VPNAVY VP-9 Mishap - Soviet Shot Down 22JUN55 - No Loss Of Life
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MishapVP-103 MishapMishap

1940's

MishapsMISHAPs: 10 APR 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Mojave Air Station, Mojave, CA BUNO: 32017 Cause: Plane was being flown from the left side by Ens.Peterson with Crossman on the right side and Lucas between them on the jump seat. Pilot made a high approach and attempted to lose sufficient altitude to land by completely throttling the engines. This condition was maintained long enough that the engines failed to respond in the attempted pull-out. the engines, having become loaded during the long no power glide, failed to respond to rapid application of throttles. With no power available and plane settling fast, Peterson throttled back and landed half way down the runway (5000-ft). He was unable to bring plane to a stop before running out of runway. The nose wheel and port landing gear buckled as plane ran off runway into sand and shallow depression. Damage:Port landing gear sheared off. Nose wheel sheared off. Fuselage badly torn and mangled from bow to station 4.2. Propellers bent.Plane:DBR, Engines need maj overhaul. Crew OK. Pilot Lt(jg) Tony A. Lucas A-V(N) USNR, Ens Lawrence M. Petersen A-V(N) USNR, AP1c James A. Crossman, Rm1c George H. Rock V-3, Amm3c Ray P. Robinson V-6, Amm3c james C. King, and Rm3c Lloyd C. Jones. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [20AUG2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 24 JUN 43 A/C: PB4Y PB4Y-1 Location: North Atlantic Strike: Yes BUNO: 32046 Cause: Took-off at 0102. In radio communication with base at 0430 and last communication was exchange of signals at 0600. Mission was convoy coverage, approx. seven-hundred miles northeast of base. Failed to return. Com Fleet Air Wing Seven, says: The evidence of the presence of an enemy submarine in patrol area at that time together with known present tendency of submarines to remain surfaced and defend themselves by anti-aircraft gun fire when attacked from the air tends to support the theory that the subject plane may have been shot down during an attack. The ability and experience of Lt.Reese is to be noted, with such a pilot it is improbable that the plane crashed due to flying errors. Missing in Action. Crew MIA. Pilot Lt Hubert Kearsley Reese,Jr. A-V(N) USNR, Ens Willis Albert Schafer A-V(S) USNR, AP1c Walter Erwin Hedtke USN, Aom1c Raymond Rainsfield Ross USN, Rm1c Norman Edward Rendall USN, Amm2c Richard Franklin Sinopsin USNR, ART2c Melville Lucius Dickerson USNR, Aom2c Robert Thomas Douglas USNR, Amm3c Harold Fermen Valenquela USNR, and Rm2c Henry Edward Wittlake USNR. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [20AUG2001]

UPDATE "...Of interest VP-103 aircraft lost 24JU43 - See Yuma County Colorado Veterans Memorial on Internet. Crewman Henry W. Wittlake was lost on this mission. Aircraft apparently shot down by U-271. On http://uboat.net/ a unknown aircraft is listed as having been shot down by this UBoat on this date...P. Fazzini fazzinpa@muohio.edu..." [24JUN2003]


MishapsMISHAPs: 07 AUG 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Buris Peninsula, Newfoundland Strike: Yes BUNO: 32037 Cause: Plane observed by fisherman in slow right turn, followed by violent left spiral, hitting the sea and exploding. Crew killed: Pilot LT(jg) Walter Bruce Henry A-V(N) USNR, ENS Rex Irwin Beach A-V(S) USNR, ENS James Gray Hamilton A-V(N) USNR, RM3 Dennis Norman Ford V-6 (fo) USNR, RM3 Frank Charles Sorenson (fo) USN, AMM3 Winford Fred McVeo V-2 (fo) USNR, AOM3 Charles Branch, Jr. (fo) USN, AOM3 Orion Dewey Snow (fo) USN, AMM3 William Louis Denny V-6 (fo) USNR, RM3 Raymond Russell Gardner V-3 (fo) USNR and AERM2 Robert Francis Gerst V-2 USNR. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [22AUG2001]

UPDATE History ThumbnailCameraEnsign James Gray HAMILTON Contributed by Alvin D. Grady agrady@cpinternet.com [11SEP2011]

UPDATE "...On August 7th, 1943 a PB4Y-1 assigned to VP-103 was lost during an approach to Buris Peninsula, Newfoundland. AMM3 Winford Fred McVEO was the only body recovered - WebSite: http://www.findagrave.com/..." Contributed by Phil Fazzini fazzinpa@muohio.edu [21NOV2009]

History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail

MishapsMISHAPs: 02 SEP 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Bay of Biscay Strike: Yes BUNO: 32033 Cause: Oil slick sighted containing two tires with struts, oxygen bottles, dinghy inverted and two uninflated dinghy's, but no sign of life. There is a possibility that the plane either: (A) Crashed at sea due to enemy action (B)mechanical failure. Crew missing: Pilot LT Keith W. Wicktrom, ENS Carlyle K. Martin, AP1 Leslie R. Perry, AMM1 Nels M. LaRue, RM2 Wallace B. Wadsworth, AOM2 Richard J. Olsen, AMM3 Wallace B. Marshburn, SEA2 Jack N. Rubin and RM3 Morris Steinberg USNR. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [22AUG2001]

UPDATE "...My brother, SEA2 Jack N. Rubin, was a tail gunner aboard the VP-103 PB4Y-1 that was lost September 2nd, 1943 while attacking the German U-Boat U-669 over the Bay of Biscay. Does anyone know the aircraft's nickname? Thank you..." Contributed by Joan Rubin Coakley skyrader@comcast.net [18OCT2012]

UPDATE "...In regard to fate of PB4Y-1 BUNO: 32033 (VP-103) lost 02SEP43 - http://uboat.net/ has a report of a loss of U-669 in the Bay of Biscay 08SEP43 (Missing) - Comentary-could PB4Y-1 BUNO: 32033 have been lost in attack on U-669 which in turn could have been so badly damaged that it sank between 02SEP43 and 08SEP43?...P. Fazzini fazzinpa@muohio.edu..." [14JUL2003]


MishapsMISHAPs: 04 SEP 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Near Cape Finisterrej, Spain Strike: Yes BUNO: 32022 Cause: Plane was attacked by six JU-88's and ditched at sea. After thirty-six hours crew picked up by a fishing boat and taken to Corcubion, arrived in Madrid 11 Sep. Air Ministry agrees to permit there repatriation via Gibraltar Immediately. Crew: Pilot Lt(jg) James H. Alexander, Lt(jg) Paul Bruce Kinney, Ens Donald Barnett (broken shoulder, injured jaw), Acmm Robert F. Hoffman, Acrm Joe T. Guthrie, ????, Terrance E. Tennant, Aom3c.Casimiry Tell (injured back), Sea1c Horward J. Lasseiger, and Sea2c John P. Dowdy. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [22AUG2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 23 SEP 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: St.Eval, UK BUNO: 32039 Cause: Ens.Williamson was flying the plane from the left hand seat. After contacting the tower and receiving permission to land, he entered the traffic circle and made a normal approach. Before landing he received a RED signal from the control truck, so he pulled up and made another approach for a landing. Landing wa made directly into the sun on a camouflaged runway, with a 30deg cross-wind of ten knots. As the plane came over the rise in the middle of the field, pilot noticed a small rock hill in the landing path which he had not been able to distinguish before. Lt. Muckenthaler then took control of the plane and applied starboard brake and outboard #1 engine in an attempt to bring plane back on runway. The planes heading changed, but due to wet grass, plane continued into hill, passing over several ditched, which cut speed down to 60mph. Plane DBR Crew OK. Pilot Lt C. P. Muckenthaler USN, Ens D. S. Williamson A-V(N) USNR, Amm2c C. T. Stocksdale USNR, and Rm3c J. Slohoda USN. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [23AUG2001]

UPDATE "...Dad was George Kenneth Kemper, known as Kemp. Plane #32039 "B" B-6 in VB/VPB-103. In Alan C. Carey's wonderful SB book "U.S. Navy PB4Y-1 (B-24) Liberator Squadrons" here are the cites: Page 25: Dad's picture. Page 36: Wreck photos of B-6. when Lt Williamson and Dads buddy Muckenthaler crashed it. Page 35: Tale of Dads escape from JU-88s 16 Sept 43. Page 150: Data note that B-6 was crashed at St. Eval on 23 Sept 43. I was born 20 Nov 43 and my nickname UNTIL I was 4 was "Bozo" and the 8x15 inch aluminum skin and supports I possess are hand printed BOZO. That is about it. Except that Whiskey Willis was a dear friend of Dads although Willis was by nature flamboyant and my Dad reclusive. I did get to sit in Ikes Oval Office chair courtesy of Mr. Willis. And the meeting we had with him in Miami included two stunning women fit for a portrait on any B-24. That is about all the source material I have and the crash of B-6..." Contributed by Kenneth Tim Kemper crawford3820@aol.com [12JUL2006]


MishapsMISHAPs: 12 NOV 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Bay of Biscay BUNO: 32032 Cause: Combat Mission;Bay of Biscay. Failed to return to base. Message received indicated plane was over enemy submarine, but no position given. Oil slick was later found at the probable position. Probable result of enemy action. Missing crew: Pilot Lt(jg) Ralph Bliss Brownwell A-V(N) USNR, Ens Daniel Anthony Schneider, Cap Ridgeway Kendall Poole USN, Amm1c William English USN, Rm1c Bobbie R. Holladay USNR, Rm3c Walter Nelson Meroney USNR, Aom2c Charles K. McClung USN, Aom2c Eitel, and Sea1c Walter C. Rodgers, Jr. USNR. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [25AUG2001]

UPDATE "...I am friends with a man who was the top ball turret gunner on that mission and he says that although they had to ditch their B-24 in the ocean a couple of miles from where they sank U-508, they (all 10 crew members) got out alive and uninjured. They were rescued by a PBY 72 hours later. He told me that an early report from a PBY search plane, after seeing 2 oil slicks, reported both the sub and B-24 were lost. However 72 hours later the crew of this B-24 were spotted in their life rafts by another PBY and were all rescued. They were attacked by 6 JU-88s as they were bombing the sub and subsequently had to ditch after losing 3 engines. He said he saw the sub break in half shortly before they had to ditch. The JU-88s continued to strafe them in the water but no one was injured. I thought you'd like to know the real story. The crew member was Frank Kittle who is now helping to restore a PBY recently received by an airplane museum on Long Island..." Contributed by Jim Richardson ualjimbo@aol.com [11MAY2007]

UPDATE "...Update on PB4Y-1 BUNO: 32032 of VB-103 according to website "http://www.uboat.com/" on November 12th, 1943 U-508 was attacked by Liberator of VB-103. Both Uboat and aircraft crew were lost...P. Fazzini fazzinpa@muohio.edu..." [15OCT2003]

UPDATE "...I am trying to find some info.on a uncle that disappeared in 1946 with a fleet that was flying over the Atlantic at the time. I have learned that he was in the Navy at one time and also the airforce. Please help. Walter Rodgers was his name. Thanks. Or at least give me the story on what did happen...Traci Robertson traci.robertson@mail.state.ky.us..." [13NOV2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 03 DEC 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Europe BUNO: 32014 Cause: Instrument training. While flying under instrument conditions, plane hit one-hundred feet below the top of a seventeen-hundred foot ridge. Wreckage scattered eight-hundred yards. Plane broke into to main parts; the tail and after fuselage lay scattered two-hundred yards from point of impact and remainder of wreckage lay four-hundred yards away. "Strike" Crew killed: Pilot Tony Anthony Lucas,Jr. A-V(N) USNR, Lt(jg) James Herbert Alexander, Jr. A-V(N) USNR, Ens Donald Barrett Shea A-V(N) USNR, Ens Francis James Buckley A-V(S) USNR, Amm1c Theodore Lemoine Ray USN, Rm2c Wilse Adolph Tgan USN, Amm2c Richard James O'Leary USN, Aom2c William H. Davidson USN, Amm3c Eldret Aloysious Shubert USNR, and Aom2c james Woodrow Laubtnger USNR. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [27AUG2001]

UPDATE "...My Uncle, AOM2 William H. Davidsonn, was lost December 3rd, 1943 during a training mishap while serving with VPB-103. However this was not his plane or crew. He volunteered to replace a sick tail gunner. Some of his original crewmembers where at his memorial service in Norton Va. after the war. I am looking for any information on the plane or crew he was originally assigned to. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Logan Davidson logand9862@aol.com..." [08AUG2009]

UPDATE "...LT TONY A. LUCAS - USNR..." WebSite: HIGH GROUND WRECKS in the UK & Ireland http://members.lycos.co.uk/daveswrecks/photoalbum1.html [13FEB2004]

VP-103 Mishap ThumbnailCamera

On 3rd December 1943, Lt Tony Lucas of VB-103 Squadron USN anti-submarine base at Dunkeswell,Devon, was killed along with 9 crew, when the aircraft he was piloting a PB4Y-1 32014, flew into Steeperton Tor, Nr Okehampton, Devon, on a routine bombing training flight.

MishapsMISHAPs: 13 DEC 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: 3mi.NW, of Broad Clyst, Devon, UK BUNO: 32040 Cause: After eleven hours of flight at an altitude between 1200 and 1500-ft and while attempting to level fuel in main tanks, in accordance with readings of sight gauges, #1 engine failed due to lack of gasoline in #1 system. Pilot made a wheels up landing in a nearby field. Salvage only, reduced to spares. Crew: Pilot Lt.Chester F. Rief USN/Ok, Ens Bruce Higgenbotham (co-pilot)/Minor inj, Amm1c Paul J. Simpson,Jr./Ok, Amm2c Joseph G. Moore,Jr./Ok, Amm2c Anthony P. Montella/Ok, Rm1c Val M. Cummings/Minor inj, Rm2c Arthur J. Leavitte/Ok, Sea1c Thomas J. Gibson,Jr./Ok, Aom2c David W. Offrell/Ok, Aom2c Gerald L.Farrimond/Ok, Ens John P. Rhodes/Minor inj, and Ens Robert Crosby/Ok. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [28AUG2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 29 DEC 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Gibraltar BUNO: 32183 Cause: Fuel exhaustion, bad weather, could not reach base. Plane placed on instruments, and was last seen heading out to sea. Crew bailed out safely. Crew OK. Pilot Ens Philip Randolph Anderson A-V(N) USNR, Ens Brendon O'Mara A-V(S) USNR, Rm2c Thomas H. Finch USNR, Amm3c Max A. Klaus USNR, CAP Eler K. Moore USNR, Amm3c Robert E. Quinn USNR, Rm1c Leonard S. Snope, Acmm Jack Young USN, Amm1c Robert G. Klein USN, and Rm2c Clay M. Masters USNR. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [29AUG2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 15 FEB 44 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Unknown Strike: Yes BUNO: 32191 Cause: Overdue from anti-submarine patrol. Result of enemy action. Pilot Lt(jg) K. L. Wright A-V(N) USNR & crew of 10/missing(no crew listed on accdeint card). Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [31AUG2001]

UPDATE History ThumbnailCameraVPB-103 Mishap Report "...I thought I would send you a update on a crew lost on the 15th February 1944 LT WRIGHT crew. OFFICERS: LT K. L. Wright (OK), LT L. M. Peterson (OK) and ENS R. W. Lacey (OK). CREW: C. F. Lillie (OK), W. E. Middleton (OK), R. A. Zabic (OK), R. C. McDaneil (OK), R. C. Erdman (killed), T. E. Ryan (killed), B. N. Faubion (killed) and R. M. Green (OK)..." David Sharland (Founder) david@davidsharland.wanadoo.co.uk..." [28AUG2012]

UPDATE "...PB4Y-1 BUNO: 32191 on 14FEB44: Ditched in Bay of Biscay...hit by gunfire by Ju-88...Website: US Navy and US Marine Corps Aircraft Serial Numbers and Bureau Numbers--1911 to Present...P. Fazzini fazzinpa@muohio.edu..." [14JUL2003]


MishapsMISHAPs: 20 MAR 44 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Unknown Strike: Yes BUNO: 32209 Cause: Anti-submarine patrol. Disappeared on anti-submarine patrol. Last word heard from plane was SOS at 50-20N 08-04W. Plane then switched on broad IFF. Crew missing. Pilot Lt(jg) Jack Cooper Kessel A-V(N) USNR, Ens Robert E. Holloran A-V(N) USNR, Ens Donald H. Ballard A-V(S) USNR, Amm1c Orville J. Parks USNR, Rm1c Charles B. Newcombe USNR, Aom2c Arthur E. Robinson USNR, Amm3c Albert L. McKinney USNR, Amm2c Robert A. Sayers USNR, Aom2c James S. Curley USNR, Aom3c Cecil L. Meekins USNR, and Rm3c Edward F. Garloff USNR. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [31AUG2001]

UPDATE "...PB4Y-1 BUNO: 32209 on 20MAR44: Location-Lost in Bay of Biscay...Website: US Navy and US Marine Corps Aircraft Serial Numbers and Bureau Numbers--1911 to Present...P. Fazzini fazzinpa@muohio.edu..." [14JUL2003]


MishapsMISHAPs: 27 MAY 44 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England Strike: Yes BUNO: 32201 Cause: Ground engine "Run-in" This aircraft was parked on a hard strip approach from the perimeter track to the hanger, clear of all airplane traffic along the perimeter. With all four engines turned up, with wheels chalked, was hit by taxiing PB4Y-1 #32297 of VB-110, piloted by Ens.McNair during Pilot Qualification flight. Damage to 32201:All engines stoppage. Nose section aft to station #3, destroyed. Fuselage, ruptured num, places, by flying metal. All four propellers bent and torn off. Possible internal damage center section, wings and fuselage out of alignment, crown turret damaged. DBR Damage to 32297;Aircraft has major damage, repairable at local; station. Crew of 32201 OK. Amm(I)2c William C. Kley V-6 USNR, and Amm(C)3c Wayne S. Zehring V-6 USNR. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [04SEP2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 24 NOV 44 A/C: PB4Y-1D PB4Y-1 Location: NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England Strike: Yes BUNO: 32281 Cause: Overshot landing and crash, after aborted take-off Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [03OCT2000]

UPDATE "...During take-off run pilot aborted at 100mph. Brakes were locked, nose wheel collapsed and plane slid on it nose ff the end of the runway. Engines performed normally. Pilot forgot to raise nose of aircraft during take-off. Plane:DBR Crew OK. Pilot Lt William R. Gaines A1 USNR, Lt L. N. Perkerson, Acmm J. I. Kelly, Amm3c I. R. Palmer, Amm3c D. S. Marshall, Rm2c J. V. O'Shea, Rm3c R. J. Mercer, Amm3c R. N. Nelson, and Aom3c J. A. Patrick..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [23OCT2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 09 DEC 44 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England Strike: Yes BUNO: 32200 Cause: Overshot landing, pilot used wrong setting for altimeter, thinking he was 500-ft higher than he really was during landing approach. Landing was made 2000-ft down runway, overshooting, and hitting two hedgerows;DBR Crew OK - Pilot Lt(jg) Robert O. Morgan A-1 USNR, Ens R. L. Pierce USNR, Ens J. W. Dickinson USNR, Amm2c L. M. Edwards USN, Amm3c H. E. McGahee USN, Ammf3c J. A. Kirst USNR, Arm2c J. M. Majestic USNR, Arm3c O. A. Franza USN, Aom2c F. C. Huff USNR, Aom2c R. E. Gochanour USNR, and Aom3c F. M. Kindel USN. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [25OCT2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 27 DEC 44 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: NAF Dunkeswell, Devonshire, England Strike: Yes BUNO: 38704 Cause: Training flight Plane was let down by means of a "Radar talk-down" system until the pilot visually contacted the field at approximately one-half mile from the beginning of the runway at an altitude of three-hundred feet and an airspeed of 140mph. At this time co-pilot applied full flaps, while the first pilot closed all throttles and nosed over this plane as to land as soon as possible. This set probably built up additional airspeed approaching 150mph, which resulted in floating down the runway. During landing roll-out, pilot applied the brakes fully, 1700-ft from end of runway. Plane skidded on ice which had formed on the entire runway, 200-ft from end of runway, pilot attempted a ground-looped and overshot by 150-ft:DBR Crew OK. Pilot Lt Charles M. Weyand USNR, Lt(jg) W. L. Robertson USNR, Lt(jg) G. B. Battersby USNR, Cmdr W. J. Pettens USNR, Amm1c J. O. Wood V-6, Amm3c W. I. Smith V-6, Amm3c J. E. Concaugh V-6, Arm3c J. H. Mooney V-6, Arm3c N. E. Stainbrook V-6, Sea1c W. N. Panos V-6, and Aom3c W. L. Kreuter V-6. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [25OCT2001]


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