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|Pilot 1st Lt. Theodore D. Thurnau, Jr. (KIA, BR) Woodcliff Lake, NJ
Crashed February 28, 1944
Built by Chance-Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1A Corsair bureau number 03826. Disassembled and shipped to the Central Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC), Marine Air Group 22 (MAG-22), Marine Fighting Squadron 422 "Flying Buccaneers" VMF-422. No known squadron number, nickname or nose art.
On February 28, 1944 took off from Abemama Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. Theodore D. Thurnau, Jr. on a flight. While getting airborne, the left wing's locking pin came free and caused this Corsair to crash just as it was becoming airborne and killed the pilot.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, Thurnau was recovered and buried. Postwar, he was transported to the United States for permanent burial.
Thurnau was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is buried at Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly, NJ.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1A Corsair 03826
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List February 1944 - F4U Corsair 03826
NARA "Marine Fighting Squadron Four Twenty Two - 1 January 1943 to 31 December 1944" appendix D, page 2
(Appendix D Casualty List, page 2) "Thurnau, Theodore, 1st Lt., Westwood, N.J. Dead (operational) On 28 February 1944, Lt. Thurnau was killed on take off at Apamama, Gilbert Islands. The left wing locking pin worked out of the locked position just as the Corsair was airborne. The aircraft was totally wrecked."
FindAGrave - Lieut Theodore D. Thurnau, Jr (grave photo)
Thanks to William Bartsch for additional information
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