|Pilot Captain William Deen "Willie" Moore, O-010281 (MIA / KIA) CA
MIA September 13, 1943
Built by Vought. Delivered to the United States Navy (USN) as F4U-1 Corsair bureau number 17435. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to the United States Marine Corps (USMC), 1st Marine Air Wing (MAW-1), Marine Air Group 14 (MAG-14) to squadron VMF-222 "Flying Deuces". This aircraft had no known nickname, nose art or squadron number.
On September 13, 1943 took off from Munda Airfield on New Georgia Island at 6:10am piloted by Captain William Deen "Willie" Moore on a "Moonbeam" patrol mission over Vella Lavella Island. The formation encountered an enemy force including 15-30 Zeros and Tonys with at least eight G4M1 Bettys. Intercepting the attacking force, the Corsairs managed to swing the enemy away from Barakoma.
During the combat, Moore claimed an enemy Zero shot down. When this aircraft failed to return the pilot was listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost was F4U Corsair piloted by Major Carnagey who bailed out due to battle damage and was forced to bail out over the airfield.
Moore was officially declared dead on January 10, 1946 and earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1 Corsair 17435
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List September 1943 - F4U-1 Corsair 17435 lists loss location as Ballale in error
NARA War Diary VMF-222 September 1943 page 8
"September 13  0610 take off, Carnagey's Fifth and Moore's Third Divisions, "Moonbeam" patrol over Vella Lavella.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William Deen Moore
FindAGrave - Capt William Deen Moore (photo, tablets of the missing)
USMC Aviators page 64 (pilot photo)
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February 4, 2018