|Pilot 1st Lt. Edmund L. Eliason, O-415233 (KIA, BR) Ocean City, NJ
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Lawrence H. Chandler, Jr., O-839976 (KIA, BR) Newport News, VA
Navigator 1st Lt Edwin E. Bodley, O-805246 (KIA, BR) E. Chicago, IL
Radio SSgt David A. Kressler, 20301128 (KIA, BR) Clark's Summit, PA
Radio Sgt Vernon R. Radmall, 39025623 (MIA / KIA) Lehi, UT
Engineer Sgt Roger E. Regain, 38477693 (POW, survived) Mt. Pleasant, TX
Medical Tech Cpl Philip W. Carter, 37193571 (KIA, BR) Ollie, Iowa
Crashed August 13, 1945 at 5:30pm
Built by Canadian Vickers. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as OA-10A Catalina serial number 44-34080.
Assigned to the 20th Air Force, 4th Emergency Rescue Squadron (4th ERS). No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engine serial numbers: CP-360344 and CP-360347. No known nickname or nose art.
On August 13, 1945 took off from Motoyama No. 1 (Central Field) on Iwo Jima piloted by 1st Lt. Edmund L. Eliason on a "Dumbo" patrol to rescue a downed aviator. This Catalina code named "Playmate Nine Six" was escorted by two fighters.
This Catalina successfully landed into Tokyo Bay to rescue Lt(jg) William C. Henwood pilot of F6F Hellcat 78006 who ditched off Kisarazu.
After picking up the pilot, this OA-10 was attacked by eight A6M5 Zeros from the 302 Kōkūtai near Tateyama. Three of the attacking pilots were credited with the victory were: Lt Yutaka Morioka, Lt(jg) Hiroshi Kondo and Lt(jg) Hidekuni Ono. Leading the attack, Morioka made a head-on attack, firing his 20mm cannons and causing black smoke from the left engine. His attack was followed by Kondo who opened fire and caused it to catch fire, then the three Zeros climbed to avoid any escorting fighters.
Four other Zeros attacked the damaged Catalina before it crashed into the sea off Tateyama Airfield.
On the ground at nearby Yokosuka Airfield, the dogfight between the Zeros and the Catalina was witnessed by many observers on the ground, who admired the courage of the flying boat crew.
Jim Sawruk adds:
"This OA-10 may have been sent as a duplicate for "PLAYMATE 97" which had just completed a rescue of a VT-87 crew from the Ticonderoga. 1st Lt Charles Oates and crew in OA-10A 44-34075 picked up Ens John Brega and his two aircrew from TBM Avenger 69066 right before this other OA-10 was shot down."
Escorting fighters returned to find only wreckage and no survivors.
Fates of the Crew
Henwood and Regain survived the crash and was was rescued from Tokyo Bay by the Japanese. He was transported to Yokosuka and later to Ofuna Camp at Yokohama. When the war officially ended, he was liberated and returned to the United States.
Recovery of Remains
On September 12, Japanese fisherman discovered four bodies washed ashore, along the tip of Tateyama peninsula. Two were identified: Eliason and Bodley. The other two were noted as unknowns at the time, but were later tentatively identified as Chandler and Carter. The bodies were placed into wooden caskets by the Japanese and offerings made. Later, they were they were buried by the US Army at Tateyama and later moved US Armed Forces Cemetery #1 Yokohama at Yokohama.
Postwar, the four recovered crew members were transported to the United States.
Three of the crew were permanently buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). Bodley at section C, site 338. Kressler at section F, site 1177. Carter at section P site 580.
Radmall was never located and is still listed as missing in action (MIA) to this day. He is memorialized at the courts of the missing at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). He has a memorial marker at Pleasant Grove City Cemetery in Pleasant Grove, UT.
Chandler is buried at Maplewood Cemetery, Durham, NC Section 4.
Henry Sakaida adds:
"About 20 years ago, my friend Yutaka Morioka asked me about a PBY [OA-10] 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. 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 [Pilot of F6F Hellcat 78006]"
John Machado (grandson of Philip W. Carter)
PBY Memorial Foundation - Guest-book posting by John Machado
"My grandfather, Surgical Tech Corporal Philip W Carter, was part of the 4th ERS in Saipan and Iwo. His PBY was the last to go down in WWII (some think) on August 13, 1945. There was only one survivor. It was not him. His only child, my mother, was born 12 days later.
"His wife, Eleanor [Eloise Russon of Paterson, NJ] he married before going to the Pacific. He met her while training in New Jersey. Eleanor waited in New Jersey for his return with the intent of moving to his hometown in Iowa. She was 8 1/2 months pregnant when he was killed. Their only child, Barbara (my mother), was born 10 days after his death, but the family was not notified for a couple months I believe. I have all of my grandfather's things, flight manifests, personal items, etc."
Kathryn Raub (granddaughter of Edwin E. Bodley)
"I am the granddaughter of 1LT Bodley's sister, June. She is the only sibling still alive (Robert died about 5 yrs ago). I would love to have a copy of that crew picture! "Uncle Eddy", as we call him, was one of my childhood heroes".
USAF Serial Number Search Results - Canadian Vickers OA-10A Catalina 44-34080
"34080 (MSN CV591) shot down in Tokyo Bay 8/13/1945. One crew member survived."
Missing Air Crew Report 14969 (MACR 14969) created August 19, 1945
August 1945 USAAF Overseas Accident Reports does not mention OA-10A Catalina serial number 44-34080
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File does not list Roger E. Regain
Individual Flight Record - Philip W. Carter, August 1945
via John Machado
Last Dumbo Down by Lee Carey
Atsugi Sentokitai Senki by Morioka Yutaka. Konnichi no Wadai, Vol. 85, October 1960, p. 20
[English translation by Minoru Kamada] "[Morioka] approaching at the flying boat he recognize it as a PBY and he commenced shooting his 20mm. Black smoke popped out from its left engine when his Zero passed over the target. He observed it very carefully and saw 7.7mm on its back still firing at me. I made a face to face attack on it. The PBY listed a little bit and made a left turn off of Tateyama Airfield. Lt(jg) Kondo chased after it and made another attack. The plane was suddenly enveloped in flare. I made three Zeros flew away from the contact and climbed up for watch Grummans that might attack on us. Underneath them, four Zekes were still chasing after the victim. The fire on the PBY grew bigger. After a rapid left turn, it crashed to the sea off of Tateyama Airfield. I saw the burning plane but he could not stop thinking the crew of this PBY was very courageous."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Vernon R. Radmall
FindAGrave - Lawrence H. Chandler, Jr (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Edwin E. Bodley (grave photo)
FindAGrave - David A. Kressler (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Vernon Reuben Radmall (grave photo)
Philip W Carter (grave photo)
Thanks to Henry Sakaida, Jim Sawruk, Minoru Kamada and Yoji Sakaida for additional information
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December 28, 2018