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Old 19th October 2017, 20:04
Leendert Leendert is offline
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USMC Losses - Dec 1945 - North China

On 8 December 1945 six Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldivers of VMSB-343 (USMC) crashed in N. China when flight ran into a snow storm and hit a mountain on Shantung (Shangdong) Peninsula near Pingtu (may be may be spelled differently now).

Ten of the twelve occupants were killed. The two survivors were traced a few days later and were returned to US authorities by Chinese locals.

As for the pilots and Helldivers concerned I could find so far:

BuNo 83271 1st Lt William Noser
BuNo 83327 Ssgt Stacy J. Hammell (crew?)
BuNo 83340 2d Lt Kenneth V. Leeper
BuNo 83364 2d Lt Herbert R. Kruger
BuNo 83468 2d Lt Robert E. Blount
BuNo 83543 2d Lt. Leroy K. Sheldon

There is a communal grave at Fort Scott, Kansas, with two additional names: SSsgt Michael E. Carnival and SSgt. William E. Hickman

I’m trying to find the missing four names, and if match with BuNo available, equally welcome.

Moreover, on 11 December 1945 a (presumably) Tigercat of VMD-254 was lost with two men killed, also in N. China (Weihaiwei). Aircraft formed part of three, all were lost, two because of fuel starvation and the third by engine trouble. Foul weather was in play here as well.

Looking for the names of the two killed USMC flyers of these accidents.

As an aside: a Navy (and USMC?) pilot was called an “aviator”, I believe. Is this still the case?

Thanks for all info.

Regards,

Leendert
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