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MishapVP-54 MishapMishap


MishapsMISHAPs: 17 DEC 42 A/C: PBY-5 pby Location: Trans-pac flight NAS North Island, San Diego, California to MCAS/NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii Strike: Yes BUNO: 08135 Cause: Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [18JUN2001]

Information obtained from "Naval Aviation Safety Center Aircraft Accident Reports" Roll #25 Card #43-5449.


Adverse high winds-light rain-icing conditions-storming. PBY-5 08135 became separated from two accompanying planes at 0200 17 Dec in bad weather. Last voice contact with accompanying planes, Lt.McCausland reported at 7000-ft on instruments, reducing altitude. Fuel estimated exhausted by 2225, 17 Dec. Search conducted.

From Adm.Report:

The cause of the disappearance of this plane is undetermined, but there are several possibilities indicated. Structural failure as the result of high winds and strong vertical currents encountered in the storm may have cause the plane to crash into the water. The plane may have exploded mid-air due to accidental ignition of high octane gasoline vapor present in the plane as a result of transfer of fuel from hull tanks to wing tanks. These vapors may have ignited by static spark, an accidental spark from other sources or lightning. Crew members of one of the other planes saw a large red flash in the clouds which appeared to localized to be lightning.

In view of the time and position of this flash, it is considered that it may have been the explosion of the subject plane.

Crew missing: Pilot Lt. Orrin J. McCausland (PPC) AV-N USNR, Lt(jg) Warren K. Mesick, AV-N USNR, CAPTAIN James M. Kelly USN, AMM1 Leonard H. Davidson USN, AMM2 Edward R. Messenger USN, ARM1 Arthur Dooke USNR, and ARM2 Melvin F. Jurick USN.

MishapsMISHAPs: 15 MAY 43 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: Unknown Strike: Yes BUNO: 04403 Cause: Missing on routine night search from Guadalcanal over enemy waters, Not enemy action. Damage:Completely demolished. Crew killed Pilot Lt(jg). Walter Howell Cummings, Ens. George Ordell Foss, Lt(jg). Frederick S. Panetto, AP1c. Monta Colma Ellis, AP1c. John Robert Wolverton, Amm1c. Ralph O. Brent, Amm2c. John Fred Williams, Amm3c. Raymond B. Williford, Amm2c. Lyle Cooper Johnson, Rm1c. Elvin Earl Packer, Rm3c. William T. Ross, and Rm2c. Grant F. Leonard. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [18JUL2001]

UPDATE "...My Grandmother's Brother, Ensign George Ordell Foss, served with VP-54. He was presumed dead on 4 January 1946 though didn't return after what was termed a "routine patrol" out of Guadalcanal. I'm just wondering if anyone from VP-54 remembers him or can at least tell me what kind of airplane he was likely flying...Dave Sisson dsisson@oregonfast.net..." [29JAN2004]

UPDATE "...My uncle, Ralph O. Brent served with VP-54 as an AMM1c. He was on a PBY-5A, BUNO: 04403 from Guadalcanal which was lost over enemy waters 15 May, 1943. His brother (my father) would like to find out anything he can about his brother and would like anyone who knew him to contact him through me...Steve Brent stevebrent@mynra.com..." [12FEB2002]

MishapsMISHAPs: 05 JUN 43 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: South Pacific Strike: Yes BUNO: 08078 Cause: On night search, force landed at sea and subsquently sunk. Caused by failure of one engine. All personnel recovered. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [20JUL2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 17 JUL 43 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: Solomon's area Strike: Yes BUNO: 08051 Cause: Crashed at sea following fire in port engine while in flight. Port engine fell off plane. Plane landed and sank immediately. Cause of fire undetermined. Pilot: Lt(jg). James W. Anderson and crew/No injuries. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [24JUL2001]

MishapsMISHAPs: 07 NOV 43 A/C: PBY-5A pby Location: ATL Strike: Yes BUNO: O8070 Cause: RECON-C&B, SANK Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [17MAR98]

UPDATE "...Crashed at sea in bad weather..06-48S 154-49E Crew missing: Pilot; Lt.Merle Theodore Schall, Lt(jg).R.Jicks, Ens.W.Bridges, Ens.D.O.Robbins, Amm1c.J.L.Christensen, Arm1c.R.S.McBride, Arm2c.W.R.White, and Aom2c.R.W.Stewart..." Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [22DEC2000]

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