VP-41

call signs 1V- 12V

Starting February 1st 1942, PBY-5s had been replaced with PBY-5As

 

3 June 1942:

The Japanese strafed the PBY piloted by Lt (jg) Jack F. Litsey, VP-41, as he was preparing to take off, setting it on fire and killing AP1c Merlyn B. Dawson and RM3c Martin H. Zeller.  Lt (jg) Litsey turned and headed back to the ramp.

Lieutenant (jg) Kirmsh avoided the fighters by flying into the cloud cover.

Ensign William Doerr encountered fighters, but did not suffer damages. 

Two Japanese fighters attacked Ens. Hidebrant off the south coast of Unalaska.  The crew claimed one shot down and the other forced to turn away.

A PBY flown by Lt (jg) Jean (jg) Cusick of VP-41 is missing. The following Navy crews from VP-41 were taken prisoner: Ens. Wylie Hunt, AOM3c Carl E. Creamer and S1c Josheph R. Brown while searching for the Japanese carrier task force.

Japanese Zero pilots attacked the PBY flown by Lt (jg) Jean Cusick, VP-41, while his crew was searching by radar for the Japanese.  The crew did not spot the Japanese.  Lieutenant Cusick was wounded in the arm.  He and his copilot, Ens. Wylie Hunt, succeeded in landing in the water 200 miles from Dutch Harbor on a bearing of 210 degrees.  The crew climbed into two rafts.  Lieutenant Cusick, Ensign Hunt, AOM3c Carl E. Creamer and S1c Joseph R. Brown were in one and the rest of the other crew in a larger raft, which sank due to bullet holes.  RM3c John F. Collins, AMM2c Alton J. Davis, AMM2c Burdette B. Siler, ARR2c Louis E. Yurek, and AP1c Clark W. Morrison died.  Lieutenant Cusick also died of his wounds.  The survivors drifted for about five hours before being rescued by the Japanese heavy cruiser Takao.  The Japanese took the three men aboard, gave them a hot bath, food, drink and blankets.  A doctor examined them. Lieutenant Hunt was separated from the other two and questioned about Dutch Harbor for two days.  He pleaded ignorant.  On the 3rd day, a Japanese lieutenant commander aviator who claimed he was from one of the carriers came in and began to strike Ensign Hunt with his fist and a stick.  He then came back with companions, tied Hunt to a chair with a rope around his neck and began questioning him again.  When Ensign refused to answer the questions, the Japanese took him to the deck, blind folded him and treating to make him walk the plank.  Ensign Hunt continued to refuse to answer questions.  The Japanese took him back to his confinement, where they left him alone for the remainder of the trip. (USSBS No. 606, USN.  U.S. Naval Analysis Division, Aleutian Campaign, Information on Japanese Second Mobile Force and Kiska Garrison From U.S. POW.  Interview of Lt (jg) Wylie M. Hunt, USNR and Aerographer's Mate 1st Class William C. House by Capt James S. Russell, USN in Tokyo, 20 Dec 1945.)  

 

4 June 1942:

A PBY flown by Ens. James T. Hilderbrand, Jr., disappeared bringing Patrol Air Wing’s total PBY losses to four. Crew: Leonard J. Hurley,  AP1c William B. Laing, ARM2c William J. Glover, AMM1c Lester W. Dietrich, AMM3c Anthony H. Duessing, AP1c Frank D. Geiger, S2c Willis H. Sweeny and RM3c Thomas W. Lowery.  

Late morning on 4 June 42, the second day of the Battle of Dutch Harbor, Ensign Freerks flying PBY 41-P-11 made radar and visual contact with the Japanese carrier fleet 240 miles from Otter Point.  During Ens Freerks' patrol the seas were too rough for the Japanese combat air patrol to launch from their carriers.  Lieutenant (jg) Stockstill flying PBY 42-P-11 relieved Ens Freerks and trailed the Japanese carriers.  Soon after the weather had cleared, and the Zeros had launched, intercepted and shot down PBY 42-P-11 in flames.  Lt (jg) Stockstill and his crew were lost at sea and are MIA.

5 June 1942:

41-P-4 Ens. King

41-P-7 Ens. Raven

41-P-11 Ens. Freerks

Lt William Theis reported a crashed Zero on the Akutan Island.

6 June 1942:

Lt (jg) William J. Bowers discovered enemy ships and installations on Kiska and Attu

8 June 1942:

The Fleet Air Wing Four history stated that two PBYs piloted by Lt (jg) Milton Dahl and the other by Lt. William J. Bowers, both from VP-41, made separate discovers of the Japanese on Kiska and Attu.

12 June 1942:

Lt Theis landed and took off five men stationed at Kanaga Island after aerological facilities had been destroyed.

 

26 June 1942:

05011 41-P-11 11V flown by Lt (jg) Jack F. Litsey was attacked by Zero float fighters (First report of A6M2-Ns)

 

1 July 1942:

7 PBY-5A in Dutch Harbor

1 August 1942:

12 PBY-5A in Dutch Harbor

 

8 August 1942:

Six PBY’s made an attack on Kiska.  Three of the PBY’s attacked shipping on Kiska Harbor and the other three dropped bombs on shore installations.  The planes carried two 500-lb. bombs and one 1,000-lb. bomb each.  One of the PBY’s, piloted by Ens. Herrin, was forced down out of fuel SW of Umnak.  Herrin and his crew were later discovered and rescued. Lt(jg) Raven was flying one of the planes that located Ens Herrin and directed their rescue. On return, Raven was excepted to land at Dutch Harbor after dark. Due to bad weather, he was directed to stop at Umnak, but he did not get the message. He passed Umnak shortly after dark and encountered heavy rain and fog before reaching Dutch Harbor. At 2340 he reported his position outside harbor entrance and requested MOs. Thereafter he could not be reached although outposts reported hearing a plane until shortly after midnight. After an exhaustive search the search parties failed to find any clue as to the plane and the crew’s disappearance Crew missing: Pilot Lt(jg) Julius A. Raven, Ens. Thomas D. Moore, Ens. Reuben M. Smith, AMM1c. John I. Riley, Jr., AMM2c. Steve Cuvar, AMM3c. David C. Wren, ARM1c. Delbert F. Cox, and ARM2c. Ervin F. Falquist.

 

22 August 1942:

VP-41 and VP-51 moved to the continental U.S. relived by VP-42 and VP-61

 

3 January 1943:

8V was salvaged as far as practical before being abandoned at Tanaga Island

25 January 1943:

orders issued reassigning VP-41’s PBY-5A’s to VP-43 (two), VP-61 (one), VP-62 (7293, 5014, and 7284) and Hedron. Squadron flight crews and 70 Patsu 2 raitings go to Seattle for PV-1 training.

1 March 1943:

VP-41 redesignated VB-136. All members were initiated into the Williwaw and the 180th Meridian Club and issued certificates.  All flight personnel received “Empire Express” cards, on which were recorded, in the form of bombs, all missions flown to the Kuriles.  Non-flying personnel received honorary membership.  An unofficial drive was conducted to consider flight personnel as “Flying Jokers,” and many men painted jokers on their jackets and all carried jokers in their wallets. For its second Aleutian tour in 1944, Patrol Bombing Squadron VPB-136 had adopted the old VP-41 insignia, an Alaska husky against a winter background.

Copyrighted 2014 by Boris Ilchenko | Proudly created with Wix.com

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