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USS Randolph CV-15
|Pilot Lt. Commander James H. McPherson, O-100312 USN (MIA / KIA) CA
MIA August 13, 1945
Built by Grumman. Assigned to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F6F-5 Hellcat bureau number 77830. Assigned USS Randolph (CV-15) to Carrier Air Group 16 (CAG-16) to squadron VF-16. No known nickname or nose art.
On August 13, 1945 took off from USS Randolph (CV-15) piloted by Lt. Commander James H. McPherson at 7:15am on a mission to conduct a dive bombing attack against Mobara Airfield and Tateyama Airfield both in the Tokyo area. This Hellcat was one of fifteen Hellcats participating in the mission, each armed with a 500 pound bomb plus four 5" High Velocity Aircraft Rocket (HVAR). The weather was hazy with7/10 cloud coverage between 3,000' to 4,000'.
When this aircraft failed to rendezvous, it was believed lost due to anti-aircraft fire. The last two pilots in the formation Lt. W. J. Ruefle and Lt(jg) W. J. Watson. Jr. believed they saw a plane crash into Tokyo Bay off the southern end of Tateyama Airfield as they pulled out of their dives and reported an large oil slick with a fire at the center. When this aircraft failed to return, McPherson was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
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March 19, 2020
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