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Patrol Bombing Squadron 109 (VPB-109)
United States Navy (USN)

Patrol Bombing Squadron 109 (VPB-109) operated the PB4Y-2 Privateer in the Pacific during World War II.

Wartime History
On April 23, 1945 PB4Y-2 Privateer piloted by Lt.Cdr. George L. Hicks and Lt. Leo E. Kennedy release two Bat bombs against Japanese shipping in Balikpapan Harbor in the first combat employment of the only automatic homing bomb to be used in World War II.

On May 27, 1945 PB4Y-2 Privateer piloted by Lt.Cdr. George L. Hicks and Lt. Leo E. Kennedy armed with bombs plus a Bat bombs on a special anti-shipping strike off the southern coast Korea and attacks targets in the Korea Strait including target #8 claimed to be a "Destroyer of Large DH" and claimed it as sunk. In fact, the bat bomb hit Aguni in the forward deck area killing 2 officers KIA, 32 enlisted KIA and 1 seriously wounded crew member although heavily damaged reaches Pusan and is under repair until the end of the Pacific War.

Patrol Bombing Squadron 109 (VPB-109) War Diary, April 1945 page 3
"23 April: Lt.Cdr. Hicks and Lt. Kennedy on a special strike at shipping in Balikpapan Harbor, Borneo dropped to defective BAT (SWOD Mark 9) [Special Weapons Ordnance Devices Mark 9] with negative results. Two unaggressive Hamps made one pass at Lt.Cdr. Hicks. Lt. Kennedy damaged a radar station on the coast of northeast Borneo by strafing."
Patrol Bombing Squadron 109 (VPB-109) War Diary, May 1945, page 13
“traveled true, hitting destroyer directly on the bow above water line. The explosion blew off the bow back to the turret. Both planes circled at 5,000 feet altitude at 6 to 7 miles distant before AA from the undamaged DD was received, forcing withdrawal. As soon as the AT detonated, the undamaged destroyer originally a mile away, proceeded to a position 100 yards from the sinking destroyer, then turned broadside to the planes (both destroyers had initially turned bow to the planes’ attack) to fire. Firing started as the last window settled to the water.”
Aguni (4-電報-33) page 798 via Minoru Kamada
Thanks to Jim Sawruk and Minoru Kamada for additional information

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