wagoner (NAP), AMM2 Marvin B. Jones USN, AMM3 Loren B. Stafford USN, ARM3 Y. J. Dyson USN and ARM3 Donald Duoma USNR. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [28JUN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 14 JUL 42 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: Alaska Strike: Yes BUNO: 04463 Cause: Missing from overnight air patrol out of USNSB Sand Pt, Alaska. Missing crew: Pilot Ens. George Anthone Mullersman, Ens. Lester H. Ludlow, Ens. Howard E. Coker, Rm2c. Jesse H. Robinson, Rm2c Howard C. Cupps, Amm2c. Rou D. Fowler, Amm3c. Harold W. Dominy, Sea2c. Willis E. Campell, and Sea2c. Earle G. Earling. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [28JUN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 14 FEB 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Southern Bougainville Island Strike: Yes BUNO: 31948 and 31970 Cause: Unknown February 14,1943, off the coast of Southern Bougainville Island. nine PB4Y-1 aircraft fully armed, bombs and ammunition, bombed and sank a large enemy transport and a destroyer from 22,000 feet altitude. After the flack came 50 to 60 enemy fighters from Kahili airfield to intercept the bombers and their cover. The top cover consisted of 4 Army P-38's and the lower cover consisting of Navy F6F's and Marine Corps Corsairs (F4U). The Marine Corsair was in combat for the first time in this mission. Two PB4Y-1 Bombers -- 101-B-3 and 101-B-4 and entire crews were shot down. The entire top cover was destroyed and six of the lower cover aircraft were destroyed. It was reported by observers that the enemy lost 26 aircraft in this fight. This "skirmish" was named in most military history books as the "Saint Valentines Day Massacre". The losses for both sides were very heavy for the day. WebSite: History of VP-101 http://www.reocities.com/Pentagon/ [29JUN2011]

UPDATE "...My Uncle, Harris Orville "Pappy" North, was MIA on February 14, 1943 in a skirmish off of Kilhili while flying in a VP-101 aircraft but serving with VP-51. If anyone knew him or knows what happened please email me..." Contributed by Jeannette Banks nettesmail@windstream.net [29JUN2011]

MishapsMISHAPs: 03 MAR 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Bouganville Straits Strike: Yes BUNO: 31950 Cause: Unknown (NOTE: Identified as both VP-51 later designated VPB-101)

UPDATE "...I am a retired Army sergeant first class and the grandnephew of AOM2 Anthony Cortese, reported as missing on March 5, 1943. His death card lists him as presumed dead on December 10, 1945, and having been assigned to VP-102. I believe this is incorrect, and that he may have been onboard a PB4Y-1 with bureau number 31946 or 31947, both of which were lost on March 3, 1945 along with 31950 belonging to VP-101. Pacific Wrecks lists all three, but no crew names for 31946 or 31947. If anyone can point me to the crew rosters, I'd really like to help close the loop on this important part of my family's history. My grandmother died never knowing what happened to her brother, and she was a Navy hospital corpsman when he went missing..." Contributed by Keith Ciancio keith.ciancio@centurylink.net [16APR2015]

UPDATE "...My Uncle, Ensign William R. Gallagher, Jr, was lost March 3, 1943 while serving with VP-51 (later designated VPB-101). I would like to hear from anyone interested in sharing information about this mishap...Robert Abbott bob.abbott@xerox.com..." [14JAN2011]

UPDATE "...PB4Y-1 Liberator Bureau Number 31950 - VP-51 and VB-101 - Pilot Lt(jg) Wallace T. Jones, III, O-099740 (USNR) (MIA/KIA) NY, Crew Lt. Frank M. Fisler, (USNR) NC, Crew Ensign William R. Gallagher, Jr., (USN) PA, Crew Ensign Robert P. Combs, (USNR) MO, Crew AMM2c Lawrence W. Alvord, (USN) CA, Crew ARM3c Lee Baldwin, (USNR) IA , Crew AMM2c James J. Curry, (USNR) NJ, Crew AMM1c Raymond L. Flower, Jr., (USN) WV, Crew AMM2c Paul J. Patterson, (USN) WV, Crew ARM1c Talmadge H. Power, (USN) GA, Crew ACMM Benjamin Rogozinski, (USN) OH and Crew AOM2c Walter S. Slachter, (USN) VA. MIA March 3, 1943 - Aircraft History - This bomber was US Army Air Force B-24D Liberator 41-24053, to the US Navy and assigned to VP-51 (VB-101). Mission History - Nine PB4Y-1 Liberators of VB-101 took off from NAB Henderson/Carney Field, Guadalcanal at 1:30am to bomb Kahilli Airfield, Ballale Airfield and Vila Airfield. They proceeded through searchlights and anti-aircraft fire to drop 500 lbs bombs from medium altitude. This bomber is missing from the mission. This bomber was hit by anti-aircraft fire, and failed to return. On the return flight, one of the other PB4Y's spotted a large fire, with pieces falling off around 1,200' between Cape Esperance and the Russel Island that may have been one of the missing bombers. It is unclear if this was this bomber, or PB4Y-1 31947 also lost on the mission...." WebSite: PacificWrecks http://www.pacificwrecks.com/ [08OCT2009]

UPDATE "...My Uncle, James J. Curry, Aviation Machinist's Mate, Second Class, was MIA in the Pacific on March 3, 1943. Below you will find many documents (i.e., Citiation, Purple Heart, etc)...Bill Petrolino billpet1@aol.com..." [04NOV2004]

"...James J. Curry, Aviation Machinist's Mate, Second Class - Circa 1942..."
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"...Monument, Purple Heart, and Distinguished Flying Cross documentation..."
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"...Flight Log Book - VP-51 28FEB1942 to 00MAR1942..."
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UPDATE "...My uncle, Paul Patterson, was with VP-51 in PBY's and transitioned into VPB-101 in late 1942. He was listed MIA on March 5, 1943 while on a night time bombing mission to the Bouganville Straits from Guadacanal in a PB4Y-1. There were two planes lost that night and we (my mother and I) would enjoy hearing from any of his old squadron mates or acquaintances who may have any recollection of him or the missions of his group...VGLADWELL@prodigy.net..." [26MAY2000]

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