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  F6F-3 Hellcat Bureau Number 41715  
USN
USS Essex CV-9
VF-15

Pilot  Ensign Kenneth Ashton Flinn, 291306 USNR (POW, died) Berkley, CA
Ditched  October 13, 1944 at 4:00pm

Aircraft History
Built by Grumman. Delivered to the United States Navy (USN) as F6F-3 Hellcat bureau number 41715.

Wartime History
Assigned to USS Essex (CV-9) to squadron VF-15. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On October 13, 1944 took off from USS Essex (CV-9) roughly 60 miles east of Formosa on a fighter sweep over Miyako Shima (Miyakojima) in the Nansei Shoto Group. Over the target, this aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and ditched near shore in shallow water that left the plane partially above water.

Fate of the Pilot
Fellow pilot Lt. B. D. Morris observed Flinn standing on the wing and waved, but rescue aircraft were not available to rescue him. Captured by the Japanese, Flinn became a Prisoner Of War (POW). He was transported to Ofuna Camp near Yokosuka. He died of illness on July 24, 1945.

Search
Aside from being spotted on the wing after ditching, no search or rescue mission was attempted.

References
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List October 1944 - incorrectly notes pilot at F. A. Funn and saved and loss location as Pescadores.
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Kenneth Ashton Flinn died July 23, 1945
US Navy Cruise Book USS Essex CV-9 - October 13, 1944 page 100
USS Essex CV-9 Action Report The Battle of Formosa 12, 13 and 14 October 1944 page 1
Thanks to Minoru Kamada, Katherine Rasdorf, CeCe Moore and Mike Wenger for additional information

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
F6F

POW
POW
1 Prisoner
Died

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