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|Pilot 2nd Lt. Thomas M. Pepe, O-37305 USMCR (KIA. BR)
Gunner SSgt Guy R. Loy, 513122, USMCR (KIA, BR) Newville, PA
Crashed March 9, 1945
Built by Douglas at El Segundo. Constructors Number 5724. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as SBD-5 Dauntless Bureau Number 54210.
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) to Marine Air Wing 1 (MAW-1), Marine Air Group 32 (MAG-32), Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 243 "Flying Goldbricks" (VMSB-243). No known nickname or nose art.
On March 9, 1945 took off from Mangaldan Airfield piloted by 2nd Lt. Thomas M. Pepe on a mission to bomb and strafe enemy troops 1,500 yards southwest of Pantay in Rizal Province on Luzon. Over the target, last seen in a steep right turn after a second strafing run over a hill southwest of Pantay. The results of the strike were unknown and this SBD failed to rejoin the formation after the strike. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Two planes from the squadron were sent to search, but found no trace of the aircraft.
Afterwards, the crash site was found and the remains of the crew were recovered.
Recovery of Remains
Postwar the remains of the crew were recovered and transported to the United States for permanent burial.
Both were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Pepe is buried at Long Island National Cemetery at section H, site 8447. Loy is buried at Newville Cemetery in Newville, PA.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - SBD-5 Dauntless 54210
MAG 32 War Diary page 3 via Marc Matzer
NARA Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 243 War Diary March 1945 page 2 (Pepe), 3 (Loy), 9 (March 9, 1945), 14 (summary)
(Page 9) "March 9 : Eight (8) planes were ordered to bomb and strafe troops 1500 yards south west of Pantay, Rizal Province. Results of the strike were unobserved. Plane number 616 flown by Lieutenant Thomas M. Pepe, 037305, NA, USMCR, with Staff Sergeant Guy R. Loy, 513122, USMCR, as the radio gunner, did not rendezvous with the squadron after the strike. The plane was last seen pulling out of a second strafing run on a hill 1500 yards south west of Pantay. A three (3) plane search was dispatched to the area for visual reconnaissance; the mission was negative."
(Page 14) "Summary: Own personnel combat losses to date: One (1) officer [Pepe] and one (1) enlisted [Loy] missing in action."
FindAGrave - 2LT Thomas M Pepe (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Guy Richards Loy (obituary, grave photo)
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