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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) Wilbur, WA
Crew  AR2c Robert Arthur Smith, 4072460 (MIA / KIA) Glendive, MT
Crew  S2c Elwin Alford, 2746380 (MIA / KIA) Bogalusa, LA
Crew  AMM2c John Harvey Hathaway, 3105752 (MIA / KIA) Lafayette, IN
Crew  S2c Dee Hall, 3603937 (MIA / KIA / recovered) Syra, OK

Crashed  June 14, 1942


Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego, California. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as PBY-5A Catalina, bureau number unknown.

Wartime History
Assigned to squadron VP-43. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On June 14, 1942 took off from NAS Kodiak piloted by Ensign Leland L. Davis 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 the U. S. Army liberated Kiska, soldiers located the wreckage of this Catalina.

Recovery of Remains
During August 1943, after American forces liberated Kiska they visited the wreckage of this 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. Government 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 entire crew was buried on May 10, 2006 in a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery at section 60 site 8345 listing the names of each crew member and "Aircraft accident - Alaska June 14, 1942".

After the 2003 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.
Gyorfi was buried on June 17, 2006 at Wilbur Cemetery in Wilbur, WA.
Smith also has a burial or memorial marker at Forestvale Cemetery in Helena, MT at plot Elmwood 647.
Alford also has a burial Arlington National Cemetery at section 60 site 8345.
Alford also has a memorial marker at Hurricane Creek Cemetery in Marion County, MS.
Hathaway also has a burial at Arlington National Cemetery at section 60 site 8345.
Hall also has a buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at section L, site 211-H.

References
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List June 1942 does not list this Catalina loss
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 - Albert John Gyorfi (group grave photo)
FindAGrave - Albert John Gyorfi (photo, grave photo, obituary)
FindAGrave - Robert A. Smith (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Robert A Smith (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Elwin Alford (grave photo, group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Elwin Alford (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - John Harvey “Jack” Hathaway (grave photo, group burial photo, photo)
FindAGrave - Dee Hall (group burial)
FindAGrave - Dee Hall (grave photo)
Kodiak Daily Mirror "Navy plane took off from Kodiak to attack Japanese on Chain" December 15, 2005

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Last Updated
May 29, 2018

 

Technical InfoPBY

MIAMIA
7 Missing

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