|Pilot Lt Robert Q. Bekins, Jr. (rescued) Tulsa, OK
Ditched March 18, 1944
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1A Corsair bureau number 56212. Disassembled and shipped to the South Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to the United States Marine Corps (USMC) to Marine Fighting Squadron 222 "Flying Deuces" VMF-222. No known nose art or nickname.
On March 18, 1944 took off from Bougainville on a mission over Rabaul. This Corsair ditched roughly two miles north of Tavui Point in to the sea off the Duke of York Island Group.
Afterwards, Corsairs from VMF-222 escorted a PBY Catalina "Dumbo" on a rescue mission to rescue Bekins.
Jim Sawruk adds:
"This rescue was not performed by VP-91 as I have all of their rescues listed. There are a few possibilities including VP-11 but that is a longshot."
Robert Bekins (son of Bekins)
"The ID card below was issued by Max Karant of the "American Division of the Goldfish Club" For those who escaped death through the emergency use of life jacket or dinghy. Sure glad my Dad made it!"
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1A Corsair 56212
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List March 1944 - F4U Corsair 56212
USMC Aviators page 93 (Wilson logbook March 18, 1944 "Dumbo - Escort Rabaul, strafed shore battieries - Lt. Bekins rescued by Dumbo")
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June 29, 2019