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  SBD-5 Dauntless Bureau Number 35971  
USMC
VMSB-236

Pilot  Lt. Billy Ray Ramsey, O-014608 (MIA / KIA) TX
Gunner  Sgt Charlie J. Sciara, 503505 (POW, died January 14, 1944, missing) NY

Crashed  January 14, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC). Assigned to squadron VMSB-236. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On January 14, 1944 took off on a dive bombing mission against enemy shipping around Rabaul. Over the target, this aircraft was hit by either anti-aircraft fire or an enemy fighter, causing the tail to break off. Last seen in a flat spin over St. Georges Channel northeast of Rabaul. When this aircraft failed to return, it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
Ramey was officially declared dead on January 15, 1945. Sciara was officially declared dead on February 22, 1944. Both are memorialized on the tablets of the missing Manila American Cemetery. Sciara also has a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery at section H.

Relative
John Sciara (brother of Charles Sciara)
152 Carlyle Drive, Palm Harbor, FL 34683
"My family was told, both were classified as MIA, both died the day of the crash. After the war my parents received a letter from the Marine Corps stating Sgt Charles Sciara did not die on Jan14, 1944. He somehow survived the crash and was taken prisoner by the Japanese and died in an unknown prison camp. They say he might have died February 22, 1944 from Malaria and beri-beri. He probably was murdered by the Japanese. My family was very upset after the war and was not sure what to believe. My brother was under age and my Mom had to sign him in. He was 20 when he died. Mom said at least he died the way he wanted. I was only 10 months old and never seen him alive. They and many others gave up their tomorrows for our todays. I believe their plane lies somewhere in Rabaul's harbor.
She had a poem she liked:
Satisfied
I'll never be "First Lady" Nor grace a magazine,
I never will be famous. Nor will I be a queen.
But I would never change my lot with any that I"ve seen
For you see- I am the mother of a United States Marine!
"

References
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File Charles J Sciara

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Billy Ray Ramsey
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles John Sciara
FindAGrave - Capt Billy Ray Ramsey (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Charles John Sciara (memorial marker photo) date of death January 14, 1944

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech InfoSBD

MIA
MIA
2 Missing

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