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|Pilot 1st Lt Charles L. Larson, O-24643 (MIA / KIA) Fort Bragg, CA
MIA January 11, 1944
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1 Corsair bureau number 17430.
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) to Marine Air Group 12 (MAG-12) to Marine Fighting Squadron 212 (VMF-212) "Hell Hounds / The Musketeers". No known nickname or nose art.
On January 11, 1944 at 4:40pm took off from Barakoma Airfield on Vella Lavella piloted by 1st Lt Charles L. Larson to join a formation of three other F4U Corsairs led by Captain W. A. Carlton with Lt. T. J. Horner and Lt. T. J. Trojnar. This was his first combat mission.
After take off, this aircraft did not join up with the formation despite Captain Carlton giving Larson several vectors to their position. When it failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
After the formation of three Corsairs laded at 6:25pm, they reported that Larson failed to join the formation and reported him as missing. All search facilities were put into operation to contact Larson without results.
Larson was officially declared dead on January 15, 1946. He earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. Larson is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1 Corsair 17430
NARA "Marine Fighting Squadron Two-Twelve War Diary January 1944" page 7
(Page 7) "[January 11, 1944] At 1430 Captain Carlton led Lts Horner and Trojnar off to cover the Task Group [Naval vessels, Task Unit 32.4.3 proceeding northerly south of Rendova]. En route they strafed a downed SBD off Gizo [likely SBD Dauntless 06738] and set it afire as instructed by AirOps. Lt. Charles L. Larson, took off in F4U-1 bureau number 17430 at 1640 to join Captain Carlton. Carlton gave him several vectors but Larson did not join the flight over the Task Unit. The three plane flight pancaked at 1825 after completing their mission, reported Larson had not joined them. All search facilities were immediately put in full operation in an effort to contact Larson. These were unavailing and 1st Lieutenant Charles Leonard Larson must be considered missing in action."
(Page 18) "Marine Fighting Squadron Two-Twelve Score for January 1944 - Lt. C. L. Larson / # Combat Missions: 1 / # Combat Hours: ?"
The San Francisco Examiner "U. S. Battle Casaulties Listed by Army, Navy" February 15, 1944 page 14
"Charles L. Larson, marine first lieutenant; mother Mrs. Florence Larson of Fort Bragg."
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List January 1944 - F4U Corsair 17430
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles L. Larson
FindAGrave - 1Lt Charles Leonard Larson (tablets of the missing photo)
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