|Pilot 2nd Lt. William H. Holden (survived)
Ditched April 17, 1945 at 4:15pm
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1 Corsair bureau number 49668.
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 April 17, 1945 took off from Molokai Field on a ferry flight bound for Ewa Field on Oahu. Twenty minutes during the flight, this Corsair was at a bearing of 85° 10 miles off Diamond Head, when he noticed his engine rpm fluctuating. Soon afterwards
his oil began to spray on his windshield and his engine lost all
power. His engine was wind milling when he stalled into the water
in a three point attitude at approximated at 90 knots at 4:15pm, weather was CAVU with a 13 knot wind. Location
at time of ditching was 85° roughly four miles off Makapu'u
Point off Diamond Head on the southeastern corner of Oahu.
During the ditching, Holden was
cut slightly over the right eye climbing from the floating plane and was later rescued. Afterwards, Holden reported all engine instruments registered correctly, except the
cylinder head temperature which was broken before takeoff.
The cause of the accident was deemed to be 100% caused by the engine.
Discoverd during 1995, this Corsair is now a popular SCUBA dive site.
Thanks to Captain Bruce Diving for additional information
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January 5, 2018