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  F4U-1A Corsair Bureau Number 50166  

Pilot  1st Lt. R. S. Marsh (rescued)
Ditched  January 23, 1944 at 0930

Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Assigned to the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Assigned to VMF-321. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On January 23, 1944 one of four Corsairs from VMF-321 led by Captain Nange that took off from Piva Uncle (Piva Fighter Strip) on Bougainville at 0705/L on a mission to escort SBD Dauntless over Rabaul. Also escorting were 12 x P-38 Lightnings, 12 x other Corsairs and 8 x F6F Hellcats. Weather was hazy with a few thunderheads at 7,000 - 8,000' with some at 25,000'.

The formation rendezvoused with SBD Dauntless over Taiof Island at 0805 at 6,000' then climbed to 12,000' passing over New Ireland. This Corsair experienced mechanical trouble and was forced to abort the mission and turned back towards base before the engine began to sputter forcing Marsh to ditch into the sea at 72° roughly 20-30 miles off the tip of Cape St. George.

Spotted in the sea, Captain Nange dropped his dye marker and circled with his emergency IFF on as of 0940, until he was forced to return to Bougainville and landed at Torokina Airfield to report this plane as missing to fighter command.

Later, Marsh was rescued by a PBY Catalina "Dumbo".

VMF-321 Aircraft Action Report - January 23, 1944 (morning sortie)

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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