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Pilot Lt. Robert J. Brower, O-114553 USNR (MIA / KIA) NB
Co-Pilot Lt(jg) David C. Davis, 129327 (resuced, POW, liberated)
Crew Ensign Ned E. Brown, O-395956 USNR (MIA / KIA) UT
Crew AOM3c John V. Brennan, Jr., 8857669 USN (MIA / KIA) CA
Crew AOM3c William H. Cates, 8674499 USNR (MIA / KIA) KY
Crew AR2c Stanley Sunshine, 7115755 USNR (MIA / KIA) NY
Crew AOM3c Earl K. Elias, 6380285 USNR (MIA / KIA) SC
Crew S1c Robert B. Watson, 2091328 USNR (MIA / KIA) ME
Crew AMM2c Frank R. Gardner, 6386058 (resuced, POW, liberated)
Crew ARM1c Jack R. Lewis, 8778802 (rescued, POW, liberated)
Crew S1c Theodore Kalmuk, 8149898 (rescued, POW, liberated)
Crew AMM2c George E. Dacier, 6061142 (rescued, POW, liberated)
Crashed July 7, 1945
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Assigned to the U. S. Navy (USN) to squadron VPB-124. No known nickname or nose art.
At 7:50am at roughly 34° 35' N Long 128° 15'E the pair spotted two enemy destroyer escorts and a destroyer headed for a cove on shore. Spotting the Privateers, they opened fire with 5" anti-aircraft fire, forcing them to abort an attack. Their position was reported to base.
At 8:10am flying at 150-250' off sea level spotted a pair of Rex float planes at 1,200' that dove down and attacked then made another run. This Privateer's top turret gunner fired at one of them and observed hits that caused it to crash into the sea. The other Rex was also claimed as damaged and observed to be smoking and headed towards land. During the attack, this Privateer likely sustained damage to the hydraulic system.
At 9:01am after turning towards base, spotted a sub-chaser. Brower reported over the radio to Osborne that his aircraft had a hydraulic leak, likely caused by damage from the float planes. Circling the vessel roughly four miles off Uku Island (Ukushima) the northernmost island in the Goto Retto Island Group.
As pair began an attack run, Brower radioed "Get out of the way Ossie [Osborne]. We're going in." Incorrectly believing Brower wanted to make a solo attack run and broke off his attack. The sub-chaser opened fire on both Privateers and scored hits on Brower's aircraft near the No. 2 engine causing it to smoke. Brower's plane made an attack run with the bomb bay doors closed (likely due to the hydraulic leak) but his gunners stafted the vessel before crashing into the sea roughly a half mile from the sub-chaser.
Osborne's Privateer dropped five bombs and strafed an enemy sub-chaser from 100' exploding off the stern. The nearest bomb exploded 15' astern. The vessel was deemed to have been seriously damage and was observed to be listing with the stern down.
Afterwards, Osborne circled the crash site of this aircraft and observed five or six crew alive in the sea floating in their life vests and dropped their life boat to them. The survivors were seen to retrieve the boat. During this run, Osborne's Privateer came under 40mm and 5" anti-aircraft fire from shore batteries on Uku Island that straddled his plane. Low on fuel, Osborne returned to base.
Fates of the Crew
Brower has a memorial marker at Fullerton Cemetery in Fullerton, Nebraska.
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