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  F4U-1 Corsair Bureau Number 56260  
"Fighting Corsairs"

Pilot  Lt. Arthur Patet Jr., O-29719 (MIA / KIA) MN
MIA  September 3, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1 Corsair bureau number 56260. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC), Marine Air Wing 1 (MAW-1), Marine Air Group 12 (MAG-12), Marine Fighting Squadron 215 "Fighting Corsairs" VMF-215. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On September 3, 1944 one of two F4U Corsairs from VMF-215 that took off from Piva South Airfield on Bougainville on a fighter sweep and bombing mission against the Lossuk Bay area of New Ireland. As the two aircraft pulled up after the attack they collided. This F4U was presumed to have crashed into the sea or ashore. The other F4U piloted by Lt. Poehlman returned to base with damage.

On December 13, 1948, the Search and Recovery Expedition reported interviewing the manager of Lakurufanga Plantation, Mr. Cochrane who directed the team to witnesses at the old site of Pikira Village. They were told the water is about 100 fathoms deep and the crash was beyond the reef. The actual position was not visited because of rough seas and storms.

Dick Clark
"My name is Dick Clark and I live in Forest Lake, MN. I am in no way related to 2nd Lt. Arthur Patet. He was however, engaged to my mother at the time of his death and of course, I never met him as I was not born until 1950. My mother married a former sailor. I am a retired Marine and am curious as to events in the Pacific and my Corps history.

My interest is simply historical curiosity. And an interest in the life and death of another Marine from another war. If the wreck has ever been visited or photographed, please let me know. My mother would probably like to know, also. I know nothing about or if that depth is achievable Does anyone have any information on where VMF-215 was based at this time?

Patet was officially declared dead on January 21, 1946. He earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. Patet is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Dick Clark adds:
"No, I'm not a relative. My mother was engaged to him during the war and went to Pensacola to pin his wings on. The Marine Corps actually sent a casualty assisting officer to her house to notify her of his being first missing and eventually, KIA. They were both natives of a little town called Gladstone, now a suburb of St. Paul, MN named Maplewood. His mother and father are of course dead and I believe his only sister died recently. I have made sure his surviving sister snt a DNA sample to DoD with the kit they provide but information on WWII searches is difficult to find."

USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List September 1944 - F4U Corsair 56260
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Arthur Patet Jr.
FindAGrave - 2Lt Arthur H Patet, Jr (tablets of the missing)

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
February 4, 2019


Tech Info

1 Missing

Map 02° 55 S
151° 11.15' E

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