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  F4U-1A Corsair Bureau Number 55908  
USN
MAG-12
VMF-212

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Brian Bennett 1983

Pilot  1st Lt. Allan S. Harrison, III, O-21213 (MIA / KIA) Houston, TX
Crashed  February 11, 1944

Pilot History
Allan S. Harrison III was the only child of Cora M. and Allan S. Harrison II, a Proctor & Gamble salesman, who grew up in a simple house on Lidstone Street in Houston. He attended Stephen F. Austin High School and attended ROTC then attended the University of Houston. During the Pacific War joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve (USMCR) and entered flight school in Corpus Christi, Texas. Afterwards, assigned to the Pacific.

On January 9, 1944 he claimed a Zero probable. On January 23, 1944 he claimed two Zeros and Hamp. Finally on February 4, 1944 he claimed one Zeke. In total, 4 aerial victories and a probable. Before he was lost, he flew a total of ten combat mission. Harrison earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Gold Star and Purple Heart (posthumously).

Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Assigned U. S. Navy as F4U-1A Corsair bureau number 55908. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the United States Marine Corps (USMC), Marine Air Group 12 (MAG 12), Squadron VMF-212. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On February 11, 1944 lost on a mission to Rabaul, due to enemy action. When this aircraft failed to return it was declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
Harrison was officially declared dead on January 17, 1946. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Wreckage
This aircraft crashed near Warangoi and was badly broken up and scattered by the impact.

Brian Bennett adds:
"I found this site back about 1983 and had advised CILHI. The part serial number was not 'stolen'. I showed them the wheel spat with the partial aircraft number 3 on it at the Kokopo Museum several years ago [2006], they even took photos."

A Bond of Brothers, by Kevin Baron and Bryan Bender adds:
"The plane's wreckage was largely scavenged by locals for scrap metal, including the piece of the plane stamped with Harrison's tail number - 55908. It had been photographed on the site by a local forest surveyor [Brian Bennett] in 1986, but has since been stolen."

Recovery of Remains
In 1983, this aircraft wreck was reported to CILHI in 1983 by Brian Bennett.

During July 1984, this wreck was the subject of CILHI recovery during July 1984, 07CIL84.

In May 2008, a JPAC team lead by Army Major George Eyster visited the crash site.

Memorials
Harrison was officially declared dead on January 17, 1946. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Harrison is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. He has a memorial marker at Forest Park Cemetery in Houston, TX.

References
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Allan S. Harrison III
FindAGrave - 1LT Allan Sublett Harrison, III (memorial marker)
A Bond of Brothers, by Kevin Baron and Bryan Bender / May 26, 2008
"Interviews with villagers suggest that Harrison's remains were carried off from the crash site. Some villagers say Harrison was buried in what is now a potato patch down a 30-degree incline from the place where his plane hit the ground. Two machine guns were excavated, with serial numbers linking them to this aircraft. During their search, bone matter was found and recovered at the site after extensive searching. On May 14, the suspected remains of Lieutenant Allan S. Harrison III and Captain Marion R. McCown [pilot of F4U Corsair 02402] were placed in a specially designed transfer cases and carried into a small chapel at the headquarters of the Papua New Guinea Defense Force, in the island nation's capital city of Port Moresby."
Thanks to Brian Bennett and Bruce Hoy for additional information

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
F4U

MIA
MIA
1 Missing

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