|Pilot Major R. G. Owens, C.O. VMF-215 (rescued)
Ditched January 24, 1944
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1 Corsair bureau number 02285.
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) to Marine Air Wing 1 (MAW-1), Marine Air Group 12 (MAG-12) to squadron VMF-215 "Fighting Corsairs". No known nickname or nose art.
On January 24, 1944 took off from Barakoma Airfield on Vella LaVella on a mission against Rabaul. Returning he ditched west of Bougainville and managed to deploy his life raft, but was burned.
Afterwards, spotted by friendly aircraft that circled his raft roughly 15 miles west of Torokina on Bougainville. At 2:15pm, PBY Catalina #17 piloted by Lt(jg) O. H. Patterson from U. S. Navy (USN) VP-14 landed to rescue Owens. Earlier that same afternoon, the same flying boat sucessfully rescued pilot 1st Lt Glen E. Hart who ditched P-38H 42-66897 on January 17, 1944. Afterwards, departed for Blanche Harbor arriving at 3:00pm. Both rescued pilots were transferred to a seaplane tender for medical care.
Thanks to Jim Sawruk for additional information
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January 5, 2018