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  F4F-3 Wildcat Bureau Number 3989 Plane Number 23
USMC
VMF-221
Third Division

Pilot  2nd Lt. Walter W. Swansberger, O-007538 USMCR (MIA / KIA) El Centro, CA
Crashed  June 4, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Grumman as a model G-36 with manually operated folding wings. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4F-3 Wildcat bureau number 3989.

Wartime History
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) to squadron VMF-221 "Fighting Falcons" to the Third Division as plane number "23". No known nickname or nose art.

One of seven F4F-3 Wildcats loaded aboard USS Kitty Hawk (APV-1) and delivered to Midway Airfield on May 26, 1942 as reinforcements to protect Midway Atoll.

Mission History
On June 4, 1942 during the Battle of Midway took off from Midway Airfield on Eastern Island. When this aircraft failed to return it was declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
Swansberger was officially declared dead on June 5, 1943. He is commemorated on the courts of the missing, court 4 at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).

References
AAIR USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List June 1942  - F4F-3 Wildcat 3989 piloted by McCarthy
'Summing it Up: VMF-221 at Midway' by Santiago A Flores
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) Walter W. Swansberger
FindAGrave - 2Lt Walter W Swansberger (courts of the missing photo)

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
F4F

MIA
MIA
1 Missing

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