VPNAVY VP-9 Mishap - Soviet Shot Down 22JUN55 - No Loss Of Life
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MishapVP-117 MishapMishap

1940's

MishapsMISHAPs: 06 JUN 44 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: NAAS Camp Kearny, California Strike: Yes BUNO: 32073 Cause: Authorized scheduled flight. Weather conditions: Instrument. The flight was given a special I.F.R. clearance without the knowledge of the Squadron Commander and without any authorization from Bombing Squadron 117 to operations, U. S. Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Camp Kearney, Ca. That this flight was cleared with Lt(jg) Royce C. Timmons A-V(N) USNR, as senior pilot, and neither Kearney Field nor Fleet Air Wing 4 were cognizant of the change in pilot's clearance until after the crash. The pilot did not carry out existing instructions for Special I.F.R. clearance, having entered the overcast immediately after take-off at the west end of the field on a course of zero-zero-zero magnetic. It is believed after entering the overcast in a left turn, it changed to a northerly direction, and broke out on top of the overcast, reentered and came out below between Camp Miramar and Camp Kearney, headed in a southeasterly direction. The plane again reentered the overcast over Camp Kearney Field and came out in a steep dive to wanting 100-ft or less of the ground over Camp Linda Vista . A sharp recovery was made from this dive and it again re-entered the overcast in a forty-five degree climb on a northwesterly heading. Very shortly thereafter, it appeared for the final time, headed south. The plane rocked from side to side in a progressive power stall, the left wing contacted the ground after which it continued through trees and buildings in its path. A gasoline explosion occurred one or two seconds after final impact. The fuselage broke just aft of the after bomb bay. The after section, in which three of the survivors were located, was thrown over the remainder of the aircraft to a position of approximately one-hundred feet beyond the remainder of the plane. Plane crew & passengers: Pilot Lt(jg) John Golden A-V(N) USNR/Killed, Ens Hugo Cloyce Cloud USN/Killed, Aom2c Theodore Raymond Nixon USNR/Killed, Amm2c Glen Martin Harris USN/Killed, Sea1c George Leroy Smith USN/Killed, Rm3c Lewis Leon Lutler USNR/Killed, Amm2c Robert Luther Fowler USNR/Killed, Sea1c Ulie Steve Spangler USN/Killed, Rm2c Frank Liska USN/Killed, Amm3c Donald Crawford USN/Killed, Rm3c Samuel Robert Cusumano USN/Killed, Sea1c Joseph Ferreira USNR/Killed, Amm3c Walter P. Gorton/Seriously Inj, Aom3c James M. Worthington/Seriously inj, and Sea1c Cleo E. Jarrett/Seriously inj. Personnel in building that was hit: Acom Edward Ralph Lamberton (PA) USN/Killed, Aomt2c Lawrence Earl Dodge USN/Killed, Amm2c William Jesse Harrison (GA) USNR/Seriously inj, Arv3c Vincent Paul Hornlack USNR/Seriously inj, Rm3c Edward Guy Woodward USNR/Killed, Amm3c John Daniel Fuller USNR/Killed, and Rm3c Henry Ignatius Ladowski USN/Killed. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [09SEP2000]


MishapsMISHAPs: 09 AUG 44 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: NAAS Camp Kearny, California Strike: Yes BUNO: 38739 Cause: Test following 12-hr check and familiarization. Take-off for local test flight and after tests were completed a normal landing was made. Pilot continued the flight for further testing and shake down prior to Trans-Pac flight. Pilot made a normal landing and a second take-off was made and aircraft circled the field and approached for landing. A no flap landing was made and touched down in first 500-ft of the 6000-ft runway. Plane overshot the end of the runway and ran across a sod area, then struck a drainage ditch some 200-ft from end of concrete. Plane badly damaged. Probable Strike. Crew ok. Pilot LT(jg) H. B. Heard, RM2 J. L. Summers/Minor Injury, AMM1 W. C. Kellogg and AMM3 J. L. Craig. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [29SEP2001]

UPDATE "...My Grandfather, John L. Summers Jr., served with VP-117 during WWII. Grandpa was also involved in two mishaps listed (VP-117 - August and November 1944). I am writing a research paper for my senior thesis about the untold stories of the Blue Raiders. If anyone from the Blue Raiders would be willing to be interviewed please contact me. Thanks you. Ashley Reynolds ashleysreynolds@live.com..." [05MAR2009]


MishapsMISHAPs: 12 NOV 44 A/C: PB4Y-1D PB4Y-1 Location: Unknown Strike: Yes BUNO: 38760 Cause: Hit by AAA while on patrol plane was hit by shore bases AAA in the #1 engine which flamed immediately and was extinguished by cutting off fuel supply. Approximately thirty miles from the base - #2 and #4 engines quit due to lack of fuel. Pilot ditched the plane which broke into three pieces. Of the seven survivors, five were seriously injured, while five other perished in this disaster. "Strike" Crew: Pilot LT Herbert G. Box/Seriously Injured, ENS Albert Pedretti A-V(N)/Minor Injured, ENS Kenneth L. Henry A-V(N)/Seriously Injured, AMM1 Wayne C. Kellogg/Killed, AMM3 John L. Craig/Killed, ART1 James G. Carlin/Seriously Injured, RM2 John L. Summers/Seriously Injured, RM3 Samuel M. Bagesl/Killed, SEA1 Robert E. Lamar/Seriously Injured, SEA1 John G. Presley/Minor Injured, AOM2 Basil G. Martin/Missing and AOM2 W. R. Pierson/Missing. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [Updated 01MAR2002 | Updated 23OCT2001 | 03OCT2000]

UPDATE "...My Grandfather, John L. Summers Jr., served with VP-117 during WWII. Grandpa was also involved in two mishaps listed (VP-117 - August and November 1944). I am writing a research paper for my senior thesis about the untold stories of the Blue Raiders. If anyone from the Blue Raiders would be willing to be interviewed please contact me. Thanks you. Ashley Reynolds ashleysreynolds@live.com..." [05MAR2009]

UPDATE "...My name is John L. Summers. I was an ARM1C and Aerial Gunner in VB-117 at commissioning 2/1/44. Shortly after heading overseas in August 1944 we were redesignated VPB-117. I served in the squadron until 11/12/44 when our aircraft was hit by anti aircraft fire over Muko Jima (north of Iwo Jima) resulting in our crashing into the sea after dark. We lost 5 of our 12 man crew during ditching..." Contributed by John L. Summers JSummersSr@aol.com [27JUL2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 05 DEC 44 PB4Y-1PB4Y-1 LOCATION: Leyte STRIKE: Yes BUNO: 38823 CAUSE: Not in flight - Ground collision;No inj. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [25OCT2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 28 JAN 45 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Formosa and the China Coast Strike: Yes BUNO: 38738 Cause: Shot Down. On 28 January LT(jg) Robert E. White, Jr., and crew were shot down while on a patrol to Formosa and the China Coast. The copilot and five crew members survived the crash and remained prisoners-of-war until after V-J Day. [24NOV2011]

UPDATE "...My brother, AMM2 John Roberson Parker, was a mechanic/gunner who replaced a regular crew member on a bombing mission January 28, 1945 off the coast of Formosa in a PB4Y-1 (BUNO: 38738). They were based at Jinamoc Seaplane Base, San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf, Philippines and were shot down off the coast of Formosa. Four crew members were killed at crash landing. One died a few days later. The remaining were taken prisoner by the Japannese. The Navigator, Jack Bertrang, was sent to Tokyo for medical as well as interigation as they thought he could furnish information for them. He, alone was the only one to survive hostilities and return home at wars end. The remaining five were placed in prison at Taihoku Prison #5 with eight other Army and Navy flyers. They were given a mock war tribunal, pronounced guilty of idescriminant bombing and sentenced to death by firing squad. On June 19, 1945 they were all marched to the inside of the outer wall of the prison and killed by a Japanese army firing squad. This traversity of justice of not known until the end of the war and Japanese documents were discovered in Shanghai, China and made public. I have Japanese and American documents to substantiate all my statements. The person who my brother replaced for the mission was reported to have been shot which was the reason for replacement. I also have a letter written by Jack Bertrang after he returned home after hostilities and in which he stated that the last time he saw my brother or any of the crew was when their plane crashed he stated he swam with my brother until they were picked up and beaten with baseball bats. I have also been to Taiwan and saw the wall of the prison where the flyers were held..." Charles D. Parker bparker150@aol.com [24NOV2011]


MishapsMISHAPs: 17 FEB 45 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Philippine Islands Strike: Yes BUNO: 38741 Cause: Mechanical failure. Ditched near Bilian Island due to failure of both port engines. Pilot Lt Homer B. Heards and crew ok. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [28NOV2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 23 FEB 45 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Philippine Islands Strike: Yes BUNO: 38891 Cause: Mechanical failure. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [28NOV2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 14 MAR 45 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Philippine Islands Strike: Yes BUNO: 38863 Cause: Combat mission. On approach to locomotive target, plane clipped, tree top with leading edge. Plane returned to base and was surveyed."Strike" Pilot Sullivan and crew ok. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [29NOV2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 22 JUN 45 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Mindoro, Philippines Strike: Yes BUNO: 38934 Cause: Crashed at sea shortly after take-off. Wingtip struck a tree and plane continued in flight to a point 9mi.SE of the strip, where it crashed into the sea. Crew Killed: Pilot Lt(jg) Stanley W. Sayre USNR, Ens Marcellus F. Brownlee A-V(N) USNR, Ens Joseph H. Taylor A-V(N) USNR, AMM3c Leo J. Walkowisk USNR, AMM2c John J. Foley USNR, ARM1c Jordan M. Nicholas USNR, ARM1c Alfred Verner Peterson USNR, ARM2c Harry W. Klotz USNR, AOM2c Peter L. Leydecker, Jr. USNR, AOM3c Homer B. hanson USNR, ARM3c Ronald E. Ball USNR, and ARM3c Thomas E. Thompson USNR. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [18DEC2001]


MishapsMISHAPs: 01 JUL 45 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Mindoro Strait Strike: Yes BUNO: 38907 Cause: Combat Mission Contributed by David Irving Stark starkdi@aol.com [04MAR2011]

History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailCamera History "...My father, Irving Rudolph Stark, was tailgunner on a PB4Y2 with VPB-117. I have picture of my dad's crew and information on their last flight when they were shot down and only three members of crew survived and were taken prisoners by Japanese. Mishap was on July 1, 1945. Pilot was Robert Hepting..." Contributed by David Irving Stark starkdi@aol.com [04MAR2011]

UPDATE "...I recently met with the family of ARM2c Fisher, a member of the crew of a PB4Y-1 Liberator, BuNo 38907, lost 1 July 1945. Mr. David Stark contributed a photo of the crew to your website. The crew names associated with #8 and #9 are switched. Leonard Cornelius Fisher is actually #9 and Peter Alfred Hourcade is actually #8 in the photo. Is it possible to note the error so the two crewmembers are correctly identified. ARM2c Fisher's family provided me with a photograph that confirmed the identity of ARM2c Fisher. Thank you..." Contributed by Dr. Cynthia A Chambers cynthia.chambers@osd.mil [28FEB2014]

UPDATE "...Letter that was written by Donna Gross, the wife of the copilot Donald Gross. It tells some of Joe Louderís story of the crash and the three survivors' imprisonment in Saigon..." Contributed by Thomas Hepting thomashepting@gmail.com [21JUL2012]

Photograph's LEFT to RIGHT: Letter from Donna Gross (30SEP45), Letter from Donna Gross (30SEP45), Letter from US Navy (14SEP46) and Letter from US Navy (14AUG60)

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


UPDATE "...Nephew of Robert Hepting, killed in action 1 July 1945, pilot in VP-117. Also I flew for the Navy, underwater as a Submariner..." Contributed by Thomas Hepting thomashepting@gmail.com [19JUL2012]

MishapsMISHAPs: 04 JUL 45 A/C: PB4Y-1 PB4Y-1 Location: Philippines Strike: Yes BUNO: 38882 Cause: Combat Mission - Mechanical failure. Pilot Lt William C. Luce & crew ok. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [18DEC2001]


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