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MishapVP-18 MishapMishap

1930's

MishapsMISHAPs: 30 MAR 38 A/C: P2Y-3 Coronado Location: Hawaiin Area Strike: Yes BUNO: 9560 Cause: Engaged in Fleet Maneuvers [28NOV2012]

UPDATE History ThumbnailCameraMishap Crew, etc. Official U. S. Navy Records (National Archives and Records Administration) via Fold3 http://www.fold3.com/ [28NOV2012]


1940's

MishapsMISHAPs: 00 XXX 00 A/C: PBM-3D Marina Location: Seaplane ramp, NAS Saipan Strike: No BUNO: 18-P-8 45211 Cause: Patrol; Launch accident with beaching gear attached; Minor damage Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [26SEP98]


MishapsMISHAPs: 27 APR 44 A/C: PBM-3D Marina Location: NAS Charleston, NC Strike: No BUNO: 45208 Cause: Collision - Major damage Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [Updated 15OCT2003 | 25SEP98]

This aircraft was damaged when struck by a SBD-5 #09747 piloted by 1st.Lt. Joseph S. Wohl, USMCR. The SBD after landing on the 1400-ft runway continued beyond the end of the runway at high speed, first striking an ordance truck, and then colliding with the parked PBM. The ordance truck was hit by the starboard wing of the SBD, then PBM was struck just aft of the waist hatch and was turned around 20-20deg. The SBD, approached the PBM from a direction approximately 235deg, from the final resting place of the SBD.
No injuries.
Major damage to PBM: Tail served. All of the major structural members, bent or otherwise strained, from wings after. The wings were probably displaced from later axcis of the aircraft.


MishapsMISHAPs: 13 APR 44 A/C: PBM-3D Marina Location: NAS Charleston, NC Strike: No BUNO: 45209 Cause: Gunnery training; Cartiage exploded in hot gun <50cal.>; Minor damage Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [25SEP98]

UPDATE "...You list a VP-18 Mishap that occured at NAS Charleston. The aircraft was waiting to be launched and was cut in half as it sat on beach. An incoming plane from Beaufort, GA lost it brakes and hit it. Fortunately, no one was injured. This occurred about a month after the hangfire injured the crewman as listed. At the time I was assigned to the boat crew that brought the airman ashore for transfer to the Naval Hospital in the the shipyard...Harold F Mras hmras@email.com..." [15MAR2000]


MishapsMISHAPs: 04 MAY 44 A/C: PBM-3D Marina Location: SAIPAN Strike: Yes BUNO: 45217 Cause: TAKE OFF ACCIDENT, CAPSIZED & SANK Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [16MAR98]


MishapsMISHAPs: 21 AUG 44 A/C: PBM-3D Marina Location: SAIPAN Strike: Yes BUNO: 45262 Cause: TAXI ACCIDENT, RAN AGROUND, SANK, SUBMERGED FOR 44hrs Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [Updated 15OCT2003 | 16MAR98]

Aircraft: PBM-3D BUNO: 45262
Squadron VP-18
Date: 21 Aug 44 (1800)
Location: Saipan, Marianas Islands
Type: Ran aground

The pilot was attempting to make a mooring buoy in seaplane area. Two unsuccessful passes were made at buoy. On the third attempt the pilot on an effort to make a longer, slower approach, circled wider than his previous passes. He came in close aboard the reef marker believing he was in safe water. The pilot had obviously misinterpreted the markers, which though they are sufficient, are not considered ideal. He ran aground on a coral head during the turn into the wind line. Engines were cut and attempt was made to pump water, but bilge pumps would not work. Pilot failed to call tender either on voice or visually to notify duty officer of accident, and abandoned ship without closing all water tight doors. Submerged for 44 hours: "Strike"

Pilot to be grounded for one month from date of accident as disciplinary action.

Crew Ok

Pilot ENS Lowell H. Conrow, USNR
AMM2 Emory P. Reeder, USNR
AMM3 Rovert R. Turner, USNR
AMM3 Joseph W. Tihero, USNR
AMM3 Donald H. Rule, USNR
AMM3 Lionel T. Plouffe, USNR


MishapsMISHAPs: 15 MAY 45 A/C: PBM-5 Marina

UPDATE "...The Stumpf Affair & The Changing Culture of the U.S. Navy by RADM Clarence A. 'Mark' Hill Jr. USN (Ret.) - Copyright 1 April 2003..." WebSite: The New Totalitarians http://www.newtotalitarians.com/TheBobStumpfAffair.html [19DEC2005]

To many who have not themselves been exposed to the exigencies of rescue efforts in a combat environment, the idea that a possible failure in accomplishment could lead to thoughts of suicide, as author Amy Yarsinske speculated, may be seen as stretching a point. The fact of the matter is that rescue and/or recovery of wounded is part and parcel of what U.S. military people are trained for. Two examples are cited.

On 15 May, 1945, USS RAY (SS271), on her 7th war patrol en route to her assigned area in the Yellow Sea, was proceeding submerged headed northeast off the west coast of Kyushu. Surfacing just after dark, and quite by chance as RAY's Communication & Gunnery officer, I had stepped into the radio-shack prior to taking the watch on the bridge as scheduled. A new VHF frequency had been established for aircraft in distress to use when well within enemy waters in an attempt to contact a friendly submarine, but submarines were not required to guard it on a continuous basis. Upon tuning it in a faint call for help was heard from a Martin PBM "Mariner" patrol bomber. Establishing verbal contact the lead patrol plane commander reported that one of their squadron aircraft that had been downed by Japanese fighters, had survivors in the water clinging to their life rafts in heavy seas and appealed for help. Reported this to the bridge then in the process of being cleared, diving again to avoid a fast closing aircraft contact subsequently identified as friendly by IFF and the PBM with whom I had made contact.

RAY's captain, Commander William T. Kinsella, USNA Class 1934, ordered his communicator to maintain contact with the lead PBM and relay instructions as he surfaced RAY and took the conn on the bridge. Survivors were 25 miles southwest of RAY's position, in mountainous seas, with a wind force of 20 knots. The lead PBM elected to remain over RAY while directing the second PBM to remain over survivors dropping flares as necessary to provide an aim point in the black night. With RAY making turns for 15 knots but recording only 8 knots over the ground with solid water coming over the bridge, with survivors drifting rapidly towards the rocks and with a reef between our position and the life rafts, Bill Kinsella knew that he had a tough job ahead. This was not helped when the defenses of Nagasaki were alerted by RAY's near approach some three hours after making initial contact and its coastal area lighted up with sweeping searchlights accompanied by warning flares.

Using their landing lights the two PBM's lighted the area of the rafts while RAY focused her searchlight on the survivors so that in his approach with the heavy sea running the Captain would not run them down while making a lee for their recovery by our rescue crew on deck. It was midnight and the survivors had been in the water at a temperature of 58 degrees since noon of that day. Already exhausted fighting wind and water coated with oil, much of which they had swallowed, none were in a condition to climb aboard RAY with the heavy seas sweeping over the deck without the help of our sailors, two of whom were swept overboard themselves but were quickly recovered. One survivor so exhausted he was almost lost but pulled up by the hands of the crew as Bill Kinsella closed on him with RAY then just 3,000 yards from the rocks.

We recovered ten men. Three were lost shortly after their aircraft had been ditched, ending in a trough successfully only because the enemy attack had damaged both engine and control surfaces precluding a landing into the wind where the 30-40 foot high waves would have destroyed it upon impact. As their tactics were to patrol in pairs for mutual support their sister PBM had already been lost with no survivors in the first enemy attack. It remained for their squadron's evening patrol to conduct the search but with the sea conditions encountered there was no way that a PBM, even though a seaworthy flying boat, could have made a successful recovery.

Bill Kinsella's courage, perseverance and ship handling skill made the rescue possible while risking his ship and men in so doing, but that was no different than the even greater risk taken during an attack on enemy ships. One can hardly argue that saving our own is less important than killing the enemy under those circumstances. That was recognized through the endorsements to RAY's Seventh War Patrol Report all the way up the chain of command to Commander, Submarines Pacific Fleet; as well as the message of appreciation received from VPB-18. The survivors were transferred to the USS POMPON (SS267) for safe return so that RAY could continue on patrol.

UPDATE "...Irving Marr..." http://www.angelfire.com/az/MarrHollow/IrvingMarr.html [07NOV2005]
PATROL BOMBING SQUADRON 18
c/o FLEET POST OFFICE
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

Now that the war is over, and censorship has been relaxed, the personnel of VPB-18 wish to pay tribute to some of its members who made the supreme sacrifice, in the Okinawa campaign.

Every member of the squadron knew how vastly important to the war effort the patrol plane had become in the operation. Ours was the job of cutting off the home island of Japan from all outside aid, in the form of raw materials and other supplies which were being shipped in from China and the captured islands to the South. This entailed long arduous patrols through adverse weather conditions , at all hours of the day and night. Strong enemy resistance resulted in bullet riddled planes returning to base day after day, with crews worn out from the terrific pace that was set. True, it was no picnic, but the job had to be done, and how well it was done will live long in Naval history. Ours was a big contribution, but we also had to pay the price which goes with war. We would like to tell the story of two crews who helped make our enviable record possible. Due to losses of personnel in the engagement, the action of each individual concerned cannot be told. We will speak of them as crews, but they, each individually, will be remembered with reverence.

At 0630 on the morning of 15 May, two PBM Mariner seaplanes of Patrol Bombing Squadron Eighteen took off from Kerama Retto, Okinawa, on a routine search and reconnaisance mission of the Tsushima Straits area. The crews of these two planes consisted of:

Lt,(jg)I. E. Marr, Ensign K W Wagner, Ensign H. Robuck, Wahl, J.D. Amm3c, Waite, L. Amm3c, Esler, R.L. Amm3c, Priest, A.F. Amm3c, Arney, C.L. Jr. ARM3c, Barnes, H.D. ARM3c, Carroll, J.V. aAom3c, Taylor and C.W.AOM3c.

Lt. M. Hart, Lt. E. Dixon, Ensign Rumberg, Ensign Hecht, Worley, C.L. Aom3c, Parshall, R.C. Amm2c, Spring, K.E. Amm3c, Day, E.J. Jr. AMMF3c, Decain, D.D. ARM2c, Clark, J.H. ARM3c, Morey, R.F. AOM2c, Armnecht, R.H. AOM3c, Graf and R.G. AOM3c.

At 1045 the flight sighted a 200 freighter off the coast of Kamino Shima in the Tsushine Straits. LT. MARR made the first run staffing the decks with his bow turret, and dropping two bombs, which straddled the ship. Lt. Hart followed close behind and dropped one bomb, also a near miss. They both made several more runs and liberally sprayed the target with their machine guns. At that point, the ship was dead in the water and sinking fast, so they abandoned it to its fate, and continued on patrol.

Some 10 miles north, they encountered a large freighter of about 3500 tons. LT. MARR again made the first run on this choice target. He dropped a string of seven bombs all that remained after his 1st attack. Of these two were direct hits, one forward and the other aft of the superstructure. There followed an explosion, with smoke, flame, and debris rising to a height of 300 feet. The ship lay dead in the water and is LT HART turned to follow up the attack, the entire ship exploded with extreme violence and literally disintegrated.

Almost immediately the flight spotted another, still larger, freighter about ten miles to the north. It was estimated at about 4000 tons. LT HART made the first attack on this target and scored a very near miss with a 500 pound jbomb which rocked the ship violently. Serious underwater damage must have resulted from this and in conjuncture with machine gun fire from both planes, the ship was soon laying helplessly in the water, billowing smoke, and slowly rolling over on its side. As LT. HART started to make a second bombing run, his port engine started cutting out, so he was forced to break away, and start for home. He later discovered that gunfire from the ship had hit his engine, and damaged it. He dumped all spare gear over the side, and all ammunition except 200 rounds per gun, which had to be saved in case of fighter attacks on the way home.

As the two planes came abreast of Kamino Shima again they passed through a rain squall. Coming out of the squall, LT (jg) MARR spotted a group of enemy fighters below him. Both planes started down for the water, a much better place to fight a seaplane, than up high. At about 1000 feet a Jap plane made a bow on run on LT MARR'S plane. The PBM's Starboard engine was hit, and started to flame. His bow gunner, meanwhile was pouring out a deadly fire with his twin 50 calibers. The Jap plane fell off on a wing and was seen to crash into the sea. It is supposed that the Jap's bullets found their mark in the PBM cockpit, as well as hitting the engine, for MARR's plane immediately entered a steep dive from which it never recovered. It crashed near the spot where the Jap had hit, and exploded sending up a column of smoke and water 300 feet high.

At that point, Lt Hart was left alone with 9 Jap fighters to contend with. It must be remembered that he was operating with one engine, and had only 200 rounds per gun. The Japs came in 2 or 3 at a time, and all the turrets pourted out their fire in answer. In the next 45 minutes of the running fight, the crew members saw 5 Japs go down trailing smoke. The remaining four Japs became obviously discouraged at the apparent indestrutibility of the PBM, and their own mounting losses, and discretely withdrew to safer territory.

HARTS's elevator controls had been shot out in the engagement, however, and his plane continued to settle toward the ocean. The waves were 30 to 40 feet high and due to the lack of control, a very rough forced landing was made. Five bounces were made before the plane finally came to rest. The third of these was so violent, that all the instruments in the panel popped out, scattering glass and parts in the pilots laps. On subsequent bounces a wingtip float was carried away. Both pilots later stated that it was little short of a miracle that a safe ditching was made with conditions as they were

Word for abandon ship was passed, and rubber rafts were broken out. All men abandoned ship, but remained in the water approximately 3/4 of an hour holding on to boats, since three of the Jap planes had returned and were buzzing the downed plane, without straffing however.

After the enemy planes left, five men crowded into each of the two remaining 4 man life rafts. They had difficulty in rescuing three other members of the crew, Ensign Hecht, Day and Morey, due to the rough seas, and the high winds. The men in the rafts finally became exhausted by their efforts to fight the 40 knot wind and could not reach the men still in the water. When last seen they disappeared behind a large swell.

The men in the boats all soon developed sickness from all the salt water, and gasoline they had swallowed. The rough sea kept capsizing the boats, sand all in all they spent a bad night at sea. At 6:30 in the evening they were spotted by two planes sent out by this squadron, but it was not until early the next morning that a submarine arrived on the scene. All hands were so sick and weak, they had to be carried on board the submarine.

The rescue was affected two (2) miles off the shore of the enemy held island of Shiro Shima, one of the small islands of Goto Retto, off the west coast of Kyuchu.

UPDATE "...I'm writing a chapter in a book concerning the combat of 2 PBMs of VPB-18 on 15 May 1945. One was shot down into the sea with all crews lost (LtJg) William H. Marr. The other PBM was piloted by Lt Marvin Hart, who was hit and had to ditch near the coast of Kyushu. They were attacked by 6 George fighters of the elite 343rd Naval Air Group.

When Hart ditched, his men scrambled into the choppy sea and clung to rubber rafts. Three Georges appeared overhead. The flight leader CPO Takumi Sugitaki saw the men struggling in the water and felt pity for them. He had been shot down into the sea in the Marshall Islands in 1943 and also crash landed in Tokyo Bay in December 1944. So he took pity on Hart's crew and did not strafe them. It was customary for Japanese pilots to strafe Americans in their parachutes and in the water. Because he withheld his fire, his wingmen did also. And that is why they survived the war.

Sugitaki and another pilot are alive today. I would like to make contact with Hart's PBM crew if they can be located. I want to get their recollections to balance this story. I'm also looking for photos of the two PBMs and their crews to illustrate my book.

I sent a couple of emails to Raymond Armknecht recently, but he never responded. He was on Hart's crew; he was the bow gunner. Ray had last sent me an email message on 25 January 1999.

The leader of the 6 Georges was Lt(jg) Akio Matsuba, an 18 victory ace. A PBM gunner put a bullet in his foot and he was forced with withdraw. Thatput him out of the war. Mr. Matsuba came with other Zero pilots to NAS Miramar in 1971 as a guest of the American Fighter Aces Association. They played golf and had a wonderful time.

Mr. Matsuba passed away in 1993 I think. I had written to him asking him about the details of this combat. He was in ill health at the hospital. He told his brother to tell me that he saw a couple of parachutes from Marr's PBM and that he did NOT strafe the men in the water.

If anyone cares to respond to me directly, my email address is...Shipmate Requested Name Removal (SEE: SPAM Summary Page) [Shipmate E-Mail Removed 15DEC2002 | 21JUL2000]

UPDATE "...MY FATHER JACK D. WAHL WAS KIA IN THE STRAITS OF TSHUMINA. UNTIL TODAY I WAS TOLD HIS SQUADRON WAS EMBARKED ON USS INTREPID. TODAY I FOUND OUT IT WAS USS St. George (AV-16) WITH VP-18. I READ THE HISTORY OF THE SQUADRON AND THE DATE 5/15/45 WAS DESCRIBED IN THE LOG AND FOR THE FIRST TIME I NOW HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT HAPPENED ALMOST SIXTY YEARS AGO. IF ANYONE KNEW MY FATHER I WOULD APPRECIATE HEARING FROM THEM. HE WAS A CREWMEMBER IN LT. MARR'S PLANE...JOHN R. WAHL jwahl@knology.net..." [14DEC2004]


MishapsMISHAPs: 30 MAY 45 A/C: PBM-5 Marina Location: KERAMA RUTTO Strike: Yes BUNO: 59029 CAUSE: TAXI ACCIDENT WITH PBM-5, 59043 Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [30MAR98]


1950's

MishapsMISHAPs: 18 OCT 53 A/C: P2V P Neptune LOCATION: NAS Keflavik, Iceland TYPE: Ditched SRIKE: Yes DEATHS: LCDR C. F. Molusky, LT J. F. Rosemary, ENS D. A. Oordt, ADC J. T. Clements, AT3 R. J. Bentz, AT3 T. W. Cook, AO3 G. L. Hansen, AT3 D. L. Maas, and ALCA G. B. Krebsbach BUNO: 124901 CAUSE: Engine failure after take-off, ditched 50mi sw of Iceland Contributed by Curtis R. Shields crshields@tds.net [11FEB99]

UPDATE "...17 Dec 1953: A VP-3 P2V-5 Neptune, BuNo 124901, and its crew of nine crashed on the Myrdalsjokull Glacier, Iceland. Rescue crews were able to extract only one body from the wreckage before storms sealed it in the ice. The wreckage was spotted again in October 1981, 500 yards from the glacier's edge. The bodies of the eight remaining crewmen were recovered from the ice by the Icelandic Lifesaving Association and returned to the United States..." WebSite: http://www.verslo.is/baldur/p2/VP3-history.htm [02JUL2004]


1960's

MishapsMISHAPs: 16 JAN 64 A/C: P2V-7neptune.gif LOCATION: NAS Jacksonville, Florida

UPDATE History ThumbnailCameraVP-18 Mishap "...They Walked Away - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 21 - NO 44 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 23 JAN 1964..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [27MAR2011]

UPDATE History ThumbnailCameraVP-18 Mishap "...Busy Week Puts VP-18 In Limelight Overshadowed By P2V Crash Landing - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 21 - NO 44 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 23 JAN 1964..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [27MAR2011]


MishapsMISHAPs: 00 XXX 68 A/C: P2V-7neptune.gif LOCATION: NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Type: Mechanical Strike: No DEATHS: 00 BUNO: Unknown CAUSE: Landing Gear Problem Contributed by Rich Olson 4rich@nycap.rr.com [25JAN98]

UPDATE "...We either blew a tire on landing or it was flat when we landed. We ran off the runway and into the arresting gear housing blockhouse and totally destroyed the aircraft. Tore the starboard wing about off, collapsed the gear on the port side, and slid a good piece down the runway. Fortunately there was no fire or injuries, and it was not even our bird. We had taken the ready one aircraft that day! The regular crew was not too happy!..." Contributed by Rich Olson 4rich@nycap.rr.com [25JAN98]

UPDATE "...VP-18 Mishap at NS Roosevelt Roads, PR. I was on the A/C. Lt. Quackenbush was in the left seat. After coming to a stop and everyone got out, they put a tire on the starboard main and towed the A/C to the ramp. The A/C was scrapped. Several months later we received an engine in the can from it. It had never been overhauled. NARF crew from NAS Norfolk, Virginia came down and dismantled servicable parts..." Contributed by John Bobbitt RETBBSTACR@JUNCT.COM [10FEB99]

UPDATE "...I'm looking for a PBM Association if it exists. In particular, I am wishing to know the details of VPB-18's loss of two PBMs to Japanese fighters on 5-15-45. The pilots were Lt(jg) I.E. Marr and Lt. M.E. Hart. Hart was rescued along with some of his crew. They were picked up by a submarine which was directed to them by VPB-21's Lt. Bailey and Kalemaris. Thank you for any info you can send my way!...Shipmate Requested Name Removal (SEE: SPAM Summary Page) [Shipmate Removed 15DEC2002]..."

UPDATE "...I received an e-mail message from a gentleman who was on one of the PBMs...he said to write him later... Thank you very much!...Shipmate Requested Name Removal (SEE: SPAM Summary Page) [Shipmate Removed 15DEC2002]..." [02APR99]


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