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  TBF-1 Avenger Bureau Number 06091  

Pilot  2nd Lt. Ellis E. Matheson, O-013680 (MIA / KIA) Fairmount, ND
Radio  ? (MIA / KIA)
Gunner  ? (MIA / KIA)
MIA  March 21, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Grumman as Model G-40. Constructors Number 4024. Delivered to the United States Navy (USN) as TBF-1 Avenger bureau number 06091.

Wartime History
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) to Marine Air Wing 1 (MAW-1), Marine Air Group 12 (MAG-12), Marine Scout Bomber Squadron 143 (VMSB-143) "Rocket Raiders". No known nickname, nose art or markings.

Mission History
On March 21, 1943 took off from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal piloted by 2nd Lt. Matheson on a bombing mission against Kahili Airfield (Buin) on southern Bougainville. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Matheson was posthumously promoted to Captain and officially declared dead on March 22, 1945. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for "extraordinary achievement as a pilot of a torpedo bomber in the Solomon Islands area, in spite of heavy enemy anit-aircraft fire and night fighter opposition, and with utter disregard for his own safety, Lt. Matheson skillfully maneuvered his bomber over the objective" and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Matheson is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. He also has a memorial marker at IOOF Cemetery in Lebanon, OR.

Navy Serial Number Search Results - TBF-1 Avenger 06091
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List - March 1943 - TBF-1 Avenger 06091
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ellis E. Matheson
FindAGrave - Capt Ellis Ellsworth Matheson (obituary, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - CPT Ellis Ellsworth Matheson (memorial marker photo)

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Last Updated
April 19, 2020

Tech Info

3 Missing
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