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
 
  F6F-3 Hellcat Bureau Number 42135  
USN
USS Yorktown CV-10
AG-1
VF-1 "Highhatters"

Click For Enlargement
USN 1944

Click For Enlargement

Kenneth Moore 2005
Pilot  Lt(jg) Roy A. Bechtol, O-251371 (KIA) Lubbock, TX
Crashed  June 23, 1944


Aircraft History
Built by Grumman as Model G-50 in Bethpage, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F6F-3 Hellcat bureau number 42135.

Wartime History
Assigned to the USS Yorktown CV-10 to Air Group One (AG-1), to Fighting Squadron One "High Hatters" (VF-1). No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On June 23, 1944 at 12:28pm took off from USS Yorktown CV-10 piloted by Lt(jg) Roy A. Bechtol on a mission against Pagan Island. Over the target, while strafing Pagan Airfield hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed in flames into the ground. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
Bechtol was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, posthumously. Bechtol is memorialized at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at the courts of the missing, court 5. He also has a memorial marker at Austin Memorial Park Cemetery in Austin, TX.

Wreckage
The crash site of this Hellcat remains on Pagan Airfield. During 2005, the crash site of this Hellcat was visited by Kenneth Moore.

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F6F-3 Hellcat 42135
NARA "Fighting Squadron One (VF-1) [May 1943] 1 October 1944 - 22 October 1945 (2) page 14
"Bechtol, Roy Alph - Lieutenant (jg), A-V(N), USNR. Age: 23 Nickname: 'Beck' Next of kin: Mrs. Billie Jo Bechtol, (wife)., Home address: 2614 - 25th, Lubbock, Texas. Decorations: [blank] Combat record: Planes destroyed airborne: Four planes plus bomb hit on Hayataka class carrier. Strikes (location and number): Guam 6, Bonin Islands 2, Pagan 1, Jap Fleet 1, Shipping strikes 1. Killed in action over Pagan Island 23 July 1944."
NARA "USS Yorktown War Diary 20 June 1944 Air Group One page 27b, 31
(Page 27b) "20 June 1944 - Air Group One, VF-1 Lt(jg) Roy A. Bechtol"
(Page 31) "One F6F and pilot [Bechtol] were seen to crash in flames over target."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Roy A. Bechtol
FindAGrave - LtJg Roy A Bechtol (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Roy A. Bechtol (memorial marker photo)
Saipan Tribune "WWII Fighter Plane Found on Pagan In CNMI" December 9, 2005
Saipan Tribune "Finding lost WWII plane is Christmas Gift to Pilot's Family" Dec 25, 2005
Leatherneck Magazine "Moore's Marauders: Finding a Few Good Men and Women" March 2010 pages 33-36

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

Last Updated
August 24, 2019

 

Tech Info
F6F

Photos
Photo Archive

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