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  OA-10A "Step and Fetch It" Serial Number 44-34023  
5th AF
1536th AAFBU

Pilot  2nd Lt. Ernest W. Jackson, O-764317 (MIA / KIA) CA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Edward A. Carmichael, O-710447 (MIA / KIA) CA
Navigator  2nd Lt. James R. New, Jr. O-2065813 (rescued)
Asst Engineer  Cpl Louis Branch, Jr., 38494177 (rescued)
Radar  Sgt Isadore Barrack, 12159730 / 1536th AAFBU (rescued)
Engineer  Sgt Paul L. Johnson, Jr., 19138300 (MIA / KIA) CA
Radio  Cpl Lloyd L. Lyle, 34635571 (MIA / KIA) Lauderdale County, MS
Missing  June 12, 1945
MACR  14618

Aircraft History
Built by Canadian Vickers in Montreal, Canada. Constructors Number CV533. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as OA-10A Catalina serial number 44-34023. Ferried overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
Assigned to Air Transport Command (ATC). During 1945, attached to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 1536th Army Air Force Base Unit (AAFBU) based at Hollandia. Nicknamed "Step and Fetch It".

On May 22, 1945 while operating from Sentani Airfield, suffered a mechanical failure and was afterwards repaired and returned to flying status.

On June 2, 1945 took off from Hollandia Airfield and was damaged by a bird strike and repaired afterwards. When lost, engines R-1830-92 serial numbers (left) CP 360236 and (right) CP 360320. No armament was aboard this aircraft.

Mission History
On June 12, 1945 at 7:40am took off from Hollandia Airfield piloted by 2nd Lt. Ernest W. Jackson on a search mission off Peleliu Island along with OA-10 Catalina 891. The two aircraft divided the search area in two parts and each searched independently, with 891 searching the northern area and this aircraft searching the southern area.

After completing the search, this Catalina was near Peleliu Island when a radio message was received stating something was spotted and directing both search aircraft to the area where they searched further 35 minutes. Radio reception and visibility decreased and this aircraft turned back towards Peleliu and climbed to 10,500' to use celestial navigation and called for a magnetic heading bound for Peleliu.

Low on fuel and unable to reach Peleliu, this Catalina signaled its IFF and readied the aircraft for an emergency landing. At 10:53am ditched out of fuel into the sea 108 miles southwest of Anguar Island. Last contact was a radio direction bearing received by AACS on Biak Island. When this aircraft failed to return it was declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Afterwards, a search mission was under the command of Captain Robert A. Pletz and searches were conducted out of Biak Island and Peleliu Island.

Fates of the Crew
The ditched Catalina remained afloat for an hour and the crew took shelter atop the wing. Afterwards, four of the crew clung to a K ration box, until Jackson died at sea. Later, the survivors attempted to use a "Gibson girl" radio unsuccessfully and eat the rations that were spoiled aside from a single chocolate bar.

On June 14, 1945 in the morning the survivors spots a destroyer and released their signal dye. At first, they feared they were not seen but after 59 hours in the open sea were rescued by USS Underhill DE-682 and were treated for sores, sunburn and exhaustion while transported aboard the destroyer to Hollandia. Afterwards, the survivors were treated by the ATC dispensary and returned to duty.

The deceased crew members were officially declared dead the day of the mission. None of the deceased crew earned the Purple Heart, posthumously as the mission was overa non-combat area. Each is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Carmichael also has a memorial marker at Glen Cove Cemetery in Knightstown, IN.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - OA-10A Catalina 44-34023
"34023 (MSN CV534) attached to 1536 AAFBU Hollandia/NGU suffered a mechanical failure May 22, 1945 at Sentani Strip (Hollandia). Jun 2, 1945 suffered damage from a bird strike. MIA Jun 12, 1945 108 mi SW of Anguar Island in South Pacific."
PBYRescue - Model OA-10-CO - 44-34023 (CV-534)
Missing Air Crew Report 14618 (MACR 14618) created June 15, 1945
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ernest W. Jackson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edward A. Carmichael
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Paul L. Johnson, Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lloyd L. Lyle
FindAGrave - 2Lt Ernest W Jackson (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Edward Almet Carmichael (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Edward A Carmichael (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Paul L. Johnson, Jr. (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Lloyd L Lyle (tablets of the missing photo)
Thanks to Katie Rasdorf for additional information

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Last Updated
June 15, 2020


Tech Info

4 Missing
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