|Pilot Captain Adolph Raines Vetter, O-011413 (MIA / KIA) Jackson, TN
MIA January 13, 1944 at 5:10pm
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1A Corsair bureau number 18045. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific.
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC), 1st Marine Air Wing (MAW-1), Marine Air Group 24 (MAG-24) to Marine Fighting Squadron 211 (VMF-211). This aircraft has no known nickname, nose art or squadron number.
On January 13, 1944 took off from Torokina Airfield on Bougainville pilot Captain Adolph Raines Vetter on a search mission escorting a PBY Catalina. While over the Shortland Islands, this Corsair developed an oil leak, and the engine froze at 5:10pm at 1,500' and radioed his intention to bail out, but instead, this aircraft flipped over and dove downward midway between Shortland Islands and the Treasury Islands.
Pilot Vetter managed to bail out at 100' but his parachute did not have time to deploy. He was observed floating in the water for ten minutes but showed no sign of life. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Vetter was officially declared dead the day of the mission and earned the Air Medal and the Purple Heart, posthumously. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1A Corsair 18045
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List January 1944 - F4U-1A Corsair 18045
USN Accident Report - F4U-1A Corsair via AAIR (Aviation Archaeological Investigation & Research)
NARA "VMF-211 War Diary - January 1944" pages 7-8
[Page 7] "January 13
, 1944 - Major T. V. Murto's and Major Ireland's division
were assigned to escort a Dumbo in search of the Shortland Island area for two pilots reported down. Capt. A. R. Vetter was killed in line of duty while on this mission. The report of the crash is as follows:
While searching the area, Capt. A. R. Vetter's plane developed an oil leak. He notified his division leader, and was told to try to gain altitude, and then land at Treasury. He did succeed in pulling his plane up to 1,500 feet, but at that time his engine froze. He radioed his intentions of bailing out and was seen to stand up in the cockpit preparatory to the jump, but just at that time the plane flipped over on its back and dove down. At about 100 feet above the water, Capt. Vetter did succeed in getting free of his plane, and pulled his chute, so that the pilot chute was seen to open, the remainder trailing behind the pilot chute.
Captain Vetter floated in the water for approximately 10 minutes, but showed no signs of life. His mae west was not blown up. The time was approximately 1710.
The planes of VMF-211 on the escort circled the area, and a patrol boat was sent out from Treasury."
[Page 8] - Because of high seas the Dumbo was unable to land. The accident occurred midway between Shortland Island and Treasury. The remaining planes landed at base at 1800. Capt. J. A. Pardis, Jr, led his division on evening patrol over the base with no sightings or contacts."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Adolph Raines Vetter
FindAGrave - Adolph Raines Vetter (photo, tablets of the missing)
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January 11, 2019