Men of VMTB-143 (1945)

 

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One of the pilots from VMTB-143 (USS Gilbert Is tour, 1945) asked if I had found any others.  They had not kept in touch as a group and for some their last contact was in 1945.  I had to answer 'no' and sensed he was disappointed.  I set out to see what I could do about it.  Fortunately, Sgt Eddie Seamands gave me a roster of the officers and enlisted men dated July 1, 1945.  Armed with the names I made some progress.

After a while I found lists of the replacements so now I can give the names and ranks of all the men who served in VMTB-143 aboard the carrier.

The composite officer's list has 21 men.  Here's the status today.  Seven are alive (I have their addresses and telephone numbers), 3 are currently not located, and 11 are deceased.  If you can shed any light on ones not located please let me know and I'll update the listings.  Naturally, if you are one of the missing your mates would be delighted to hear from you!  Just drop me a line with this email link ... plane_fun@cox.net ... and I'll give you the contact information.  Listed ranks are for July 1945.  All are named in the group photos ... click on them to see these full scale. 

I have a few WW2 era studio portraits.  Some were taken during the 1944-45 deployment at Goleta and others were earlier.   Lt. Cox was the Intelligence officer and the rest were TBM pilots.

Robert L. Cox

Robert B. Cromwell

Daniel P. Githens

William P. Hay

Harry Knickelbein

John W. Lally

Edward B. Leidecker

Frank J. Liebich

Kelvern O. Misamore

Cornelius T. Montgomery, Jr.

Arthur H. Patterson

Henry C. Stalnaker

Morgan C. Webb

John E. Worlund

The living officers of VMTB-143 from the USS Gilbert Islands cruise in 1945 are:

CAPTAINS 1st LIEUTENANTS

2nd LIEUTENANTS

Arthur H. Patterson Jr. John W. Lally Harry Knickelbein
John E. Worlund Frank J. Liebich  
  Lloyd D. Brundage  
  William P. Hay  

Officers who have not been located:

CAPTAINS 1st LIEUTENANTS
John A. Reed  Grover C. Jackson
Richard S. Hockaday  

Those who are at rest in peace are:

CAPTAINS

1st LIEUTENANTS

Henry C. Stalnaker

Thomas R. Faull

Morgan C. Webb III

Daniel P. Githens Jr.

 

Edward B. Leidecker

 

Cornelius T. Montgomery Jr.

   Francis L. McCaul
   Robert B. Cromwell
   Robert L. Cox
   Kelvern O. Misamore
   Francis P. Whalen

All but nine of the enlisted men were flight crew for the TBMs and all but 3 were Sergeants. Click on Sgt. Martin's picture to go to the page of their photos.  Eddie Seamands tells me only a few stayed in touch and there are many who have not been found. The total number of enlisted men assigned to VMTB-143 during the cruise of the Gilbert Islands comprises 41 aircrew and 9 support personnel.  I'm always looking for photos of the men especially those with a (p) after the name.  I hope you will let me know if you have one.  

These 8 are alive and I can give you contact information through the email link above.  All were Sergeants.

George P. Adams Carl F. Crumpton Thomas H. Eldridge
Charles S. Hoke Edward D. Martin Robert C. Norby
Con L. Ward Jr. Clyde C. Shelton  

The whereabouts of these 27 enlisted men is unknown.  If you're on this list please get in touch with me.  These were all Sergeants except Cpls. Mahoney, Wood and Jennings and Pfc. Danielson:

John J. Boland Jr. George C. Bosco Ira M. Bowman
Billy J. Brown James H. Brunson Richard E. Clark
Clifford C. Crandall (p) Stanley M. Danielson (p) Edward F. Fischer  
Roger M. Hansen Robert R. Hanville Jesse W. Hedger (p)
Harry F. Hinkle Edward R. Mahoney (p) George M. Miller
Philip J. Miller John J. Nuzum John D. Ralston (p)
Lloyd Reed Jr. Thomas J. Ryan Eugene H. Ryder (p)
Robert A. Saul Robert P. Schneider Clyde W. Thompson
Robert L. Wood George I. Jennings (p) William C. Stowall (p)

And the Sergeants who have taken their final flight are:

Marion E. Benedetti Robert R. Cardno Jesse R. Garrett
Frank D. Henning Frank J. McEnneny James A. Mitchell
John W. Sears Charles M. Wolf (p) Elmer W. Daniels
Julius D. Baribault William C. Boyd (p) Chancel A. Hall
Otto R. Schaefer Alfred E. Seamands Clinton F. Payne

Papers from the files of Lt. Cox the intel officer list the TBM crew pairings, gunner's assignments and makeup of the flights as:

PILOT

RADIO GUNNER

TURRET GUNNER

Notes

first flight

     

Worlund (f)

Ralston

Hinkle

(f) Flight Leader

McCaul

Wolf

Ryder

 

Cromwell

Boyd (1)

Wood

(1) KIA June 3 replaced by Baribault

Montgomery

Clark

Hedger

 

 

 

 

 

second flight

     

Stalnaker (f)

Crumpton

Henning

(f) Flight Leader

Brundage

Ward

Norby

 

Leidecker

Danielson (2)

Hanson

(2) Transferred out in June replaced by Jennings

Knickelbein

Shelton (3)

Boland

(3) Transferred out in June replaced by Payne

 

 

 

 

third flight

 

 

 

Webb (f)

Sears

P. Miller

(f) Flight Leader

Liebich

McEnneny

Benedetti

 

Misamore (4)

Schaefer (4)

Hall (4)

(4) KIA June 12 replaced by Hockaday, Daniels, Stowall.

Whalen

Seamands

Mitchell

 

 

 

 

 

fourth flight

     

Patterson (f)

Martin

Adams

(f) Flight Leader

Githens

Mahoney

Brunson

 

Hay

Hoke

Cardno

 

Faull

Crandall

Bosco

 

 

 

 

 

as assigned

     

Lally

Reed

Garrett

 

Jackson

Thompson

Eldridge

 

Most of the replacements arrived onboard in August '45.

One of the nice things about having this web site is I get a chance to reconnect old friends.  I hope one of you 'lost' ones from VMTB-143 found your way here and will contact me. 

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This site was last updated 08/19/08