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  TBM-1C Avenger Bureau Number 45445  
1st MAW

Pilot  1st Lt. Clarence A. Hess (survived) Skokie, IL
Gunner  Regis Robert Murphey (survived)
Radio  William "Bill" Cordetti. (survived)
Ditched  December 11, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by General Motors. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as TBM-1C Avenger bureau number 45445.

Wartime History
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) 1st Marine Air Wing (1 MAR), Headquarters Squadron (HQ). No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On December 11, 1944 took off from Piva North Airfield on Bougainville on a bombing mission against Japanese bridge roughly two miles inland from Cape Torokina. Over the target, Hess dropped four 500 pound bombs onto a log bridge. Hit by anti-aircraft fire, two engine cylinders were shot out. Hess managed to fly westward and ditched into the sea roughly 400 yards off Cape Torokina onto a coral reef.

Fates of the Crew
The entire crew survived the ditching without injury.

Later that evening, they were rescued by a PT Boat and returned to duty.

Thanks to Clarence A. Hess for additional information

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Last Updated
December 10, 2019


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