|Pilot Lt. Hardy V. Logan Jr., USNR O-112415 (MIA / KIA) Albuquerque, NM
Crew Ensign Anker K. Jeppesen, O-202220 (MIA / KIA) Utica, OH
Crew Ensign Raymond Langton Jr., USNR 337213 (MIA / KIA) Springfield, PA
Crew AR2c John L. Beaulieu, USNR 6248640 (MIA / KIA) TX
Crew AMM2c Joseph E. Copeland, USNR 6306168 (MIA / KIA) North Little Rock, AR
Crew AOM3c Donald J. Farrell, USNR 7074903 (MIA / KIA) West Redding, CT
MIA May 13, 1944
Built by Lockheed in Burbank, CA. Constructors Number 237-6170. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as PV-1 Ventura bureau number 48934. Assigned to Fleet Air Wing 4 (FAW) to Bombing Squadron 135 (VB-135). Nose Number 9 painted in black on both sides of the nose and the fuselage. On the left side of the fuselage rear of the U. S. star and bar marking was unidentified nose art and a nickname.
On May 12, 1944 one of seven PV-1 Venturas that took off from Attu Airfield (Casco Field) on Attu at between 9:46pm-10:00pm on the squadron's first night photographic and bombing mission against Shimushu in the Kurlie Islands. Each bomber was armed with a single 500 pound incendiary cluster bomb, twelve 20 pound fragmentation bombs, two 500 pound general purpose bombs and two M46 photo flash bombs with thirty-one second delay fuses. Weather inbound to the target was clear.
Thirty minutes into the flight, one PV-1 Ventura aborted the mission due to radio-radar problems and returned to base. Three others failed to locate Paramushiro or Shimushu and returned to base. The other three PV-1 Venturas including this aircraft reached the target area on May 13, 1944 at 3:00am and encountered enemy searchlights and heavy, accurate anti-aircraft fire. The two surviving Venturas dropped their bombs and made a photographic pass over Shimushu before turning back to base. One of the surviving Venturas reported the Japanese were jamming their LORAN navigation systems.
When this aircraft failed to return the entire crew was declared Missing In Action (MIA). Afterwards, VB-135 concluded this Ventura might have been shot down over Kashiwabara Airfield on the northern tip of Paramushiro where there was heavy anti-aircraft fire and searchlights. The loss of this aircraft was officially attributed to anti-aircraft fire.
According to Japanese records, two J1N1 Gekko (Irving) nightfighters
from the 203 Kōkūtai took off from took off from Shumshu Island (Shimushu) at the first at 21:19 piloted by WO Masanobu Maehara and the second at 2205 piloted by WO Amari.
Twenty minutes later J1N1 Gekko piloted by WO Masanobu Maehara [Maebara] with observer CPO Kunizo Miyazaki, claimed the Ventura as "[shot down] over the ocean" at 21:39 (I). This same Gekko failed to return from the mission and possibly was damaged or shot down by defensive fire from this PV-1 Ventura. The other Gekko piloted by WO Amari returned safely at 22:50.
Afterwards, a Radio Tokyo English language propaganda broadcast stated the Japanese claimed one American aircraft shot down and other damaged that mission.
Afterwards, an aircraft searched for this missing Ventura, but failed to find any trace of the missing plane between Attu to Paramushiro. Also, an aircraft from VS-56 unsuccessfully searched. No sign of this aircraft or the crew was ever located.
The crew were officially declared dead on January 18, 1946. All are memorialized at the courts of the missing at the Honolulu Memorial at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). Logan at court 1. Farrell, Langton and Jeppesen at court 3. Beaulieu and Copeland at court 5.
Westley "Randy" Logan (son of Hardy V. Logan)
Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) Hardy V. Logan Jr.
First endorsement to VB-135 Action Report No. 1, May 14, 1944
VB-135 Aircraft Action Report No. 2, May 13, 1944
VB-135 War Diary, May 1944
FAW-4 War Diary, May 1944
Kodochosho, 203 Kōkūtai, May 13, 1944
Senshi Sosho May 14, 1944 ten twin engine bombers dropped bombs on Shumushu and Paramushiro. One Navy fighter went out to intercept and failed to return.
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List May 1944 PV-1 Ventura 48934
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
Hardy V. Logan Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John L. Beaulieu
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph E. Copeland
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Donald J. Farrell
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Anker K. Jeppesen
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Raymond Langton Jr.
FindAGrave - Lt Hardy V Logan, Jr (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Ens Anker K Jeppesen (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Ens Raymond Langton, Jr (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - ARm2 John L Beaulieu (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - AOM3 Donald J Farrell (courts of the missing photo)
Moonlight Interceptor page 49
北千島航空戦 [Kita Chishima Koku Sen / Northern Kuriles Air War] by Yoji Watanabe page 64-70
Koku Journal magazine's special edition of March 1977 - AJ Cyclone No. 7
Northern Pacific Skies People and Machines Logan / 9/48934
"5/12-5/13/44, The first night recon/bombing mission to Shimushu - 7 PV-1s. Lt Hardy V. Logan in 9V failed to return; per Radio Tokyo he was shot over the target (BuNo 48934, c/n 237-6170, #282 in the batch, some art on the port side) Japan: 13 May 1944 at 21:19 two Nakajima J1N "Gekko" nightfighters of 203 Ku shot down PV-1. One "Gekko" was lost during the attack."
Thanks to Katherine Rasdorf, Minoru Kamada and Jim Sawruk for additional information
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May 17, 2018