|Pilot Lt(jg) David A. Scott (rescued)
Ditched December 24, 1943
Built by Grumman as Model G-50 in Bethpage, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F6F-3 Hellcat bureau number 09028. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to squadron VF-33. No known nickname or nose art.
On December 24, 1943 took off from Ondonga Airfield on New Georgia piloted by Lt(jg) David A. Scott on a fighter sweep over Rabaul. Returning from the mission, this aircraft ditched 8-10 miles off Cape Saint George into Saint Georges Channel. Scott landed unhurt.
Fate of the Pilot
From above, fellow pilots observed Scott deploy his life raft and begin paddling.
S/L Arkwright, 16 Squadron combat report December 24, 1943:
"...I looked around and saw another P-40 [P-40N NZ3135 piloted by Donald A. Williams] being attacked by several Zekes. The P-40 which left me succeeded in chasing the Zekes off this lone P-40, but then one Zeke made a determined attack at him. I saw glycol or white smoke poor out of the P-40's motor and I tried to turn into him and break off the Zeke's attack. I fired a short burst but could not get my sights to bear. The Zeke broke away but the pilot of the P-40 bailed out at about 800 or 1000 feet. I saw the parachute start to open but did not have time to see the pilot land. I learned later from an F6F pilot that he had landed safely beside another F6F pilot [D. A. Scott] who had been shot down. This was in the middle of the St. George's Channel, just north of Putput."
Later, Scott was rescued by a PBY Catalina from VP-14 and returned to duty.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F6F-3 Hellcat 09028
AAIR - USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List December 1943
NARA War Diary Fighting Squadron Forty [VF-40] December 1943
(Page 43) "Opposite Cape Gazelle Michie saw 4 Zekes chasing a [RNZAF] P-40 and then observed a splash which he believed was the P-40. He climbed to 10,000’ and between New Britain and New Ireland he saw a sea marker. He went down to 3,000’ and saw one of our pilots [Scott] in his rubber boat headed for New Ireland."
Air to Air The Story Behind the air-to-air combat claims of the RNZAF pages 228 (Arkwright combat report mentions F6F pilot [D. A. Scott]") 251-252, 406 (index Scott)
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August 24, 2019