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|Pilot Lt(jg) David A. Beck, O-124076 (MIA / KIA) GA
Gunner ARM2c Kaini R. Henderson, 6104423 (MIA / KIA) IL
MIA June 5, 1943
Richard E. Miralles gunner aboard SBD piloted by J. C. Hogue recalled in March 2017:
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."
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