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paulmcmillan 28th June 2022 14:58

Another VF-9M Mystery November 6 1933
331106 F4B-4 9038 VA Boeing F4B-4

A-9034 or A-9038 ?


November 6 1933

Photographic Evidence shows A-9238 '8' colliding with another F4B-4 '20' said to be A-9034

Pilot of A-9238 2nd Lt Edward Colston Dyer OK
January 18, 1907 January 5, 1975

Pilot of A-9038 2nd Lt Frank Hawse Schwable OK (Aircraft "Written off" by US Navy - but aircraft was actually rebuilt 'not entirely officially' Baugher has " Assembled by USMC at Quantico from spare parts." and returned to use as 9719)
July 18, 1908 October 28, 1988

Collision on take off, propeller of Dyer's chewed rear fuselage of Schwable's

paulmcmillan 28th June 2022 17:01

Re: Another VF-9M Mystery November 6 1933
A-9038 became A-9719

A-9238 other aircraft - not seriously damaged

twocee 28th June 2022 20:43

Re: Another VF-9M Mystery November 6 1933
As you say, Dyer's propeller chewed up the tail and rear fuselage of A9038, which was stricken on 31 January 1934.

A9719 was first assigned to VF-9M in June 1934, having been constructed from "a spare fuselage and spare parts". The parts may have come from A9038, but I doubt that the fuselage would have been reusable and so in my view one cannot say that 9038 was rebuilt as 9719.

paulmcmillan 29th June 2022 09:26

Re: Another VF-9M Mystery November 6 1933
George - There is a long passage in the book Marine Fighting Squadron Nine VF-9M about the 'history' of this aircraft - it even had interview with Master Sgt who rebuilt the aircraft in his spare time and the trouble the Sqn had to get a stricken aircraft added back to inventory.

"In the meantime, Master Sgt. Earl Zalanka, in charge of the Assembly and Repair shop, was not one to let a challenge go by. After several weeks passed without word on the airplane's fate, he decided to see what he could do with the damaged aft section of the fuselage. The sergeant was an expert metalsmith, carpenter, electrician and all-around handyman. He had learned his trade well during the Marines' early days of flying, when airplane parts had to be fashioned from anything at hand. In less than four months, Sgt. Zalanka, working in his spare time, accomplished the impossible by completely rebuilding the fuselage from the cockpit rearward. The sergeant then requisitioned a new vertical fin and rudder from storage and, with two of his helpers, reassembled the entire airplane, using the balance of its original parts. Feeling very proud, Zalanka told Lt. Pugh, VF-9M's engineering officer, of what he had accomplished and informed him the airplane was ready for test flying. Pugh was first amazed, then pleased, but his feelings turned to apprehension as he suddenly remembered that serial number 9038 was no longer legally in the Navy. He suggested to the sergeant that he say nothing until he talked with Sanderson about it. After a conference with Sandy, it was decided that the boss. Rusty Rowell, the group commander at Quantico, be informed at once. The two officers took off for his office.but for reasons unknown they were unable to see him. They were unaware at this time that the Colonel had already been informed of the project several hours before."

Later it adds "

Recalling that meeting of many years ago, Sgt. Zalanka (now retired) said, "We sure did catch hell. Rowell paced back and forth, using all the well-known Marine phrases plus some new ones. After he vented his anger be broke out in a grin and said: 'Sergeant, you did a damn good job. We'll find a way to outfox the Navy and put that airplane back in service.'"

twocee 29th June 2022 12:24

Re: Another VF-9M Mystery November 6 1933
Thanks for that interesting story about the rear fuselage rebuilding. On the basis that the aircraft's identity would have "belonged" to the centre fuselage/cockpit area then it can indeed be said that 9038 became 9719.

Zalanka's efforts were very worthwhile as 9719 was in service with VF-9M/VMF-1 until March 1938. As was usual it then went to Pensacola for use as a trainer but only lasted for eleven months. On 20 February 1939 it was being flown by Lt(jg) E.G. Osborn on a night cross-country when fog set in and, becoming lost, he chose to bail out at 1500' near McDavid FL.

paulmcmillan 29th June 2022 17:55

Re: Another VF-9M Mystery November 6 1933
George Thanks

Lt(jg) Edgar George Osborn
BIRTH 23 Nov 1912
Napa County, California, USA
DEATH 5 Jul 1998 (aged 85)

St. Helena Star, February 24, 1939

Lieut. Edgar Osborn Has Thrilling
Escape From Falling Plane

St. Helenan broke into the national headlines this week as one of its native sons saved his life high over Florida by taking to his parachute.

The St. Helena who thus became a sudden member of the caterpillar club was Lieutenant Edgar G. Osborn, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Osborn, of St. Helena, one of 6 navy pilots who were saved when their ships, lost in a pea soup fog, vainly cruised over Florida seeking a landing field. As gas ran low, the fliers jumped.

Osborn's plan was one of 12 trapped in the fog in a routine night flight. Two other fliers lost their lives attempting to land, while three planes found a hole in the fog and came down safely. Osborn was married last year in rites performed at Rochester, Minn.

He was born in the Vineland district and after completing his education at Arcata, received the appointment to Annapolis form which he was graduated in 1934.

He has been stationed at San Diego and more recently at the naval air state at Pensacola, from which he took off on the flight when nearly ended in tragedy. Osborn is expected to visit his parents here soon.

paulmcmillan 29th June 2022 18:01

Re: Another VF-9M Mystery November 6 1933
6 Aircraft were

390220 F4B-4 9014 FL
390220 F4B-4 9040 FL
390220 F4B-4 9242 FL
390220 F4B-4 9243 FL
390220 F4B-4 9258 FL
390220 F4B-4 9719 FL

twocee 30th June 2022 15:29

Re: Another VF-9M Mystery November 6 1933
And two more, 9042+9246. Six pilots bailed out and two were killed in crashes.

One notable name among the parachutists was Lt(jg) R.E. Harmer, who went on to command the first F4U Corsair night fighter squadron.

paulmcmillan 1st July 2022 12:16

Re: Another VF-9M Mystery November 6 1933
George thanks - I don't suppose you can put the pilot against the plane thanks ? - see my other posting on this incident Paul

twocee 1st July 2022 15:49

Re: Another VF-9M Mystery November 6 1933
9014 Harbert
9040 Chalmers
9042 Cummins
9242 Horta
9243 Harmer
9246 Presser
9258 Ostergren
9719 Osborn

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