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  PB4Y-2 "Gear Down (and Locked)" Bureau Number 59519  

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USN c1945
Pilot  Lt. John E. Ramsey, O-106296 USNR (MIA / KIA) Bala Cynwyd, PA
Crew  Ensign Merlin H. Williams, O-407216 USNR (MIA / KIA) Portland, OR
Crew  Lt(jg) Robert F. Stengelin, O-354631 (MIA / KIA) West Hartford, CT
Crew  AOM3c Hoyt H. Hamlett, 9658316 (MIA / KIA) Hazard, KY
Crew  S1c Allen E. Kallstrom, 3063303 USNR (MIA / KIA) Glen Flora, WI
Crew  S1c Russell L. Rummel, 6136026 USNR (MIA / KIA) Cincinnati, OH
Crew  AR1c Robert S. Nicholls, 6146503 (MIA / KIA) Plainesville, OH
Crew  AMM1c Howard Hobbs, 2622241 (MIA / KIA) San Gabriel, CA
Crew  AO1c William A. Yankow, 3054743 USNR (MIA / KIA) Campbellsport, WI
Crew  AMM2c John H. Anson, 5654500 USNR (MIA / KIA) Redondo Beach, CA
Crew  ARM3c Hugh C. Wilson, 8846870 (MIA / KIA) Boulder, Utah
MIA  July 24, 1945

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation at San Diego as Model 32. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as PB4Y-2 Privateer bureau number 59519.

Wartime History
Assigned to Patrol Squadron VPB-124 (VPB-124). Nicknamed "Gear Down (and Locked)".

Mission History
On July 24, 1945 took off from Yontan Airfield on Okinawa piloted by Lt. John E. Ramsey (crew #3) with PB4Y-2 59747 pilot Lt. Gilbert E. Miller (crew #10) on an anti-shipping sweep over the west coast of Korea. At 9:20am a they radioed they were under attack and at 11:00am radioed that they had bombed a Japanese ship. Both bombers failed to return from the mission and were presumed to be lost along the 40th Parallel. When this PB4Y-2 failed to return, the entire crew was declared Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost was PB4Y-2 59747 (MIA).

On July 25, 1945 a search mission was conducted for the two missing bombers without result.

The entire crew was officially declared dead on July 25, 1946. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Ramsey earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with two Gold Stars, Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Williams earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Stengelin earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Hamlett earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Kallstrom earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Ingram Cemetery in Ingram, WI.

Rummel earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Nicholls earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Hobbs earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Yankow earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Saint Matthews Catholic Cemetery in Campbellsport, WI.

Anson earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Wilson earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Trudy Jones (daughter of Hugh Crae Wilson)
"My dad was born in the little rural town of Boulder, Utah.  He was raised around livestock and his family truly lived off grid. My father was flying with Lt. Ramsey. I have wondered many times over the years the fate of my father and the other men. My mother never remarried and held on to hope for many years that someday my dad would return. I was 2 weeks old when my dad's plane disappeared. Now I would like to get in contact with those folks who were close to the situation and learn more about the incident. I do have the letters of notification from the Navy about my father's last flight. Any information you could pass on to me would be of great worth to me. It is very similar to what was presented on the web site. Thank you for your help."

Navy Serial Number Search Results - PB4Y-2 Privateer 59519
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List July 1945 - PB4Y-2 Privateer 59519
NARA Patrol Bombing Squadron 124 (VPB-124) War History 15 March 1943-15 August 1945 pages 36-37, 40 (crew #3)
(Page 36) "Two of our finest and most experienced pilots, Lieut. J. E. Ramsey and Lieut. Ge,. E. Miller teamed up on 24 July for an anti-shipping sweep along the western coast of Korea. Big things were expected of this bloodthirsty pair and although they did not return to confirm our conclusions, mute evidence would strongly indicate that they performed up to expectations... Neither plane was heard from again.
A carefully conducted search for survivors was negative, however, two planes from another unit while flying the Ramsey Miller sector sighted the remains of two ships which fitted into our pattern of known circumstances and offered a reasonable solution to the mysterious disappearance of our two Privateers. The first ship spotted was an 80 ton type such as Lt. Ramsey had mentioned in his last transmission to Miller, this vessel was run up on the beach with her bow blown off. Two miles north only the bow and forward king post of a 7,000 ton..."
(Page 37) "... merchantman showed above the water, her paint was fresh and from all appearances she had been recently sunk. A canvas of all units operating in that area including submarine units revealed no prior report of these sinkings consequently it was believed fairly conclusive that Lt. Ramsey and Lt. Miller had destroyed these two ships and had been shot down or forced to ditch as a result of the latter engagement.
There can of course be no real compensation for the severe loss of friends and shipmates suffered during our seven weeks of combat operations but it can be and is a satisfaction to have struck a deadly toll of Jap shipping in partial retribution."
(Page 40) "Crew #3 John E. Ramsey Lieutenant Haverford, Pennsylvania..."
NARA VPB-124 War Diary July 1945 page 3
(Page 3) "Date: 24 July 1945 / Location: Western coast of Korea / How Lost: 2 PB4Y-2s missing. Presumed to have been shot down while attacking enemy merchant ship. See ACA-1 Report No. 35".
NARA VPB-124 Aircraft Action Report (AAR) No. 35 June 24, 194 pages 8-12
(Page 8) "Two PB4Y-2s lost Bureau Number 59519 and 59747"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John E. Ramsey
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Merlin H. Williams
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert F. Stengelin
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Hoyt H. Hamlett
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Allen E. Kallstrom
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Russell L. Rummel
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert S. Nicholls
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Howard Hobbs
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William A. Yankow
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John H. Anson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Hugh C. Wilson
FindAGrave - Lt John Ellis Ramsey (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Ens Merlin Harry Williams (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - LTJG Robert Frederick “Bob” Stengelin (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AOM3 Hoyt Hurst Hamlett (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - S1 Allen E Kallstrom (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Allen Eide Kallstrom (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - S1 Russell L Rummel (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - ARM1 Robert S Nicholls (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AMM1 Howard Hobbs (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AOM1 William A Yankow (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - William A Yankow (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - AMM2 John H Anson (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - ARM3 Hugh C Wilson (tablets of the missing)
Thanks to Trudy Jones for additional information

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Last Updated
July 21, 2020

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