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  SBD-5 Dauntless Bureau Number 35954  
MAG 21

Pilot  1st Lt. Joyce M. Sanders, O-21757 (MIA) OK
Gunner  Cpl James Patrick Griffin, 849662 (MIA / KIA) Chicago, IL

MIA  February 12, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas at El Segundo, California. Constructors Number 4593. Delivered to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC). Assigned to squadron VMSB-241. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On February 12, 1944 took off from Piva North Airfield (Piva Uncle) on Bougainville. When this aircraft failed to return, the crew were officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Both crew were officially declared dead on February 13, 1945. Both are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Sanders also has a memorial marker at Kingfisher Cemetery at Kingfisher, OK.

Likely the wreckage of SBD Dauntless 359?? crashed near Bonis Airfield.

Larry Brooks (relative of Griffin)
"James Patrick Griffin; Inducted into USMC 14 May 1943, Chicago; Missing in action: 12 Feb 1944; Declared killed in action: 13 Feb 1945; crewman in Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber, in V.M.S.B. 241, M.A.G. 21, 1st Marine Air Wing."

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joyce M. Sanders
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James P. Griffin
FindAGrave - Lieut Joyce Madison Sanders (photo, memorial marker)
Tulsa World "Marine 1st Lt. Joyce M. Sanders" February 12, 1991
Marine 1st Lt. Joyce M. Sanders was shot down 47 years ago during a mission in the Southwest Pacific. Only now are his family and friends paying their final respects. Max Sanders said the body of his older brother never was recovered, and his mother, Gladys, held out hope he was alive. "The government gave us a stone years ago but we never did have a service," he said. "My mother just never gave up thinking he might still be alive. She just wouldn't have a service because she thought he would be walking in any minute in her house." Sanders, 64, said his mother died in 1982, and he thought during the few years of holding a memorial service for his brother. He started making plans four months ago to hold a memorial on the 47th anniversary of his brother's presumed death. About 30 members of his family were expected to attend today's service at Kingfisher Cemetery, in Kingfisher County, northwest of Oklahoma City, Sanders said. Joyce Sanders was 21 when his Dauntless dive-bomber was shot down by the Japanese on Feb. 12, 1944, in the Rabaul area near New Britain Island."
FindAGrave - 1Lt Joyce M Sanders (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Corp James P Griffin (tablets of the missing)

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


Tech InfoSBD

2 Missing
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