Built by Douglas Aircraft Company
at its El Segundo Plant in California. Model and bureau number unknown. Likely, an SBD-3 Dauntless. Delivered to the United States Navy (USN) or assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC).
Although the identity of this aircraft and pilot are not known, the following Missing In Action (MIA) are possibilities:
1) F4F-4 Wildcat 11672 pilot Landis MIA July 18, 1943
2) F4F-4 Wildcat 11724 pilot Lewis MIA July 18, 1943
3) F4F-4 Wildcat 5155 pilot Dalton MIA July 18, 1943
4) F4F Wildcat 03472 pilot Waring MIA July 18, 1943
5) F4F-4 Wildcat
12094 pilot Pierson MIA July 18, 1943
This Wildcat ditched into shallow water between Harumu Island and Harumukiki Island to the west of Shortland Island.
Fate of the Pilot
According to locals, the pilot landed safely and evaded capture, hiding in a cave until he was captured by the Japanese and became a Prisoner Of War (POW). Afterwards, the pilot was transported to Nila on Poporang Island and interrogated. Local people remember the Japanese asking him if he ate rice then attempting to cut him with a sword or bayonet. Reportedly, executed sometime afterwards ultimate fate unknown.
This Wildcat is sunk at a depth of 3m on a coral reef.
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January 31, 2018