USN MIA March 22 1944

Details about those listed as missing or killed in the Pacific, including current search operations.

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cobytreadway
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USN MIA March 22 1944

Post by cobytreadway » Tue May 19, 2015 6:07 pm

Hello,
I'm new to the forum and I was wondering if anyone had any information about the loss of ARM2 William Lee Treadway Jr.? He was reported missing on March 22, 1944 and his name is on the missing memorial in Manila. I have no idea what kind of plane he crewed or who the pilot was. I have read that the flight was a patrol and that he disappeared over New Guinea. I have also read that his group conducted numerous combat operations and were credited with sinking two armed Japanese vessels in Humboldt Bay.

Unfortunately, none of this has helped me up to this point, in identifying his unit or any other information.

Thank you for any help.

Coby Treadway

cobytreadway
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Re: USN MIA March 22 1944

Post by cobytreadway » Wed May 20, 2015 8:49 am

I uncovered another piece of the puzzle last night. Another member of the flight crew was AO3 John Mihalik of Beaver County Pennsylvania. Still no flight information, plane type, pilot, or squadron, though.

Coby Treadway

cobytreadway
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Re: USN MIA March 22 1944

Post by cobytreadway » Sat May 23, 2015 8:03 am

I think I have found it. PBY5 08522, part of VP-33, of Black Cats fame, was shot down on the night of March 11/12, 1944 during operations over Hollandia. Interestingly, I have read that the crew was believed to have survived the crash only to be executed by the Japanese. The plane was piloted by LTJG Russell M Childs and I believe the entire crew was as follows:

LTJG Russell M Childs
ENS John C Thornton
ARM2 William Desh
ARM2 William Lee Treadway Jr
AOM3 John Mihalik
AOM3 George F Davis
AMM2 Kenneth P Shields
AMM3 Marshall D Coke Jr

The plane was stricken from the record in December 1944. I will continue to do more digging but I think I might be on the right track now. Crazy how one little typo can completely throw off research.

Coby Treadway

BoWooden
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Re: USN MIA March 22 1944

Post by BoWooden » Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:05 am

Coby,

ARM2 Treadway was a radio operator assigned to my father's (Cdr. William W. Wooden Sr. USN Ret) crew. For some reason that was never explained, another crew needed another radio operator for their mission. ARM2 Treadway was the one. When the aircraft was going down, the radio call was "Going down Humbo." My dad said ARM2 was Swedish and couldn't pronounce Humboldt so they knew who it was. Word came back from French missionaries that the crew was captured and beheaded by the Japanese. They were flying a PBY-5.

BoWooden
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Re: USN MIA March 22 1944

Post by BoWooden » Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:25 pm

There is a name missing from the crew: Ltjg Robert McNeil

I found this information in my father's papers. Cdr William W. Wooden Sr. USN Ret. He was an Ensign at the time.

RSwank
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Re: USN MIA March 22 1944

Post by RSwank » Sat May 13, 2017 9:17 am

Slightly off topic, but here is an interesting post that involves Kenneth Shields, one of the crewmen.

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ ... -grouping/


fold3.com has some information on some of the men. (A paid site but often gives free access for a week around Memorial Day and Veterans Day. ) For example there is a Memory Gravestone application for Marshall D Coke. The family applied for the marker in 1962 and it was placed in Texas in 1963. Hence the two findagrave listings.

https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.c ... d=27085134

https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.c ... d=56748728

RSwank
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Re: USN MIA March 22 1944

Post by RSwank » Sat May 13, 2017 9:56 am

A slight followup on my previous post. There is a 37 page history of VP-33 on fold3.com. The first page is here:
https://www.fold3.com/image/301981888

Regarding the loss of this crew, there is this brief reference.
-------
From 15 of February to the 25th of March, 1944, the squadron was based at SAMARAI, New Guinea. Several night search and attack missions against enemy shipping in the BISMARK Sea were flown. This was the first tour of "BLACK CAT" duty and produced satisfactory results. Seven merchant ships totaling 13,000 tons were sunk and 27,000 tons or more were damaged.

During this tour, three officers and six enlisted men were missing in action and presumed lost,.......


-------
No names are given for the missing.

The monthly War Diary for VP-33 for March, 1944:
https://www.fold3.com/image/273585167
makes no mention of this loss, which is odd. Childs is listed as flying a night search mission on 4 March in Bu NO 08523 but that is the only entry.

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