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  PBY-5 Catalina Bureau Number 08388  
USN
VP-91

Pilot  Lt. Mayo M. Mooney, O-99950 USNR (MIA / KIA) Zwolle, LA
Co-Pilot  Ensign Richard H. Donovan, Jr. 240526 (KIA, BR) Coral Gables, FL
Crew  AP1c Arthur L. Miller, 2661374 (MIA / KIA) Beckley, WV
Crew  ART2c Carleton Leibbrandt, 6632553 USNR (MIA / KIA) San Mateo, CA
Crew  ARM3c Richard W. Hazzard, 6233824 USNR (MIA / KIA) Detroit, MI
Crew  AMM2c Curtis A. Baldwin, 5518808 (MIA / KIA) Ocala, FL
Crew  ARM2c Oliver Z. Coupe (WIA, survived)
Crew  AOM3c Gerald A. Rogier (WIA, survived)
Crew  AMM1c Merlin J. Naylor (WIA, survived)

Crashed  November 19, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated. Assigned to the United States Navy (USN) to squadron VP-91. No known nickname, nose art or squadron number.

Mission History
On November 19, 1943 took off from Tulagi Seaplane Base (Gavutu) on a patrol mission. Caught in a down draft, this Catalina hit the sea off southern Malaita. During the crash, five were killed and two injured.

Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of Donovan were recovered. Donovan's remains were initially buried at American Cemetery Guadalcanal.

Four sets of remains were recovered from the south of Malaita as unknowns: X-176 (shoe size 7.5D), X-177 (with officer's shoe), X-178, X-179. These are highly likely to be four (or all five) missing members of this crew.

Memorials
The crew members killed were officially declared dead on November 19, 1943. Postwar, he was interred at at Golden Gate National Cemetery at section D site 494 (date of death listed as November 17, 1943 [sic]).

The missing members of the crew are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

For reasons unknown, the unknowns: X-176 (shoe size 7.5D), X-177 (with officer's shoe), X-178, X-179 were transported to Hawaii and were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).

Ted Darcy adds:
"Group burial is the best we are going to do. All five may be in the four graves."

References
Thanks to Ted Darcy / WFIRG for additional information
FindAGrave - Richard Healy Donovan, Jr. (grave photo)

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Last Updated
June 12, 2018

 

Technical InfoPBY

MIA
MIA
5 Missing

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