MISHAPs: 18 NOV 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 Location: Canton, northwest of Funafuti Strike: Yes BUNO: 32123 Cause: Non combat mission. Ditched at sea, entire crew of ten rescued six days later. One passenger missing. Pilot Lt. P. Hard & 9/Ok. Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [26AUG2001]
MISHAPs: 13 DEC 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 Looking for additional informaton on Lonnie Powell, MIA, ACRM on PB4Y-1 #32099, VB-108, c/o granddaughter Yolanda by daughter Lonnie Aleta Powell, deceased. Mother was given so much misinformation by foster parents, etc., on how and when her father died; I would love more of his history if you knew him. I am so grateful to Alan C. Carey for posting his "Bit of History" on 32099, it has given me real data to work with. In appreciation and with best regards...Yolanda Snavely email@example.com. [25SEP2003]
MISHAPs: 00 MAR 44 A/C: PB4Y-1 Location: Pacific Strike: Yes BUNO: Unknown Cause: Survivors recovered and suffering from exposure and shock. Ens Zroier D. Pliece, Amm3c R. F. Offler, Rm3c I. L. Etscorn, Rm3c J. M. Morton, Aom1c George Quilicy, and Amm3c B. E. Tuttle. Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [31AUG2001]
MISHAPs: 21 MAR 44 A/C: PB4Y-1 Location: Tarawa Strike: Yes BUNO: 32100 Cause: Hit truck during take-off run. No inj. During take-off run plane collided with truck which was driven out onto runway in front of the plane. Truck drivers fault, as he was told not to drive on runway. "Strike" Pilot LT Richard H. Rice USN/Ok, and Aom1c W. H. Baugge USNR/Seriously inj, Passengers in truck when hit by plane: Cpl Royce G. Buckley (truck driver) USMC/Ok, Pfc Raymond J. Zolnerwicz USMCR/Killed, Cpl Don E. Reifle USMCR/Killed, Pfc John J. Arnold USMCR/Seriously inj, Pfc Clyde C. James USMCR/Seriously inj, Pfc John F. Morrissey USMCR/Seriously inj, and Pfc Michael Dzugan USMC/Minor inj. Contributed by Terry email@example.com [31AUG2001]
MISHAPs: 08 APR 45 A/C: PB4Y-2 Location: 200mi from base Strike: Yes BUNO: 59442 Cause: Combat Mission. At 1800 decision was made to ditched due to lack of fuel and complete darkness approaching fast. Upon ditched the bow turret flew off and fuselage broke in two forward of the side Erco turrets, ship became separated and forward portion floated five minutes. Port wing tip blew off. Aft part sunk before forward part, exact of time not known. Probable cause is navigational error. Crew no serious injuries. Pilot LT William R. Hazlett USNR, LT(jg) G. D. Riffe USNR, ENS C. E. Ulack USNR, AMM1 D. O. Mullinix USNR, AMM3 W. C. Parker USNR, ARM1 L. O. Sturms USNR, RM3 James S. Watts USNR, AMM1 A. S. Bagwell USN, AMM1 H. W. Fisher USN, Sea1 E. L. Fanhanel USNR, Sea1 J. J. Subron USNR and ART1 R. V. Brodine USNR. Contributed by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [29NOV2001]
Crew "...One crew member missing from this pic, but I don't know which man is missing. My Grandfather, Jame A. "Red" Brumley ARM2c is in the back row, third from your right as you look at the pic..." Contributed by Linda Reel email@example.com [14MAY2010]
"...Corrected Crew listing (Top Row - Center Picture) and added Bottom Row photograph..." Contributed by Mike Ryant firstname.lastname@example.org [28APR2010]
"...Additional Mishap related photograph's..." Contributed by Mike Ryant email@example.com [23APR2010]
TOP ROW - LEFT TO RIGHT: The first 2 pics are the sub, USS Jallao, rescuing the 5 men that survived being shot down May 9, 1945 over Marcus Island. The center picture is of Hazlett, Ulack and Riffe. The 4th pic was taken of the plane going into the water during the Marcus attack and the next picture is what was written on the back of that picture.
CENTER ROW - LEFT TO RIGHT: Z444 is Crew 5 of VPB-108 that was commanded by LT Wallace. It was commandeered by LCDR Muldrow on May 9,1945 to attack Marcus Island. Muldrow's plane wasn't ready so that's why he took Wallace's plane and crew. Lt Wallace still went along for the ride. Didn't want to abandon his crew. They were shot down, 8 died, 5 survived. I have all 13 names. The next 4 pictures are just other crew pics that were among LT Wallace's possessions.
BOTTOM ROW - LEFT TO RIGHT: The back says LCDR Lefever - Crew 2 (Note: LCDR Lefever assumed command of VPB-108 after CDR Muldrow was lost).
Mishap Crew "...Crew picture to go along with the mishap..." Contributed by Mike Ryant and forwarded by Terry firstname.lastname@example.org [24MAY2006]
"...Last night I had the real pleasure of talking directly to LT William R. Hazlett. He is 87 years old and has invited me to spend a few days with him and Mrs. Hazlett. We agreed this would be done early Dec. He remembered Wiley Parker and the rest of the crew. He has agreed to go into personal details on the ditching and Crew 10 of VPB-108 from the time of formation until it was dissolved in 1946. I also have more info on "Apache", including his service ID and photo and will be doing a write-up after I have connected with the rest of the crew to get the full story...Ken Parker email@example.com, ATR3c, NAS Oakland, California 1956-60, VP-19 - VP-871 - VP-872..." [29NOV2005]
"...I am in touch with Earl I. Fankhanel, SEA 1c and tail gunner of Crew 10, VPB-108 who knew my brother, Wiley Parker very well. He sent me some material about the squadron and ditching. Earl sent me the last known address of the crew and I will try to contact them for their first hand account of the mishap...Ken Parker firstname.lastname@example.org, ATR3c, NAS Oakland, California 1956-60, VP-19 - VP-871 - VP-872..." [27NOV2005]
1. The mascot was Dog 1c named "APACHE" who had over 200 flying hours and died in the crash. Wiley was the first man out of the plane and the last man off the plane. He was standing on the trailing edge of the starboard wing holding Apache who had expired. He placed the dog in the water and swam away to one of the rafts just as that plane section sank.
2. The photo sent to you of the two life rafts in the water with the crew was shot from one of the PB4Y-2's in VPB-106 or VPB-108 who had found the crewmen in the water April 11 and circled for several hours, dropping them emergency rations. They lost contact due to bad weather. The USS QUEENFISH 393 located the men by radar about 2:00 am the next morning, fired flares and got return flares from the rafts, giving their location. At first, the crew were concerned about the identity of the rescue vessel. But not after the plane's commanding officer, LT William Hazlett, shouted to ask if the rescue ship was American, the typically American answer was: "Hell no, we're Japs", and the rescue was then completed. Position: 27 degrees N, 137.30 E , 250 miles W of Iwo Jima. (Update info provided by Earl Fankhanel and Wiley Parker writings (Deceased 1996) through Kenneth E. Parker).
I will let you know if I connect with other crewmen from VPB-108 Crew 10. Regarding PBY's, I flew to Catalina Island just South of Long Beach, CA several times on "Catalina Airlines" during the late 1970's and early 1980's. The plane was painted white, outfitted with turbo-props and a thrill to behold. Carried 6 passengers plus US Mail and other cargo for the Island folks.
"...I do want to correct the dates of the crash and rescue by Queenfish 393. The crash occurred 1800 on April 8, 1945. The rescue occurred early morning on April 12, 1945. My response dates may cause some confusion to your readers...Ken Parker email@example.com, ATR3c, NAS Oakland, California 1956-60, VP-19 - VP-871 - VP-872..." [26NOV2005]
"...I have been able to connect with Robert Epmeier, AMM1c, who joined VP-108 in June 1945. We are exchanging data about the Squadron. Attached is a photo my brother, W. C. Parker, AMM3c, gave me of the rescue in 1956 taken from the conning tower of the USS QUEENFISH 393 just prior to bringing the crew on board on April 12, 1945 (The crash occurred 1800 on April 8, 1945. The rescue occurred early morning on April 12, 1945). The crew communicated with each other for many years, usually at Christmas. I am still trying to find them to get their story of the mishap.
Wiley On Raft - 1945 Private property of Kenneth E. Parker. VPB-108 Crew 10 April 12, 1945 AM after 4 days on open sea. Photo taken from conning tower of USS Queenfish SS393 during rescue operations. Wiley C Parker, AMM3c waving in rear of first raft. All 13 crewmembers survived with minor injuries. The crew mascot, a registered Wire Haired Terrier named "Pilot", did not survive the crash. Pilot LT William R. Hazlett made a perfect landing in rough seas and bad weather 1800 hrs April 4. Iwo Fighter Command sent wrong steering directions and the aircraft ran out of fuel on an Easterly heading away from IWO 200 miles ESE of Honshu, Japan. VPB-106 aircraft assisted in the search and found them but lost visual in bad weather. © Kenneth E. Parker 1956...Ken Parker firstname.lastname@example.org, ATR3c, NAS Oakland, California 1956-60, VP-19 - VP-871 - VP-872..." [29OCT2005]
MISHAPs: 13 AUG 45 A/C: PB4Y-2 Location: Western-Central-Pacific Strike: Yes BUNO: 59441 Cause: Non combat mission:Pilot failure: "Strike" No fatalities. Contributed by Terry email@example.com [20DEC2001]
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