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  PBY-5A Catalina Bureau Number ?  
USN
VP-43

Pilot  Ensign Leland L. Davis, O-146517 (MIA / KIA) Jackson, MS
Co-Pilot  Ensign Robert F. Keller, O-106156 (MIA / KIA) Wichita, KS
Crew  AP3c Albert John Gyorfi, 3857677 (MIA / KIA) WA
Crew  AR2c Robert Arthur Smith, 4072460 (MIA / KIA) OR
Crew  S2c Elwin Alford, 2746380 (MIA / KIA) LA
Crew  AMM2c John Harvey Hathaway, 3105752 (MIA / KIA) CA
Crew  S2c Dee Hall, 3603937 (MIA / KIA / recovered) Syra, Oklahoma

Crashed  June 14, 1942


Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN), bureau number unknown. Assigned to VP-43. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On June 14, 1942 took off from NAS Kodiak on a mission to attack Kiska. The crew encountered inclement weather near the target, as well as heavy Japanese anti-aircraft fire.  Their plane was last seen entering a cloud bank. When this Catalina failed to return, the crew was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Wreckage
This Catalina crashed on on the side of Kiska Volcano, killing the entire crew on impact. During August 1943, after American forces liberated Kiska and visited the wreckage of this PBY-5 Catalina on the side of Kiska Volcano.

Recovery of Remains
During August 1943, after American forces liberated Kiska they visited the wreckage of this PBY-5 Catalina and recovered the remains of the crew and buried them at the site in a group burial marked "Seven U.S.N. Airmen" with a wooden marker. During 1946 and 1947, search teams attempted to relocate the crew burial but were hindered by heavy snow. The remains of all seven were declared to be non-recoverable.

During 2001, a wildlife biologist working on Kiska notified the U. S. Governement that he had found the wreckage of a WWII aircraft on the slope of Kiska Volcano. In August 2003, a  JPAC team excavated the crash site and found debris from the PBY-5 Catalina and crew related items. The JPAC team also located the wooden marker as well as the remains buried nearby. Afterwards, the recovered remains underwent laboratory analysis that resulted in the individual identifications of all seven crew members.           

Memorials
Officially declared dead on June 15, 1943. The entire crew is memorialized on the courts of the missing at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). Smith at court 2. Hathaway and Hall at court 3. Davis and Alford at court 5. Keller and Gyorfi at court 3.

The crew has a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery at section 60 site 8345 listing the names of each crew member.

After the recovery of remains, each of the crew were buried individually.
Davis was buried on May 10, 2006 at Arlington National Cemetery at section 60 site 8347.
Keller was buried on June 21, 2006 at Fort Logan National Cemetery at section 25, site 827.

 

Hall was buried at Arlington National Cemetery at section 60 site 8345.

Wreckage

References
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Leland L. Davis
"His remains were recovered in 2003."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert F. Keller
"His remains were recovered in 2003."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Albert John Gyorfi
"His remains have been recovered and identified."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert Arthur Smith
"His remains have been recovered and identified."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Elwin Alford
"His remains were recovered in 2003."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John Harvey Hathaway
"His remains have been recovered and identified."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Dee Hall
"His remains have been recovered and identified."
FindAGrave - Leland LaFroy Davis (group burial photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Ens Leland LaFroy Davis (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Robert Franklin Keller (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Robert Franklin Keller (grave photo)
FindAGrave -
FindAGrave -
FindAGrave -
FindAGrave -
FindAGrave -
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List June 1942 does not list the bureau number of this Catalina
Kodiak Daily Mirror

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

Technical InfoPBY

MIAMIA
7 Missing

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