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

MishapVP-72 MishapMishap


MishapsMISHAPs: 02 SEP 41 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada Patrol/Escort Strike: No BUNO: 2340 CAUSE: During full load take-off in darkness airplane hit submerged rock, ripping bottom out of port side hull. Plane managed to take-off and after 4.5hrs of flight safely, but plane became partially submerged after landing. Major overhaul recommened. Crew Ok. Pilot Ens Russell G. Albright USN, Ens. G. M. Thompson USNR, AMM1c. L. B. Williamson (NAP), AMM1c. R. R. Byrne, AMM3c. E. A. Crosby, ARM2c. E. J. Carter, ARM3c. M. J. Zanercik, Sea1c. F. J. Ford, Sea1c. A. L. Clark, and Sea2c. E. G. Creel. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [20NOV2002]

MishapsMISHAPs: 17 FEB 42 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: MCAS/NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii Strike: Yes BUNO: 2345 CAUSE: Search mission. During take-off the plane was observed to be climbing very steeply and appeared to be entering a heavy shower. A few seconds later it went into a sharp right turn, losing altitude and crashed. The right wing was down, plane hit and sheared off tree tops for several hundred yards before coming to a stop and catching fire. Pilot Lt(jg) C. O. Fischer/Killed, ENS G. Nannos/Killed, ENS Norman D. Pittman,Jr/Killed, AMM1 Nelson Phinney (NAP)/Killed, ACM .Albert L. Hopslaa(A.C.Houston?)/Killed, RM3 Charles Zervas/Killed, RM1 Edward Pretzer/Minor inj, and AMM2 Albert C. Mast(died later). Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [17JUN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 08 AUG 42 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: 50mi. SW of Santa Cruz Isl, SW Pac Strike: Yes BUNO: 2350 Cause: While on patrol flight a landing at sea was made, because neccessary due to navigational error, darkness and weather conditions. Plane landed at top of swell, bounced in air and landed again at base of next swell smashing bombing window, shutter and throwing bombsight for stablizer unde pilots feet. Forward section back to pilots watertight bulkhead was flooded, otheriwise aircraft was watertight throughout. It was not considered feasible to tow aircraft due to damaged bow, sea conditions, distance to base and war operations in immediate area. Minor salvage as affected and aircraft sunk by gunfire by USS MCFARLAND. Crew ok. Pilot Lt. L. W. Thurlow, Ens. R. G. Lowrie, CAP. C. R. Webster, Amm2c. C. R. Walter, Amm2c. F. P. Spandoni, Amm3c. A. A. Koch, Rm1c. L. Bugbee, and Rm2c.C. H. Wolpert. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [29JUN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 03 JUL 42 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: North Atlantic - Ferry flight - Loc 52N 48-30W It is believed, possible that the aircraft caught fire from gas fumes or gasoline in the hull, which leaked from the temporary hull tank installation the mechanic's compartment. In view of the fact that the aircraft was last sighted just prior to going on instruments, it is possible that the plane entered a spin while on instruments at 6000' and never recovered. A Board of Investigation has covered in detail all circumstances attending the loss of the airplane. Crew killed: Pilot: Ens Robert C. McKown AV-N, USNR, Ens. Joseph C. Haskel (co-pilot) USNR, AMM1c. W. R. Van Liere (co-pilot) NAP, AMM1c. L. M. England, AMM3c. A. H. Gazafy, RM1c. C. A. Ashley, and RM3c. R. E. Dunlap. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [29JUN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 02 SEP 42 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada Strike: Yes BUNO: 2340 CAUSE: Patrol & Escort. During night take-off, plane hit rock which tore a hole in hull. Plane landed after 4.5hr flight. Major overhaul required. Pilot ENS Russell G. Albright & crew ok. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [14JUN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 03 JUL 41 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: Unknown Strike: Yes BUNO: 2347 CAUSE: FIRE IN AIR SPUN-IN PLUS PILOT, ROBERT C. McKOUN Ens. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [02APR98]

UPDATE "...Ferry flight - Unknown cause (possible fuel leak in hull tank located in mechanics compartment causing imbalance). Plane last seen in a spin from 6000'. Crashed at 52N 48-30W. Crew killed: Ens Robert C.McKown, ENS Joseph C.Haskel, AMM1 W. R. Van Liere, AMM1 L. M. England, AMM3 A. H. Gazafy, ARM1 C. A. Ashley, and ARM3 R. E. Dunlap..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [INFO Updated 14JUN2001 | 06JAN2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 01 JAN 43 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: Southwest Pacific Strike: Yes BUNO: 04502 Cause: Crashed during violent maneuver to avoid small boat when landing. Damage: Total loss Crew: Pilot Lt. Roger S. Norton/Killed, Lt(jg). George J. Ernhardt/Seriously inj, Lt(jg). William Conway Armstrong/Minor inj, AP1c. Edward G. Dennis,Jr/Killed, Rm3c. George J. Crossman/Killed, Amm2c. Benjamine H. Wist,Jr/Killed, Amm2c. John J. Brown/Ok, Amm3f. Leon S. Taylor/Ok, Rm2c. John H. Vieth,Jr/Ok, Amm3c. Jack L. McPhail/Ok, and US Army pilot unknown name/Ok. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [08JUL2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 14 JAN 44 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: Central Pacific Strike: Yes BUNO: 08510 CAUSE: Damaged while attempting landing in heavy seas on recue mission. Plne abandonded and sunk by machine-gun fire due to proximity of enemy. Intire crew rescued. Damage: Strike plane and engines Pilot: Lt. R. L. Finucane. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [04AUG2001]

UPDATE "...Mishap Memories..." Contributed by AVERITT, Richard Gerald Sr. averitt13@msn.com [13FEB2004]

On January 12th we had two missions too lay mines at Mille and Jaliut. We did our job at Mille but at Jaliut, after laying the mines, someone spotted some planes and the skipper, who was fling with us at that time, said lets get em. We had different battle stations at different times but when this event occured I was in the starbord blister with the free 50 cal. An Ordnanceman was on the port 50, the other Ordnanceman was in the tunnel and the 2nd mech was on the twin 30s in the bow. Just as the skipper said let em have it what looked like about a 50 cal seemed to be right in my face. It's odd how all of the tracers look like they are comming right at you then veer off but these didn't veer off. I think I was still firing at that guy when we hit the water. As usual we were flying very low so we hit the water fast. Almost at once it seemed like the second mech was at my side unting one of the life rafts. It was then I saw the man behind me on the other gun was gone. My blister was quite tornup but some how neither one of the two rafts were hit. One was right beside me and the other right beside the wounded man. I knew the fellow in the tunnel couldn't have gotten the hatch closed before we hit the water but he came crawling out. One raft was a six man and the other a three man. While trying to put the two piece oars together one was dropped and lost. The plane captain (first mech) had evidently had good training or lots of study. That man (boy was cool) where lots of the stuff came from I never knew, but we tied the rafts together and started rowing. If you think this could be easy try going out from any beach almost any time towing another. The skipper, wounded man and the Navigator were in the small raft. This took place about 9 or 10 at night. It must have moon light. We bumped a couple of times and upset the small raft. After getting all of them back in we finally made a little head way. The skipper would say don't look back but when you came thru with the oar you couldn't help it and the lights looked like we were getting closer to the beach. By morning it started to rain. We were out far enough when it cleared off we couldn't see the Island anymore. I can't imagine the pain the wounded fellow had. We did have some morphine in the medical kit that they gave him. I was so sea sick it wasn't funny. I think I was the only one who had this probem. Someone later told me that we finally made sail for a while (I can't remember that). I do remember someone passing around some of the stuff to eat. Very little as most of it had holes shot thru it but I was so seasick nothing would have tasted good to me. We spent the next day hearing what all we were going to do when we got back even going to San Francisco for some R&R - but mostly looking for planes to come for us. The next day the second mech said I hear them but he had been doing this quite often. Sure enough there they were lined up across the sky like a bunch of angles, but they were away off to our left and if you ever tried to spot something in the sea you know how hard it was. The plane captain, I don't know where he got it, lit a smoke flare and it looked like an oil well fire. We saw the closest plane peal off toward us and we knew we were home. It was the whole squadron. What a site! The first plane leveled off and came in but the wave went out from under him and it tore a portion of his wing off. He had no more than settled when another one came in and he made it. The sea was running quite high. Now there was the nine of us and the nine from the crashed plane (which stayed a float). We took the skipper and wounded man to the plane then tied the rafts to the crippled one. We at least got to get out of the water and stretch out standing on the wreckage. A destroyer, the USS Black DD-666, came and picked us all up and made a wake so the plane could take off. We had lots of air cover during this wait and they sank the plane after we boarded the ship. I think we had used our shoes to bail water from the raft. Anyway we didn't have any (another little personal thing was the red cross pack or what ever it was called they gave me a medium. I had about a 30 inch waist the pants must have been for at least a 40 inch man. They were black with pin stripe and hit about 3 inches above my ankels.

We got back to base after dark and an air raid was going on so they put us off in a boat to get to the ship. The skipper met us when we went on deck and told us not to do anything but rest for a week. Before the week had passed they loaded our plane with beer bottles and other stuff. We were going to keep some one up all night (I am guessing it was to make it look like there was going to be a landing the next day). Sure enough the strike was at another Island. We would fly in and drop a bomb and of course they would start shooting at us. The next time we threw out a bunch of bottles and stuff and they would start again. About our third time in they got close and shook the plane quite a bit and an engine went out. I felt like here we go again, but the engine started up and the plane captian said we had lost a fuel pump. The skipper wanted to stay but our pilot asked for a course home.

This last part was mostly my story. All of the other crewmen have one of their own. It was back to bread and butter routine but doing a job that I guess we were sent to do and this was a squadron that anyone could be proud to be in. We never mixed with any of the natives on the Islands. They would be on the outer end of the atoll or another strip of it as we roamed all of these Atolls. I don't believe we ever saw any ground over 10 or 15ft. above sea level. You could picture it as a great desert with an Oasis every so often. To get an ovrtview of our operation you could look at a map from Funa Futa up to Sipan and see the area we roamed. The Ellice Islands, the Gilberts, Marshall, Marianas and the Carolines. Our main Bases of operations was Tarawa, Makin and Kwajalein. We had a neat base at Kwajalien. Each crew had a tent like hut and we would all try to keep our space the neatest and clean. We had a beach crew here and the planes stayed on the beach a lot. Once our crew flew out to some friendly Island (I dont know if it even had a name). It was a fun experience for us. We had a fellow along to do the talking, but he went with the officers to I suppose the big wheels of the village. We landed and dropped anchor and they came out in their canoes (outrigers). We took turns going ashore in their little boats. They would laugh and show off for us. I think no one knew what the other was saying but we had a good time. How these people lived was really something. My view was they were almost like a bunch of cattle that would graze along the beach fot tidbits to eat then come back to the village thru the trees grazing and getting stuff to take home. I didn't see even a scrap of cloth. What they wore and the places they lived was all made of leaves and trees.

Back to Kwajalien we knew our tour was ending. The planes were beginning to show their wear and tear and the last battle for any of us was being fought at Sipan. The first three planes finally came and they seemed to have some trouble. They were PBMs and to me they looked to big and bulky for the work we had been doing. They finally got all in and we were on our way home. We got to spend a week at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu and do some partying before boarding a ship (one of those small carriers a plane couldn't land on). We landed in San Diego almost on the day we had left the place last year. As far as I know this was the end of the squadron.
VP-72 History ThumbnailCamera VP-72 passing out a little hardware. The skipper CDR S. J. Lawrence is getting some pinned on. Our pilot is at the far right (Mr. McCary). I believe most of the officers were in on our rescue we are at the back.
VP-72 History ThumbnailCamera This is our replacement plane and the crew who were always on it. Standing left to right: 2nd Radioman James Hartley, Plane Captain Robert R. Seedorf, 2nd Mechanic Rex O. park, Ordnanceman (the man wounded) Gordon W. Sondraker, 1st Radioman R. G. Averitt. The two Officers from the left were Willie (I can't remember his name) and our Navigator. We were in the same compartment when I was on the radio and the Pilot LT McCary. Not in the picture CDR S. J. Lawrence our skipper or any of the several Co-Pilots and the 2nd Ordnanceman when we were shot down John B. Kurkle. The plane we lost was BUNO: 08540.
VP-72 History ThumbnailCamera BUNO: 08510 PPC LT R. L. Finucane. This was the plane that crashed during the rescue and her crew.
VP-72 History ThumbnailCamera Our Island holiday pictured is our pilot Lt McCary.

MishapsMISHAPs: 17 FEB 44 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: Central Pacific Strike: Yes BUNO: 02380 CAUSE: Non combat mission. Wrecked landing at Makin Isl. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [04AUG2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 18 FEB 44 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: Majuro Strike: Yes BUNO: 08506 CAUSE: Not in flight, sank. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [04AUG2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 23 FEB 44 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: North-east of Truk Strike: Yes BUNO: Unknown CAUSE: Navy Dumbo rescued lost Liberator crew. The Dumbo was damaged in landing and had to be destroyed by a DD which rescued and returned personnel. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [06AUG2001]

"VP-72 Summary Page"