|Pilot 1st Lt James A. Foley, Jr., O-25369 (MIA / KIA) NY
MIA August 31, 1944
Built by Vought. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1A Corsair bureau number 56261.
Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) to squadron VMO-251.
On August 31, 1944 took off from Bougainville on a low-level bombing mission against Talili
Bay near Rabaul. Shot down by anti-aircraft fire and crashed "two miles
north of Tavui Point". His plane and body were not recovered.
Foley was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
Steven G. Foley (son) adds:
"We are currently investigating
side scan sonar technology in order to conduct a search of the area
in the near future yet there are some questions we need answered that
may further pinpoint the location of this aircraft. Do you know where "Rataval 130" is? We believe it is
or was located along the Tunnel Hill on Talili Bay. There
are a few Ratavals I'll check on this one (the locals have a habit
of moving a few km and building a settlement and naming after their
old place so the names are often repeated across the peninsular).
Are there any war ruins about 350 yards inland, 2 miles south
of Tunnel Hill Road on Talili Bay? Nothing springs to mind,
there are bunkers on the coast, an aircraft engine on the reef, and
a tanks boogey set where the road has been eroded, and people are always
digging things up, but there is nothing major. Are there ruins of the Japanese supply area just east of Kabagada Point? I'll
have to look on a map to check were this is. There are tunnels
all along the coast. Is there a village or war ruins about one mile in on Kurakakaul Road? There
will be villages, it is one of the most heavily populated parts of
PNG. War ruins will be those buried."
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
June 30, 2019