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-5 Hellcat Bureau Number 71445  
USN
USS Lexington (CV-16)
VF-9

Pilot  Commander Philip Huston "Tarzan" Torrey, Jr. (KIA, BR) CA
Crashed  February 16, 1945


Aircraft History
Built by Grumman as Model G-50. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F5F-5 Hellcat bureau number 71445. Assigned to Fighting Squadron 9 (VF-9) aboard the USS Lexington CV-16. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On February 16, 1945 took of from USS Lexington CV-16 piloted by Commander Philip Huston Torrey, Jr. on the first carrier aircraft mission over Tokyo. Torrey volunteered to fly the mission. Over the target, this Hellcat was intercepted and shot down by a Japanese fighter and crashed at Habu village near Narita. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Wreckage
This aircraft crashed into a school house, killing Torrey in the crash. After the crash, a villager Masa Oto located Torrey's rosary cross in the wreckage. In 1980, she gave the cross to the pilot's son, Phil Torrey visited Habu village. Afterwards, he gave the cross to his sister, Barbara.

Recovery of Remains
Postwar, a team from American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) recovered his remains and after identification were transported to the United States for permanent burial.

Memorials
Torrey was officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the recovery of remains, he was buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at section OSA site 14.

Relatives
Phil Torrey (son)
"In 1980, son Phil visited Habu village where his father's plane crashed. In 1996, a villager named Masa Oto returned a rosary cross that he had found at the crash site, that he gave to his sister, Barbara Torrey Smith.
Barbara Dillon (daughter)."

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F6F-5 Hellcat 71445
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List February 1945 - F6F-5 Hellcat 71445
VF-9 Website website removed as of December 2005
FindAGrave - Philip Huston Torrey, Jr (photos, grave photo)
Thanks to Barbara Dillon for additional information

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

Last Updated
February 27, 2020

 

Tech Info
F6F

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 Instagram