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USS Hornet (CV-12)
|Pilot Lt(jg) Garl W. Hardin, O-145619 (MIA / KIA) Texarkana, TX
Gunner AR2c Edwin L. Hills, 6472734 (MIA / KIA) NJ
MIA March 29, 1944
Built by Curtiss. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN). Assigned to USS Hornet (CV-12) to squadron VB-2. No known nose art or nickname.
The other eleven Helldivers led by Lt Commander Campbell rendezvoused with fifteen F6F Hellcats and nine TBF Avengers from Hornet for a strike against enemy ships off Koror, Babelthuap, and Urukthapel. The weather was clear with unlimited visibility and cumulus clouds with 5/10 coverage between 3,000-4,000'.
Dive bombing from an altitude of 13,000', the Helldivers made a 70° angle dive against a Japanese vessel identified as an oiler [likely repair ship Akashi] anchored off the northern tip of Urukthapel island and release their bombs from 3,000', claiming a direct hit on the mid section of the vessel. Anti-aircraft fire was reported.
This aircraft was the third to dive bomb and was last seen entering the dive but was never seen to crash nor was it observed after the run. When this aircraft failed to return, the crew was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA) on March 30, 1944. The loss was believed to be caused by enemy anti-aircraft fire over the vessel.
March 29, 1944
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