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USS Yorktown CV-10
|Pilot Lt. Wilson L. Dozier, O-116760 USNR (MIA / KIA) VA
Crashed August 13, 1945
Built by Grumman as Model G-50 in Bethpage, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F6F-5 Hellcat bureau number 79496.
Assigned to the USS Yorktown CV-10 to Fighting Squadron 88 (VF-88). No known nickname or markings.
On August 13, 1945 took off from USS Yorktown CV-10 piloted by Lt. Wilson L. Dozier on a mission over Tokyo. Over the target area, shot down by anti-aircraft fire and crashed into Tateyama Bay (Tateyama Wan) roughly 300 meters off Tateyama Seaplane Base at Tateyama in Chiba Prefecture.
Postwar, the crash site was located and marked with a buoy by Japanese contractor employed by the U. S. occupation force under the direction of American Graves Registration Service (AGRS).
On November 29, 1948 the wreckage was raised from underwater by the Japanese contractor and a stencil with U. S. Navy Bureau Number 79496 was located but no remains were with the wreckage or located in the surrounding area by dragging their anchor. The investigation team included Sgt William F. Storms, 106th Quartermaster Graves Registration Service plus a representative from SCAP Legal Section.
Recovery of Remains
On August 20, 1945 remains washed ashore on Sakata beach at Tateyama and were later recovered an buried. Postwar, these remains were recovered and designated X-502 (X File 502) and buried at the USAF Cemetery at Yokohama No. 1 row 27, grave 1328 at Yokohama but authorities did not have sufficient identifying features to make an identification. Possibly, these remains were associated with Dozier or a crew member of OA-10 Catalina 44-34080.
Henry Sakaida adds:
"About twenty years ago [in the early 1990s], 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 302 Kōkūtai based at Atsugi Airfield. Morioka says they received an alert while flying over the Uraga Channel. They turned north and found the PBY [OA-10 Catalina 44-34080] attempting the rescue of a Hellcat pilot."
Dozier was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Administratively, his remains declared unrecoverable on January 11, 1949. He is memorialized at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) on the courts of the missing, court 5.
Jeff Clark (grandson of Dozier)
"My late grandfather, Lt. Wilson Lloyd Dozier, USNR was shot down and he was killed in the closing days of WWII. A total of 6 US servicemen were known to have died in the area of his crash including him. 6 sets of remains washed ashore. The information shows that all but one of the sets of remains that were recovered from the area of his plane crash were identified. The unidentified remains are buried in a known location. It makes sense that the only unidentified remains are likely my grandpa's. DNA testing could substantiate this thought. Is your organization one that would be interested in helping me make a positive ID and possibly bring him home for proper burial. Please let me know."
AGRS Headquarters 106th Quartermaster Graves Registration Service "Report of Investigation CN 622" 3 January 1949
(Page 1) "1. Pursuant to verbal orders of the Chief of Memorial Division, a recovery team, under the supervision of the writer[Sgt William F. Storms], was dispatched on 29 November 1948 to investigate CN 622 and recover, if possible, the remains of the one person involved in the case. Case pertains to an F6F Naval plane #79496 which crashed about 300 metres off a Japanese seaplane base in Tateyama Bay, Chiba Prefecture, the wreckage of which was located and buoyed by the Japanese contractor employed by Memorial Division. At the time of the plane being buoyed, an investigator from SCAP Legal Section was present. We had the Japanese raise the plane out of the water enough so that he could remove a plate showing the plane number to be F6F-5 #79496 (see Inv Div Report No. 2737 dated 24 January 1948).
2. With the use of a salvage boat and diver, the following parts of a plane were located and brought to the surface and the surrounding area completely searched and [anchor] dragged for additional wreckage.
3. Investigation on shore in the vicinity of the crash reveal that another plane a PBY [sic OA-10 Catalina 44-34080], crashed on the same date as the fighter plane, i. e. 13 August 1945. A total of six remains washed ashore following the two crashes, all of which have been recovered by previous recovery teams. The six remains..."
(Page 2) "... are listed in case history 035 and five of the six have been identified but the sixth remains does not have sufficient identifying features to warrant identification. No other clues to remains, other than the six already recovered by Graves Registration, could be found and therefore it is recommended that this case be closed. - William F. Storms, Sgt, RA 32601251 Recovery Team Leader"
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F6F-5 Hellcat 79496
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List August 1945 - F6F-5 Hellcat 79496
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Wilson L. Dozier
FindAGrave - Lt Wilson L Dozier (courts of the missing photo)
Thanks to Jeff Clark and Minoru Kamada for additional information
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