19 OCT 46 - In Memorium - 19 OCT 46
October 19, 1946
"Eternal Father Strong To Save"
The Navy Hymn
Sailor Aviators Version
Eternal Father, Strong to Save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its' own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.
Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In dark'ning storms or sunlight fair.
O, Hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air.
But when at length our course is run,
Our work for home and country done,
Of all the souls that flew and sailed,
Let not one life in thee be failed,
But hear from heaven our sailors cry,
And grant eternal life on high.
May all our departed shipmates rest in peace.
Eternal Father by the U.S. Navy Band's Sea Chanters (668 kbytes - WAV file)
LT Stanley H. Castleton, PPC
LTjg John L. Junkin, USN, Co-Pilot Right Seat
LTjg Robert J. Quast, USN, Aeologist, Flight Deck
Ens Donald E. Goerner, NAV, Navigator, Navigation Table
Robert W. Canada, AMMAC1, USN, Plane Captain
Robert W. Cullen, AMMAC2, USN, 2nd Mech
Earl Vasso, ARMAC1, 1st Radioman
James J. Walsh, ARMAC3, USN, 2nd Radioman
Pilot should not have attempted to return flight to base under instrument flight conditions below the minimum safe altitude. Instead the prescribed standard instrument approach should have been resorted to.
ComFairWing 10 ordered a weather reconnaissance plane from VPW-1 detachment at Sangley Point to proceed to Samar, then to 9 degrees N 133 E to 13 N for the purpose of typhoon reconnaissance. CASTLETON took off at 0508. The routine "out" report was sent at 181208Z. The next CW communication was received at 182217Z. During this communication the CW transmission was abruptly interrupted. No further contact was established with the plane.
Since no further communications were established and the plane was overdue returning to its base, search operations commenced on 20 Oct by planes of FAW 10. Wreckage of #55957 was sighted on Mount Banahoa by a search plane on 6 Nov. Plane had crashed at LAT 14-0 Long 121-32 E at about the 3100 foot level of Mount Banahao. In attempting to reconstruct Castleton's flight it is assumed that he proceeded on a direct track to Samar, due to communication difficulties, he had reversed course to return to Sangley Point in accordance with prescribed doctrine and in doing so elected to make the return flight below the scattered clouds that were present over the terrain. Occasional showers were encountered but the flight level made sight contact with the ground possible at all times vertically even while in rain showers. The west wind which prevailed caused left drift that was not corrected for adequately, or not at all caused plane to drift to the left of the proposed track which laid close to eastward of Mount Banahao. It is believed that Casteton may have not closely checked his progress over the ground and therefore, did not realize the nearness too Mount Banahao and entered a rain shower caused by the orographic clouds around the mountain. It was while in this shower that the mountain was struck. The weather at Sangley Point at the time of takeoff was excellent and rained so all day. Cloud buildups, rain, and reduced visibility were encountered by planes flying between Sangley Point and Samar along the route that Castleton was flying. Since a qualified aerologist was on board the plane a statement from the aerology officer at point of departure is not considered to be necessary.
Members of the reporting board did not actually visit the scene of the crash due to its inaccessibility.
The facts contained in this report were obtained from the operations department, FAW 10 who had received information from the Army search party, and the grave registration party who had visited the scene.
"VPW-1 Mishap Summary Page"