VMB-612 Marine PBJ's off of Saipan

Details about those listed as missing or killed in the Pacific, including current search operations.

Moderator: Moderator

Post Reply
Leatherneck MIA
Sergeant
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:35 pm

VMB-612 Marine PBJ's off of Saipan

Post by Leatherneck MIA » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:16 pm

First post--love the site. Thanks Justin.
I am researching the disappearance of two Marine PBJ (B25) Bombers that took off of Saipan Nov. 26 and Nov. 29, 1944 and were both lost.
Buno 35156 (Pilot Madvay) and 35149 (Pilot Falgout)
My dads cousin was the navigator, James Freeman on the Falgout plane.
A little background on the unit at the www.vmb612.com website

Target routes were believed to be the harbor at Chichi Jima for both planes -- I have one official flight record of each plane (will try to upload file after I load the post).
Speculation: It is thought that the Madvay plane ran into enroute the returning Japanese attack planes that bombed the B-29's on Saipan/Tinian that evening. The Falgout plane, had a gung ho pilot who some speculate flew right into the Chichi Jima harbor on a clear moonlit night and was shot down.

the families of both planes have been searching for information but never received anything. Any additional information would be much appreciated--.

PF
Lt Col
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:31 am
Location: USA

Re: VMB-612 Marine PBJ's off of Saipan

Post by PF » Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:19 pm

ABMC records

Cleo Joseph Falgout
First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps
Service # 0-023003
United States Marine Corps
Entered the Service from: Louisiana
Died: 25-Jan-46
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial
Honolulu, Hawaii
Awards: Purple Heart

Edward Madvay
First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps
Service # 0-023042
United States Marine Corps
Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: 24-Jan-46
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial
Honolulu, Hawaii
Awards: Purple Heart

Leatherneck MIA
Sergeant
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:35 pm

Re: VMB-612 Marine PBJ's off of Saipan

Post by Leatherneck MIA » Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:59 pm

The Marine MIA office says that there are still 3000 Marine MIA's from WWII in the Pacific. Each month, new wrecks and remains are found --like a mass grave at Tarawa-- and thanks to sites like this and we hope that eventually one of these planes will show up. Only @100 families of the 3000 Marine MIA's have donated DNA -- .

I guess my dream scenario is that either someone will be out researching around Chi Chi Jima and find one of these wrecks (maybe while searching for George HW Bush's plane or the Huston/Leininger plane that are purportedly about 5 miles out of the main Chichi Jima harbor). That or some researcher ties in Japanese flak or fighter records of shooting down either of these planes.

Here is what else I know from the aircraft trouble analysis form:
Nov. 26, 1944 PBJ1-D Buno# 35156 took off of Saipan on a nite search firing mission (I believe to Chichi Jima).
First Lieutenant Edward Madvay- Pilot
First Lieutenant James W. Robbins - Co pilot
Master Technical Sergeant Robert C. Jones - Navigator?
Sergeant Robert J. Boylan
Private First Class John W. Knop

Conditions: 2000 feet; 12 mi; 50% ;030 deg 10kts; showers; operational
Mission: Nite Search firing mission to last approximately 10+ hours.
Pilot and regularly assigned crew listed. The plane had 738.3 hours.
At 0240 local time, he reported his return position. He was airborne 6 hrs and 45 minutes.
No other contact was ever made after this time.
He carried 1524 gallons of gas. Reasons for failure to return are unknown.

Many speculate that this plane was shot down on Nov. 27 by the Japanese planes either returning to or from the B-29 bomber runway attack on Saipan.

Leatherneck MIA
Sergeant
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:35 pm

Re: VMB-612 Marine PBJ's off of Saipan

Post by Leatherneck MIA » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:09 pm

Here is what I have found on PBJ1-D Buno 35149:

Nov. 29, 1944 PBJ1-D Buno# 35149 took off at 2210 from Saipan on a nite search firing mission (I believe target is Chichi Jima main harbor).
First Lieutenant Cleo J. Falgout - Pilot
First Lieutenant John R. Johnston - Co-pilot
Staff Sergeant Thomas J. Freeman -Navigator (my dad's cousin)
Staff Sergeant Tony A. Nedik
Sergeant Richard H. Petrilli
Corporal Sandro J. Brusa

Conditions: Unknown, unlimited, 25mi. 30% 270 deg. 15kts, clear moon bright, operational
Mission: Nite Search firing mission to last approximately 10+ hours.
Pilot and regularly assigned crew listed. The plane had 952.6 hours.
Plane took off at 2210 local time on a nite-search-rocket firing mission.
No reports were ever received.
He carried 1524 gallons of gas. Reasons for failure to return are unknown.

Some speculate that on a clear night, the GungHo pilot Falgout flew straight into the enemy harbor firing rockets and bombing all that can be seen. The clear night may have made the plane easy to spot and was shot down? Only speculation. Any thing that can be found out would be great. I think that the 7th Army air corps also flew night snooper missions to the same islands? Does anyone have any other ideas where information could be gleaned? Thank you.

Leatherneck MIA
Sergeant
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:35 pm

Re: VMB-612 Marine PBJ's off of Saipan

Post by Leatherneck MIA » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:45 pm

Please help. Can anyone help me understand how and when mission position reports were made? Were they made periodically enroute to the target or only after bombs were released to not give away their position? (Regarding these two Marine PBJ-1D bombers flying off Saipan Nov. 1944).

The Falgout plane (Buno #35149) took off at 10pm on Nov. 29, 1944 and was lost without a trace and made no position reports.

The Madvay plane (Buno #35156) took off Nov. 26 at 10pm and made a position report after 6 hours and 45 minutes of flying (presumably on way back from target-- they were believed to have run into returning Jap planes that had bombed Saipan/Tinian).

I am trying to find out what happened to a relative on the Falgout plane and have heard two stories: 1) plane crashed at night off Saipan after take off and made no poistion reports , and also read that 2) Several unit vets believe that on this full moon night they flew in to bomb Chi Chi harbor and were shot down. If I hire a side scan sonar, I want to know where to start the search....

Leatherneck MIA
Sergeant
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:35 pm

Re: VMB-612 Marine PBJ's off of Saipan

Post by Leatherneck MIA » Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:58 pm

I submitted write ups (in the same format as most of the others on the site) for both of these planes with some images.
Included a little $$ to grease the wheel so we will see what happens.
Wish that the Japanese were as anal as the Germans and kept better records. Trying to find out new information about these Marine planes lost without a trace flying on a 1700 mile round trip night attack mission over the blackness of the Pacific is nearly impossible.
Maybe when I die the answers to this will be revealed (and the location of Atlantis, if Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, where is Jimmy Hoffa buried, etc.).

Leatherneck MIA
Sergeant
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:35 pm

Re: VMB-612 Marine PBJ's off of Saipan

Post by Leatherneck MIA » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:32 am

I am planning to submit the write-ups for all the planes lost from this squadron (there are about 10)
Bureau # ModelLow MBHigh MB Date Lost Disposition
35148 D 40 20-Apr-45 Ditched off Iwo Jima - all crew saved
35149 D 10 31? 29-Nov-44 MIA between Saipan and Chichi
35150 D 15 41 Survived War
35154 D 34 Survived War
35155 D 9 35 Survived War
35156 D 36 27-Nov-44 Missing on return to Saipan
35158 D 37 Survived War
35161 D 6 32 16-Apr-45 Shot down near Okinawa by Cosairs
35167 D 0 26 Survived War
35168 D 2 27 Disappeared on combat mission from Saipan
35170 D 3 28 Survived War
35176 D 4 29 3-May-45 Partial wreck on Okinawa landing. Used for parts
35177 D 39 Survived War
35189 D 7 33 20-Apr-45 Ditched off Iwo Jima - all crew saved
35196 D 7 30 2-May-45 Shot down off of Haha Jima
35201 D 38 17-Nov-44 Ditched near Saipan returning from mission
35212 J Survived War
35234 J Survived War
35239 J Survived War
35242 J 28-Jul-45 MIA- Last seen on one engine off Hachija Jima

While researching I found excellent resources (and some pictures) for all eight Marine VMB bomber squadrons-- two of which really did not leave the states and the others lost 5-8 planes each from their time in the Pacific. VMB413, VMB423, VMB 433, VMB 443 and VMB 611, VMB612, VMB613, VMB614.
Hope to complete all by Christmas 12.

Leatherneck MIA
Sergeant
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:35 pm

Re: VMB-612 Marine PBJ's off of Saipan

Post by Leatherneck MIA » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:41 pm

Can anyone discern what plane type this wing came from ?
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/ ... -beach.jpg

I am researching a missing PBJ1-D (B25 variant) that was lost on a bombing run to Chichi Jima.

Jhmadvay
Private
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:53 pm

Re: VMB-612 Marine PBJ's off of Saipan

Post by Jhmadvay » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:11 pm

I believe I am a relative of the pilot of 35156 Edward Madvay. There are only a handful of us and we are from NJ. I am probing older relatives for information. I stumbled upon this while researching my dad and my Marine Corps records. If anyone has any more info I would love to hear it?
Sincerely
Jonathan Madvay

RSwank
Captain
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:42 pm

Re: VMB-612 Marine PBJ's off of Saipan

Post by RSwank » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:06 pm

I believe this is a little more information on Madvay, Edward 1st Lt, O-023042

He was declared dead on 24 January, 1946. He went missing on
27 Nov 1944, flying a PBJ-1D, a navy/marine version of a B-25.

His father was Michael Madvay, then living at 310 Drake Ave, Roselle NJ. His mother was Bertha.
He had an older brother Frank and an older sister Katherine (Medvay) Heffi. She had married George Heffi.

Post Reply