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  FG-1A Corsair Bureau Number 13307  
USMC
MAW-1
MAG-12
VMF-215
"Fighting Corsairs"

Pilot  1st Lt. Edward B. Cochran, O-016970 (MIA / KIA) TX
Crashed  April 29, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Goodyear Aircraft Corporation in Akron, Ohio as model V-166B. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as FG-1A Corsair bureau number 13307. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the Pacific and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the United States Marine Corps (USMC), 1st Marine Air Wing (MAW-1), Marine Air Group 12 (MAG-12) to Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF-215) "Fighting Corsairs". This aircraft had no known nickname, nose art or squadron number.

Mission History
On April 29, 1944 took off from Piva South Airfield on Bougainville piloted by 1st Lt. Edward B. Cochran on a mission to strafe any targets of opportunity in the vicinity of Rabaul. The formation included three Corsairs led by Major James K. Dill. Inbound, one of the Corsairs developed engine problems and Dill ordered it to return to base.

Only Major Dill and wingman Cochran proceeded to the target area. Cochran radioed that there were two ships off Cape Lambert, behind the enemy demarcation line off New Britain.

Climbing to 6000' the two planes dove on the targets and initiated a strafing run. Dill later stated: "there was no recognition signals of any kind." Both were unaware the targets were actually a pair of U. S. Navy (USN) PT Boats: PT-347 and PT-350. During the strafing run, Cochran was shot down by defensive fire from PT-347 and crashed into the sea.

Afterwards, the Major Dills circled once and did not see his wingman. Major Dills then flew back to Green Island Airfield (Nissan) and after landing "Ordering immediate Attack!" on the enemy gunboats, still unaware they were friendly vessels. When Cochran failed to return, he was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
Cochran was Officially declared dead the day of the mission and earned the purple Heart, posthumously. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Cochran also has a memorial marker at Mission Burial Park South in San Antonio, Texas at section 5, Oakview Garden. The inscription on his memorial marker grave reads: "In Loving Memory - Capt. U.S.M.C. Lost Rabaul Harbor".

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - Goodyear FG-1 Corsair 13307
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List April 1944 - FG-1 Corsair 13307
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edward B. Cochran
FindAGrave - 1Lt Edward B. Cochran (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Edward Boatner Cochran (photo, memorial marker)

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
FG Corsair

MIA
MIA
1 Missing

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