|Pilot Lt(jg) William C. Henwood (rescued) Dunmore, PA
Ditched August 13, 1945
Built by Grumman as a model G-50. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F6F-5 Hellcat bureau number 78006.
Assigned to Fighting Squadron 49 "Forty-Niners" VF-49 aboard
USS San Jacinto (CVL-30). No known nickname or nose art.
On August 13, 1945 at 7:45am took off from USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) piloted by Lt(jg) William C. Henwood on a mission over Tokyo. Over the target, intercepted by A6M5 Zeros from the 302 Kōkūtai. This Hellcat was damaged and ditched into Tokyo Bay near Kisarazu. Pilot Henwood survived unhurt.
Henwood was rescued by OA-10
Catalina 44-34080 but after take off was shot down by eight Zeros from the 302 Kōkūtai.
Henry Sakaida adds:
"About twenty years ago, my friend Yutaka Morioka asked me about a PBY and a F6F that he and his comrades shot down in Tokyo Bay. Lt Morioka was a squadron leader in the 302nd Kōkūtai based at Atsugi AIrfield. Morioka says they received an alert while flying in the Uraga Channel. They turned north and found the PBY just taking off after the rescue [actually OA-10 Catalina 44-34080]. I got a letter from the USN saying that Lt(jg) Henwood of VF-49 off the USS San Jacintio was lost on that date. According to my research, he was William C. Henwood and he was rescued."
Henwood passed away August 15, 1986. He was cremated and his ashes scattered.
Wendy Henwood (daughter of William C. Henwood)
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F6F-5 Hellcat 78006
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List August 1945 - F6F-5 Hellcat 78006
NARA USS San Jacinto - Chronological Summary page 31-32 (August 13, 1945)
NARA USS San Jacinto: Part IV - Aircraft - Pilots and Air Crewmen Lost 18 August 1945, page 39
"8/13/45 / time of launch 0745(I) / Type Aircraft: F6F / Circumstances, Place and cause of plane loss: Ensign Henwood - Engine failure - water landing in center of formation. / No. pilots saved: 1."
FindAGrave - William Charles “Bill” Henwood (photo)
Fold3 - William Henwood (1920)
Thanks to Wendy Henwood and Henry Sakaida for additional information.
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December 28, 2018