|Pilot Lt. John H. Ballantine Jr., O-121823 USNR (MIA / KIA) New York, NY
AOM2c Walter K. Biye, 6285440 USNR (MIA / KIA) Fort Defiance, AZ
Radio ARM3c William J. Hesse, 7106002 USNR (MIA / KIA) Irvington Place, NJ
MIA November 19, 1944
Built by General Motors, Eastern Aircraft
Division. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as TBM-1C Avenger bureau number 46355.
Assigned to Torpedo Squadron 29 (VT-29) aboard USS Cabot (CVL-28). No known nickname, nose art or squadron number.
On November 19, 1944 took off from USS Cabot (CVL-28) armed with 500 pound bombs on a bombing mission against Lipa Airfield (West Lipa). Over the target, this Avenger exploded over the runway West Lipa. No parachutes or survivors were observed. When this aircraft failed to return, the crew were officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All three are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
Navy Serial Number Search Results -
TBM-1C Avenger 46355
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List November 1944 - TBM-1C Avenger 46355
NARA USS Cabot War Diary - November 19, 1944 pages 2-3
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John H. Ballantine Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Walter K. Biye
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
William J. Hesse
FindAGrave - John H Ballantine, Jr (tablets of the missing, Distinguished Flying Cross DFC citation and gold star)
FindAGrave - AOM2 Walter K Biye (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - ARM3 William John Hesse (tablets of the missing)
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November 10, 2019