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  SBD-3 Dauntless Bureau Number 06603 Tail 918
USN
USS Saratoga
VB-3

Click For Enlargement
Pierre Duperoux 1997

Click For Enlargement
Nicolas Duprey 2001

Pilot  Lt(jg) Liston Rhodes Comer, 99883 (KIA, BR) MS
Gunner  ARM3c James Owen Walker, 6641856 (KIA) WA

Crashed  December 5, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas at El Segundo, California. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN). Assigned to USS Saratoga to squadron VB-3. Squadron Number 918. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On December 5, 1942 took off on a training mission and crashed into Mount Mou near Nouméa. Afterwards, the remains of the crew were recovered.

Wreckage
Wreck site includes parts of the wings, and parts of fuselage.

Nicholas Duprey adds:
"One years ago I found a identification plate with the name of James Owen Walker, we have send a request at the Military Personal Record, and they send us the informations we have already send to you. After we have send a request at the naval Historical center, and we have received the report yesterday: the pilot was Liston Rhodes Comer, the plane was a SBD-3, and you was right, it crashed during a training mission, the cause of the crash is unknown, it was a plane of the USS Saratoga. We have also send a request at Veterans Affairs Center to try to find the next of kind of this guy, but we have to wait."

Memorials
Both of the crew were officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the recovery of remains, both were transported to the United States for permanent burial. Comer was buried at Arlington National Cemetery at section 12, site 3220. Walker was buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at plot B, grave 231.

References
FindAGrave - Liston Rhodes Comer (grave photo)
FindAGrave - James O Walker (grave photo)

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

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