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  OA-10A Catalina Serial Number 44-34023  
U. S. Army
ATC
1536th AAFBU

Pilot  2nd Lt. Ernest W. Jackson, O-764317 (MIA / KIA) CA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Edward A. Carmichael, O-710447 (MIA / KIA) CA
Navigator  2nd Lt. James R. New, Jr. O-2065813 (rescued)
Asst Engineer  Cpl Louis Branch, Jr., 38494177 (rescued)
Radar  Sgt Isadore Barrack, 12159730 / 1536th AAFBU (rescued)
Engineer  Sgt Paul L. Johnson, Jr., 19138300 (MIA / KIA) CA
Radio  Cpl Lloyd L. Lyle, 34635571 (MIA / KIA) MS

Missing  June 12, 1945
MACR  14618

Aircraft History
Built by Canadian Vickers in Montreal, Canada as an OA-10A Catalina. Constructors Number CV533.

Wartime History
Delivered to the U. S. Army. Assigned to Air Transport Command (ATC). Nicknamed "Step and Fetch It".

During 1945, this OA-10 Catalina was attached to the 1536th Army Air Force Base Unit (AAFBU) at Hollandia and flown by aircrew from this unit.

On May 22, 1945 while operating from Sentani Airfield, suffered a mechanical failure and was afterwards repaired and returned to flying status.

On June 2, 1945 this aircraft was damaged from a bird strike during the flight from Hollandia and was afterwards repaired and returned to flying status.

Mission History
On June 12, 1945 took off from Hollandia Airfield at 7:40am on a search mission off Peleliu Island along with OA-10 Catalina 891. The two aircraft divided the search area in two parts and each searched independently, with 891 searching the northern area and this aircraft searching the southern area.

After completing the search, this Catalina was near Peleliu Island when a radio message was received stating something was spotted and directing both search aircraft to the area where they searched further 35 minutes. Radio reception and visibility decreased and this aircraft turned back towards Peleliu and climbed to 10,500' to use celestial navigation and called for a magnetic heading bound for Peleliu.

Low on fuel and unable to reach Peleliu, this signaled its IFF and readied the aircraft for an emergency landing. This Catalina ditched out of fuel at 10:53am. Lost roughly 108 miles southwest of Anguar Island. Last contact was a radio direction bearing received by AACS on Biak Island. When lost, engines R-1830-92 serial numbers (left) CP 360236 and (right) CP 360320. No armament was aboard this aircraft. When this aircraft failed to return, the entire crew was declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Search
Afterwards, a search mission was under the command of Captain Robert A. Pletz and searches were conducted out of Biak Island and Peleliu Island.

Fates of the Crew
The ditched Catalina remained afloat for an hour and the crew took shelter atop the wing. Afterwards, four of the crew clung to a K ration box, until Jackson died at sea. Later, the survivors attempted to use a "Gibson girl" radio unsuccessfully and eat the rations that were spoiled aside from a single chocolate bar.

Finally, the crew spotting a destroyer, the survivors released their signal dye. At first, they feared they were not seen, but the destroyer spotted them and after 59 hours in the open sea, they were rescued by USS Underhill DE-682 on June 14, 1945 at 7:40am and were treated for sores, sunburn and exhaustion while transported aboard the destroyer to Hollandia. Afterwards, the survivors were treated by the ATC dispensary and returned to duty.

Memorials
The deceased crew members were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Each is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

References
Thanks to Katie Rasdorf for additional information.
Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 14618
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ernest W. Jackson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edward A. Carmichael
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Paul L. Johnson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lloyd L. Lyle

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
Catalina

MIA
MIA
4 Missing

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