Pilot Lt(jg) Robert Jefferson "Porky" Snell, O-116868 (MIA / KIA) Meridian, MS
Crew AOM2c Wayne Lowell Wood, 6380771 (MIA / KIA) Cole Harbor, ND
Crew ARM2c Reginald "Reynold" Leon Drake, 3117951 (MIA / KIA) Battle Creek, MI
MIA June 5, 1943
Built by Grumman. Delivered to the United States Navy (USN) as TBF Avenger, bureau number unknown. Assigned to Carrier Air Group 11 (CAG-11) to squadron Bombing 21 (VB-21). No known nickname, nose art. Squadron number "T 112"
On June 5, 1943 took off from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal on a bombing mission against Japanese shipping between Shortland and Bougainviille. When this Avenger failed to return the entire crew was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 5, 1946. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Wood also has a memorial marker at Riverview Cemetery in Washburn, ND at plot O-122.
Intelligence Report VT-11 Cactus June 5, 1943
"Lt(jg) Snell was seen by Lt. Livezey to be attacked right behind him and after pulling out was seen to be attacked by four Zeros. Lt. (jg) Weiss believes Snell to be shot down but didn't actually see this."
VF-11 Appendix A
"Robert J. Snell, USNR (Missing In Action) Meridian, Miss. Air Medal"
History of Torpedo Squadron Eleven (VF-11) Part I - 10 October 1942 to 24 September 1943 Chronology page 2:
"5 June 1943 - missing in action Lt. (jg) Robert Jefferson Snell USNR, Meridian, Miss; Wayne Lowell Lowell Morre, AOM2c USNR, 638 07 71, Cole Harbor, N.D.; Reynold Leon Drake ARM2c, USN, 311 79 51, Battle Creek Mich."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert J. Snell
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Wayne Lowell Wood
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Reginald L. Drake
FindAGrave - LtJG Robert J Snell (photo, tablets of the missing)
FIndAGrave - Robert W Snell (memorial photo)
AOM2 Wayne Lowell Wood (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Wayne Lowell Wood (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - ARM2 Reginald L Drake (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Reginald Leon Drake (memorial marker photo)
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List June 1943 does not list this Avenger as lost on 6/5/1943
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
May 22, 2017