|Pilot Cdr Mark Eslick, Jr., O-074816 C. O. VB-18 (MIA / KIA) Pulaski, TN
Gunner ARM1c Frank Loren Haynes, 3422580 (MIA / KIA) KS
MIA October 12, 1944
Built by Curtiss as Model 84E. Assigned to the U. S. Navy (USN) as SB2C-3 Helldiver bureau number 19422.
Assigned to USS Intrepid (CV-11) to Carrier Air Group 18 (CAG-18) to Bombing Eighteen (VB-18) "The Sunday Punchers". No known nose art or nickname.
On October 12, 1944 took off from USS Intrepid (CV-11) at 6:16am piloted by Cdr Mark Eslick, Jr. leading the formation of twelve dive bombers on strike 2A (Strike 2 Able) against Japanese shipping and shore installations at Kirun Harbor (Kiirun Harbor, Keelung Harbor) at the northern tip of Formosa (Taiwan). Over the target last seen in a dive. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Both crew were officially declared dead on October 13, 1945. Both are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. Eslick earned the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Purple Heart, posthumously. Haynes earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - SB2C-3 Helldiver 19422
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List October 1944
NARA "War Diary, USS Intrepid (CV11) - Month of October 1944" pages 10-15
(Page 13) "VB 56 [sic?] Bu. No. 19422, Eng. No. 68223, Pilot Commander Mark Eslick, Jr., USN, 74816 aircrewman Frank K. Haynes, ARM1c 342-25-80. Last seen in dive over Kirun Bay, on Strike 2A"
NARA "U. S. . Intrepid (CV11) Action Report (10-31 October 1944" Enclosure F, Part IV pages 3-4
Fold3 - Mark Eslick, Jr
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Mark Eslick, Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frank L. Haynes
FindAGrave - CDR Mark Eslick, Jr (tablets of the missing)
CDR Mark Eslick, Jr (photo, tablets of the missing)
ARM1 Frank Loren Haynes (tablets of the missing)
Intrepid Aviators pages 161, 197, 209, 211, 216-217, 220, 412 (index)
Intrepid Museum - This Month in Intrepid’s History July 2014
USN Memorial Hall - Mark Eslick, Jr., CDR, USN
Thanks to Toby McCord, Lou Sapienza and Katherine Rasdorf for additional research and analysis.
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February 4, 2018