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Old 26th November 2018, 14:09
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Bamboo Fleet - loss of Waco biplane - Philippines - April 1942

At the bottom of page 5 of this link https://www.troopcarrier.org/AirlifterXVIII.pdf it says that (a) Lt. O'Brien and two passengers were killed when their Waco biplane was shot down by a Japanese fighter.

This Waco was part of the so-called Bamboo Fleet that operated shortly before the fall of the Philippines.

Lt. O'Brien may be identified as 2nd Lt. Forrest S. O'Brien of the 2nd Observation Squadron, with date of death 17 April 1942. He's buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetery.

Identities of the two other men known?

Extending the question: have the civil registrations of the aircraft (Stearman, Bellanca, Staggerwing, Waco, ...) ever come to light? Did they get military serials?

Thanks for any info.

Regards,

Leendert


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Old 26th November 2018, 14:43
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is offline
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Re: Bamboo Fleet - loss of Waco biplane - Philippines - April 1942

Hello,

You might get some clues, here:

http://www.airhistory.org.uk/gy/reg_NPC-.html

Col.

Last edited by Col Bruggy; 27th November 2018 at 00:19.
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Old 26th November 2018, 23:13
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Bamboo Fleet - loss of Waco biplane - Philippines - April 1942

No idea if he was involved in the shot down of the Waco, but Major Harold J Coyle of the Headquarters Company, US Air Force, Pacific, was posted missing on 17 April 1942 and is commemorated on the Tablets of the Missing, in Manila American Cemetery.
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Old 26th November 2018, 23:39
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Bamboo Fleet - loss of Waco biplane - Philippines - April 1942

This book says Harold J Coyle was executed by the Japanese on Cebu. No idea if that information is correct.

https://books.google.com/books?id=Nb...ppines&f=false



I can't find a POW record for him in the American archives, so the "execution" story may be suspect.

Last edited by RSwank; 27th November 2018 at 13:30.
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Old 27th November 2018, 19:52
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: Bamboo Fleet - loss of Waco biplane - Philippines - April 1942

Thanks for info so far. Found name of Major Coyle when searching earlier. His name here as well https://archive.org/stream/BataanThe...tSeat_djvu.txt


Not sure if same as a field artillery officer of that name (USMA class 1927).



Alas, no tangible leads yet, but will keep trying.


As for the aircraft, the Bellanca, Staggerwing and Waco appear to have come from the Philiipines Air Taxi Company (Patco) inventory, as can be found in link provided by Col Bruggy



Regards,


Leendert
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Old 28th November 2018, 03:33
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: Bamboo Fleet - loss of Waco biplane - Philippines - April 1942

Harold James Coyle, MAJ, USA. Battery F, 24th Field Artillery, Philippine Army. POW 16 Apr 1942, executed 17 Apr 1942, Adlaon, Cebu. From USMA Register, Class of 1927.
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Old 7th December 2018, 02:26
Edward Edward is offline
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Re: Bamboo Fleet - loss of Waco biplane - Philippines - April 1942

The incident is covered in William Bartsch's Doomed at the Start: American Pursuit Pilots in the Philippines, 1941-1942 (1992) on pages 406-407

8 am on morning of 16 April 1942 at Del Monte airfield
"But now another Bamboo Fleet veteran appeared over the field circling and descending to make a landing. It was the Waco cabin plane. About 2,000 feet above the defenceless aircraft one of the floatplanes [Type 0 "Pete"] spotted the enticing target, jettisoned its bombs and screamed down, firing its 7.7 mm guns at the Waco. Touching down, the Waco pilot took off again, tried another landing, and then crashed.
When Del Monte base personnel reached the wrecked Waco, they pulled Lt. Forrest O'Brien and his two passengers, Sergeant Madden and a navy man later identified as John L. Howard, out of the plane and took them to Del Monte hospital, but all died as a result of their injuries."

Maj. Coyle is not listed in the index for the book.

The crash does not appear to be covered in:
"The Bamboo Fleet: How a Ragtag Airlift Operation Supported Besieged U.S. Forces in The Philippines In World War II"
by John F. Farrell
Air Power History Vol. 59, No. 2 (Summer 2012)
pages 14-23
http://www.afhistory.org/wp-content/...r_2012_all.pdf

Edward

Last edited by Edward; 7th December 2018 at 19:23. Reason: source listed
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Old 7th December 2018, 04:42
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Bamboo Fleet - loss of Waco biplane - Philippines - April 1942

Is Sgt Madden the guy in the link below: Sgt James Eldred Madden of 9th BS, died 16 April 1942 ?
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...-eldred-madden

While 9th BS was active in the area, they were not based in Philippines AFAIK.

The navy man was probably:
HOWARD, John L, WO, Cavite, 16th Naval District, Philippine Islands Campaign, (POWCasCode8122), dd April 16, 1942 (bp6) + HOWARD, John Lynn, Carpenter, USNR. Wife, Mrs. John Lynn Howard, 3601 Avenue H. Fort Worth, Tex (na)
Source: http://www.naval-history.net/WW2USca...USNbyNameH.htm

Still I don't understand the POWCasCode8122 part.

The above Navy man is not buried or commemorated in Manila cemetery, but is buried in Texas, see link: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...hn-lynn-howard.

O'Brien died on the 17th rather than the 16th according to his grave, so may have died of his wounds the day after the crash.

As for Coyle, the only reason I proposed it was that it was listed by the ABMC database as a member of the Air Force who died in Philippines at the right time.

By the way, it will be nice to identify the pilot who shot down this aircraft. There should not be many victories claimed over Philippines during this period... but I found nothing in the books I have. The Japanese seaplane tender Sanuki Maru was in the area.
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Old 7th December 2018, 16:21
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: Bamboo Fleet - loss of Waco biplane - Philippines - April 1942

Edward, Laurent,


Thanks for further identifying the two passengers of the Bamboo Fleet Waco. Much appreciated.



Regards,


Leendert
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Old 8th December 2018, 12:09
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: Bamboo Fleet - loss of Waco biplane - Philippines - April 1942

Just to add a reference to Navy man John L. Howard here: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/gue...ll-beigel.html


His death described here as due to a 'non-battle airplane crash' on Mindanao.


Regards,


Leendert
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