Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
  SBD-3 Dauntless Bureau Number 06524 Code S-10
USN
CAG-11
VB-21

Pilot  Lt(jg) David A. Beck, O-124076 (MIA / KIA) GA
Gunner  ARM2c Kaini R. Henderson, 6104423 (MIA / KIA) IL

MIA  June 5, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN). Assigned to Carrier Air Group 11 (CAG-11) to squadron Bombing 21 (VB-21). No known nickname or nose art. Fuselage code S-10.

Mission History
On June 5, 1943 took off from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal piloted by Beck armed with a 500 pound bomb (mark 21) on a dive bombing mission against Japanese shipping between Shortland and Bougainviille. Weather was clear over the target.

Richard E. Miralles gunner aboard SBD piloted by J. C. Hogue recalled in March 2017:
"We got down to the airfield 4-5am in the morning, started our plane it caught on fire. We looked around found another plane. We used wing tanks [drop tanks], because we did not have enough to get up and back. We took off, we always checked our guns over Savo Island, I got one shot out of each one, found they jammed and I had to field strip the guns. They had put the guns together backwards, so I had to put them together properly and got them going.

I was on the raid where Beck and Henderson were killed over Bougainville on June 5, 1943. we were members of Bombing 21 Air group 11. We were in our dive and they were 3 planes behind us. There were about 20 zeros above us and all of a sudden I saw their plane pass us without their dive flaps open. I do not know if they were hit by the zeros or they were diving to get away. I watched them go down without pulling out of their dive and saw them hit the water. The SBD was known for not being able to pull out of a dive when it reached a certain speed. That is what happened to them so as to the reason I cannot say definitely but I know they did not survive the crash.

I wanted to let you know we were also hit during that dive. We were hit in one of the nine cylinders of our engine. We dropped down to 100 feet off the water and headed for Guadalcanal. We were attacked by two Zeros and were saved by two Marine F4U's from the Russell Island. We flew about 500 miles with oil flying out of the engine. As we approached the Russell Island, the plane ran out of oil and the engine seized up, but we were able to make the landing strip. That night we were able to find the pilots that saved us and found out that 1 plane was out of ammunition and the other only had 50 rounds. My pilot was J. C. Hogue who became a fighter pilot later and who served in the Korean War and Vietnam War. He died in Rota Spain at the age of 46 from a blood clot during a stomach operation. He was a Commander and won several medals for bravery. To me he was one of the best Pilots in the Navy."

Also lost were TBF piloted by Snell (MIA) SBD Dauntless 06524 (MIA), SBD Dauntless 06520 (rescued), and P-40F Warhawk 41-19838 (MIA) and F4U-1 Corsair 02499 from VMF-112 over the Russells.

Memorials
Both crew members were officially declared dead on January 5, 1946. Both are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Beck is also has a memorial marker at Plainfield Baptist Church Cemetery in
Dodge County, GA.

References
WWII War Diaries June 1944 page 9
"1155 18 SBD's and 12 TBF's, covered by 26 P-40's, 21 F4U's and 6 P-38's attacked and hit a DD, a corvette and an AK at Bougainville. About 15 Zekes and many Rufes and Daves attempted interception and at least 15 Japs were shot down. We have 4 planes missing."
CINCPAC War Diary June 1943 page 96
(Comairsols)
Air Command Solomons Intelligence June 5, 1943 pages 13-15
"2 SBD's, B-15 and S-10, did not return to base. S-10 [this aircraft] may have been the SBD seen "
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - David A. Beck
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Kaini R. Henderson
FindAGrave - LtJG David A Beck (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - David Allen Beck (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - ARM2 Kaini R Henderson (tablets of the missing)
Thanks to Richard E. Miralles and Edward Rogers for additional information, research and analysis

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech InfoSBD

MIA
MIA
2 Missing

  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram