Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
  F4F-4 Wildcat Bureau Number 12139  
USN
VF-27

Pilot  Ens William T. Clifton USNR (MIA / KIA) Maize, KS
MIA  August 4, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Grumman Corporation in Bethpage, New York as a model G-36 with manually operated folding wings. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4F-4 Wildcat bureau number 12139.

Wartime History
Assigned to USS Suwannee (CVE-27) to Fighting Squadron Twenty-Seven (VF-27). No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On August 4, 1943 took off from the Russell Islands piloted by Ens William T. Clifton as one of eight Wildcats on a mission to escort a PBY Catalina over Enogai on New Georgia Island. As the Catalina attempted to land, the formation was intercepted by Japanese aircraft and this Wildcat was never seen again. When it failed to return this aircraft was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost was F4F Wildcat 12090 piloted by Lt(jg) Irvin E. Rink (MIA).

Memorials
Rink was officially declared dead on January 8, 1946. He earned the Air Medal and the Purple Heart, posthumously. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. He also has a memorial marker at Oakwood Cemetery in Louisburg, NC.

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4F-4 Wildcat 12139
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List August 1943 F4F-4 Wildcat 12139 VF-27 Ens William T. Clifton
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William T. Clifton
FindAGrave - William Thomas Clifton (photos, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - William Thomas Clifton (photo, memorial marker photo)

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
July 22, 2018

 

Tech Info
F4F

MIA
MIA
1 Missing
Resolved
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram