Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
  F6F-3 Hellcat Bureau Number 26088  
USS Bunker Hill (CV-17)

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Stan Gajda 1983

Click For Enlargement

Peter Flahavin 1995

Pilot  Ensign Alfred F. Smith (MIA / KIA) NJ
Crashed  December 8, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Grumman as a Model G-50. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F6F-3 Hellcat bureau number 26088.

Wartime History
Assigned to USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) to squadron VF-18. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On December 8, 1943 took off from USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) on a mission against Nauru Island. Over the target, shot down by anti-aircraft fire and crashed vertically between two anti-aircraft positions.

Stan Gajda adds:
"The Japanese managed to shoot down two American planes on Nauru. [This aircraft and TBF Avenger 47589]"

The crash site of this Hellcat remains on Nauru Island.

Recovery of Remains
Postwar, the remains of Smith were recovered and transported to Hawaii for burial.

Smith was officially declared dead on December 9, 1943. He earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. Smith's remains were located after the war and are buried at Honolulu Cemetery (Punchbowl) at Plot P Row 0 Grave 802.

Navy Serial Number Search Results - F6F-3 Hellcat 26088

US Navy Loss Microfilm lists pilot as 'A. F. Smith'
FindAGrave - Ens Alfred Francis Smith (grave photo)
Thanks to Stan Gajda and Peter Flahavin for additional information.

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

Last Updated
August 18, 2018


Tech Info

Photo Archive
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram