|Pilot 1st Lt William F. Brown (survived)
Crashed March 4, 1945
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 14257. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the Pacific and reassembled.
Assigned to the United States Marine Corps (USMC), 4th Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW-4), Marine Aircraft Group 11 (MAG-11) to Marine Fighting Squadron 121 (VMF-121) "The Green Knights". This aircraft had no known nickname, nose art or squadron number.
On March 4, 1945 took off from Peleliu Airfield on Peleliu Island piloted by 1st Lt William F. Brown armed with a single 1,000 pound as one of sixteen Corsairs, leading the second division on a dive bombing mission against gun positions on Battery Hill on northern Koror Island.
Over the target, hit by anti-aircraft fire, likely a 40mm projectile at the base of the cockpit, injuring Brown and setting the plane on fire. Brown sustained shrapnel and burns before bailing out at roughly 2,000' and landed in Koror Harbor roughly 1,000 yards from shore. Brown's bail out was immediately reported.
Brown was rescued by a PBY Catalina LCDR Mamer from VP-23 that landed in Koror Harbor and taxied up to him despite enemy fire and performed a rescue.
This Corsair crashed into a mangrove swamp in northern Koror Island. The crash site remains in situ to this day.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - FG-1 Corsair 14257
"14257 (VMF-121) crashed on Palau, unknown date. Pilot survived."
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List March 1945 - FG-1 Corsair 14257
NARA VMF-121 War Diary March 1-31, 1945 page 3-4, 8, 9
"[Page 3] 4Mar45 - Three (3) large-scale bombing attacks were carried out upon Koror, Malakal, and Arakabesen today. Each attack consisted of forty-eight (48) planes; sixteen (16) from VMF-113, sixteen (16) from VMF-122, and sixteen (16) VMF-121. This squadron carried sixteen (16) 325 lb. depth charges on the first strike and sixteen (16) 1000 lb. G. P. bombs on each of the last two (2) attacks, concentrating on the many gun positions on Battery Hill, Koror. Anti-aircraft fire was very intense and accurate. During the last strike, Lt. Brown, leader of the second division to go into the target, was hit while in his dive. The projectile, probably a 40mm exploded in the bottom of the cockpit injuring the pilot and setting the plane on fire. He bailed out from 2000 feet and landed in Koror Harbor, 1000 yards off shore. Lieutenant Commander Mamer of VP-23 made
"[Page 4] 4Mar45 - a heroic rescue, taxing up to the injured pilot through intense anti-aircraft fire. Lt. Brown suffered severe burns and shrapnel wounds. ACA-1 reports No. 52, 53 and 54-45 attached."
"[Page 9] Aircraft lost: Combat Cause Anti-Aircraft Fire - Water Landing Bu. No. 14271, 14257"
Thanks to Pat Scannon / Bent Prop for additional information
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February 4, 2018