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|Pilot 1st Lt. Robert A. Alexander (survived) Davenport, IA
Crashed September 23, 1943
Alexander experienced a bad cylinder, but decided to press ahead anyway. When his engine began to fail, he was ordered back to base, but several A6M Zeros attacked, causing him to dive to avoid their attack. During the dive, the engine stopped, but the Zeros did not close, and he was able to restart the engine and fly with lower power settings.
He turned for Barakoma Airfield and radioed ahead that he expected to make an emergency landing, before the runway had been completed. On arrival saw construction equipment still on the runway, and was forced to land on the side of the airfield, bounced on landing and swerve around construction vehicles before hitting a ditch that caused the F4U to overturn. Ground personnel rush to the crash and assisted him out of the crushed cockpit. He was surprised one of the rescuers was Seabee Ensign from his hometown in Davenport!
Fighter Command Intelligence New Georgia Air Force VMF-214 Squadron Report:
Later, Alexander was flown aboard a J2F Duck back to his squadron at Banika Airfield.
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