|Pilot Lt James E. Bridges, O-104354 USNR (MIA / KIA) Brinson, GA
Gunner ARM2c James Albert Green, 6690963 USNR (MIA / KIA) MO
Radio ANM1c Robert Ellis Bruton, 3814807 USN (MIA / KIA) CA
Crashed February 17, 1944
Built by General Motors, Eastern Aircraft
Division as a model G-40. Delivered to the United States Navy (USN) as TBM-1C Avenger bureau number 25270. Assigned to USS Intrepid (CV-11) to squadron VT-6. No known nickname, nose art or squadron number.
On February 17, 1944 took off from USS Intrepid CV-11 at 7:15am during "Operation Hailstone" as part of wave 2b on a bombing mission against Truk Lagoon. Over the target, this Avenger dropped bombs onto Aikoku Maru imacting the ship's forward deck which was jammed with munitions. The resulting explosion nearly below the ship into half and caused it to sink instantly, claiming this Avenger in the blast.
The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 15, 1946. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Bridges also is memorialized Brinson Cemetery in Brinson, GA.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - TBM-1C Avenger 25270
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List February 1944 - TBM-1C Avenger 25270
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James E. Bridges
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James A. Green
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert E. Bruton
Lieut James Edwin Bridges (memorial marker photos)
FindAGrave - ArM2 James A Green (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AM1C Robert E Bruton (tablets of the missing)
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January 5, 2018