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  F4U-1A Corsair Bureau Number 17845 Number 14
USMC
VMF-216

Pilot  1st Lt. Guy Harmon Kemper, O-021940 (MIA / KIA) Cisco, TX
Crashed  December 19, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1A Corsair bureau number 17845. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) to squadron VMF-216 with number 14. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On December 19, 1943 took off from Torokina Airfield on Bougainville piloted by 1st Lt. Guy Harmon Kemper as part of a three plane formation from VMF-216 flying cover over Rabaul. Over the target, went to assist some P-40s and B-24s being attacked by Zeros. When this Corsair failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost was F4U 17806 (MIA) failed to return.

Robert Marshall adds:
"More than likely, they attempted water landings (if they had a choice) and hope for Dumbo rescue rather than ground landing and risk enemy capture. I've got RNZAF reports, AAF reports, VMF 223 reports, but no one seems to have seen them go down, probably near Credner Island. and probably into the water. One thing I don't have is any documentation of VF-33, supposedly flying F6Fs out of Ondonga Airfeild. RNZAF reports them there and even some dog fighting Hellcats and Zekes, but no records have surfaced. Navy doesn't have their war diary, Nat. Archives doesn't have anything, almost as though the squadron didn't leave any records."

Memorials
Kemper was officially declared dead on January 11, 1946. He earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

References
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Guy Harmon Kemper
FindAGrave - 1LT Guy Harmon Kemper (photos, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Guy Harmon Kemper (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
Thanks VMF-216 via Robert Marshall for additional information

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Last Updated
June 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
F4U

MIA
MIA
1 Missing

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