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|Pilot 1st Lt. Glenn Wilbur Rosenboom, O-023063 USMCR (MIA / KIA) Chatsworth, IL
Crashed September 17, 1944
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1 Corsair bureau number 56039. Shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC), Marine Air Wing 1 (MAW-1), Marine Air Group 14 (MAG-14), Marine Fighting Squadron 218 (VMF-218) "Hellions". No known nickname or nose art.
On September 17, 1944 at 7:55am took off from Green Island (Nissan) piloted by 1st Lt. Glenn Wilbur Rosenboom armed with a 1,000 pound bomb as one of four Corsairs led by Captain Gordon E. Berto with 1st Lt. Simon Guidry, Jr. and 1st Lt. Richard M. Robinson on a strike against Rabaul.
Over the target, the four bombed barges off Raluana Point but failed score any hits. Afterwards, Lt. Rosenboom strafed a car near Vunakanau and was hit by anti-aircraft fire in the right wing causing it to smoke and burst into flames. Flying westward, Lt. Rosenboom rolled over and bailed out at 15,000' roughly one mile offshore from Talili Bay. The other Corsair pilots observed that his parachute opened but the main chute did not deploy and hit the surface of the sea and was not observed to be alive. His Corsair landed in sea and sank leaving a large oil slick. Afterwards, the other three Corsairs circled him and called for a PBY Catalina "Dumbo" to attempt a rescue. They remained overhead until the rescue plane and escorts arrived.
Recovery of Remains
Meanwhile, PBY Catalina piloted by Ensign W. D. Lankford took off from Green Island (Nissan) and responded to the the rescue call and landed in Talili Bay and picked up the dead body of 1st Lt. Glenn Wilbur Rosenboom floating in his parachute harness. During the rescue, the Catalina was fired on by guns from the beach but was able to take off successfully and return safely.
On September 18, 1944 Rosenboom was initially buried at Green Island Cemetery (Nissan) at plot 2, row 4, grave 3. On March 13, 1945 reburied at USAF Cemetery at Munda at plot 41, row 1, grave 10. On December 31, 1945 buried at USAF Cemetery #4 at Finschhafen at grave 624. His father requested his remains be buried overseas and he was transported to the Philippines for permanent burial.
Rosenboom was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned the Purple Heart with Gold Star, posthumously. Postwar his remains were buried at Manila American Cemetery at plot E row 2 grave 14.
Robert Rosenboom (Father)
Note some references stated the rescue PBY Catalina "landed at the entrance to Simpson Harbor" this is likely in error and was more likely a landing in Talili Bay.
USMC Casualty Card - Glenn Wilbur Rosenboom
(Page 1) "History: 17 Sept 44 Killed in action at Taliqu Bay [sic Talili Bay], Rabaul Area."
(Page 2) “Plane hit by anti-aircraft fire 1 1/2 miles off shore in Talili Bay in Rabaul area. He bailed out of plane at 1500’, was struck by the tail surface, and while the parachute pack was broken, only the pilot chute opened. Body picked up by Dumbo.”
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1A Corsair 56045
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List September 1944
NARA "VMF-218 War Diary September 1944" page 6
(Page 6) "At 0755 [pilots] Barto, Guidry, Rosenboom and Robinson took off on Rabaul patrol. All planes carried bombs weighing 1000 lbs, G.P. instantaneous. Target consisted of barges at Ralauna Point. No direct hits were scored. Lt. Rosenboom, while strafing a car near Vunakanau, hit in the right wing by a 40 mm. Plane started smoking and then burst into flames. When Lt. Rosenboom was one mile off shore of Talili Bay, he rolled his plane on its back and bailed out at fifteen hundred feet. Pilot chute opened and pulled out the pack but main chute never opened. After pilot hit the water, no evidence of life was seen. The plane sunk leaving large oil slicks. The other three planes circled over-head. called Shepard Base for Dumbo and remained on station until relieved by Dumbo escort. Pancaked [landed] 1200. At 1030 McNab, Larsen, Brown and Thornton took off on Rabaul Patrol. All planes carried bombs weighing one thousand pounds, G.P. instantaeious,. Target consisted of huts and buildings at Vuna Bug Bug Plantation. One building and three huts were destroyed by direct hits. Strafed Talili Bay shore while Dumbo was picking up Lt. Rosenboom. Dumbo informed Major McNab that Lt. Rosenboom was dead. Returned to base and pancaked at 1400."
NARA "VP-101 War Diary September 1944" page 4
(Page 4) "Sept 17 - One (1) plane, rescue mission from Green Island. Landed in entrance to Simpson Harbor, Rabal [sic Rabaul], and picked up body of 1st Lieut. Wilbur Rosenbloom [sic Rosenboom], USMCR, floating in parachute harness. Plane was under heavy fire from beach. Ensign W. D. Lankford, (T), USN, patrol plane commander of rescue plane."
The Pantagraph "Obituary Glenn Rosenbloom" September 27, 1944, page 5
"Chatsworth (PNS) First Lt. Glenn Rosenbloom marine fighter pilot, was killed in action, according to a telegram received Sunday byt his father, Robert Rosenboom."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Glenn Wilbur Rosenboom
FindAGrave - 1Lt Glenn Wilbur Rosenboom (tablets of the missing)
Thanks to Edward Rogers for research and analysis
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