VB-103 Squadron Insigina

 This PB4Y-1 Liberator BuNo 32032 B-3 (C) was lost in action on the 12th of November 1943 after sinking a U boat. Pilot Lt Ralph Brownal and all crew were killed in action.

Aircraft lost from VB-103 Squadron based at Dunkeswell in Devon,England

02 SEP 43 A/C: PB4Y-1  Bay of Biscay  BuNo: 32033 Cause: Oil slick

sighted containing two tires with struts, oxygen bottles, dinghy inverted and

two uninflated dinghy's, but no sign of life. There is a possibility that the

plane either: (A) Crashed at sea due to enemy action (B)mechanical failure. Crew

missing: Pilot Lt Keith W. Wicktrom A-V(N) USNR, Ens Carlyle K. Martin A-V(S)

USNR, AP1c Leslie R. Perry USN, Amm1c Nels M. LaRue USN, Rm2c Wallace B.

Wadsworth USNR, Aom2c Richard J. Olsen V-6 USNR, Amm3c Wallace B. Marshburn V-2

USNR, Sea2c Jack N Rubin USNR, and Rm3c Morris Steinberg USNR.

04 SEP 43 A/C: PB4Y-1  Near Cape Finisterrej, Spain BuNo: 32022 (Impatient Virgin) Cause:

Plane was attacked by six JU-88's and ditched at sea. After thirty-six hours

crew picked up by a fishing boat and taken to Corcubion, arrived in Madrid 11

Sep. Air Ministry agrees to permit there repatriation via Gibraltar Immediately.

Crew: Pilot Lt(jg) James H. Alexander, Lt(jg) Paul Bruce Kinney, Ens Donald

Barnett (broken shoulder, injured jaw), Acmm Robert F. Hoffman, Acrm Joe T.

Guthrie, ????, Terrance E. Tennant (Injured back), Aom3c.Casimiry Tell (injured back), Sea1c

Horward J. Lasseiger, and Sea2c John P. Dowdy.

23 SEP 43 A/C: PB4Y-1  St.Eval, UK BuNo: 32039 Cause: Ens.Williamson was flying

the plane from the left hand seat. After contacting the tower and receiving

permission to land, he entered the traffic circle and made a normal approach.

Before landing he received a RED signal from the control truck, so he pulled up

and made another approach for a landing. Landing wa made directly into the sun

on a camouflaged runway, with a 30deg cross-wind of ten knots. As the plane came

over the rise in the middle of the field, pilot noticed a small rock hill in the

landing path which he had not been able to distinguish before. Lt. Muckenthaler

then took control of the plane and applied starboard brake and outboard #1

engine in an attempt to bring plane back on runway. The planes heading changed,

but due to wet grass, plane continued into hill, passing over several ditched,

which cut speed down to 60mph. Plane DBR Crew OK. Pilot Lt C. P. Muckenthaler

USN, Ens D. S. Williamson A-V(N) USNR, Amm2c C. T. Stocksdale USNR, and Rm3c J.

Slohoda USN.

12 NOV 43 A/C: PB4Y-1  Bay of Biscay BuNo: 32032 (Calvert & Coke) Combat Mission;Bay of

Biscay. Failed to return to base. Message received indicated plane was over

enemy submarine U508, but no position given. Oil slick was later found at the

probable position. Probable result of enemy action. Missing crew: Pilot Lt(jg)

Ralph Bliss Brownwell A-V(N) USNR, Ens Daniel Anthony Schneider, Cap Ridgeway

Kendall Poole USN, Amm1c William English USN, Rm1c Bobbie R. Holladay USNR, Rm3c

Walter Nelson Meroney USNR, Aom2c Charles K. McClung USN, Aom2c Eitel, and Sea1c

Walter C. Rodgers, Jr. USNR. 

3 DEC 43 A/C: PB4Y-1  BuNo: 32014 (Berlin Express) Cause: Instrument training. While flying

under instrument conditions, plane hit one-hundred feet below the top of a

seventeen-hundred foot ridge. Wreckage scattered eight-hundred yards. Plane

broke into to main parts; the tail and after fuselage lay scattered two-hundred

yards from point of impact and remainder of wreckage lay four-hundred yards

away. "Strike" Crew killed: Pilot Tony Anthony Lucas,Jr. A-V(N) USNR, Lt(jg)

James Herbert Alexander, Jr. A-V(N) USNR, Ens Donald Barrett Shea A-V(N) USNR,

Ens Francis James Buckley A-V(S) USNR, Amm1c Theodore Lemoine Ray USN, Rm2c

Wilse Adolph Tgan USN, Amm2c Richard James O'Leary USN, Aom2c William H.

Davidson USN, Amm3c Eldret Aloysious Shubert USNR, and Aom2c james Woodrow

Laubtnger USNR. 

13 DEC 43 A/C: PB4Y-1 3mi.NW, of Broad Clyst, Devon, UK BuNo: 32040 (Lady Ritz) Cause: After

eleven hours of flight at an altitude between 1200 and 1500-ft and while

attempting to level fuel in main tanks, in accordance with readings of sight

gauges, #1 engine failed due to lack of gasoline in #1 system. Pilot made a

wheels up landing in a nearby field. Salvage only, reduced to spares. Crew:

Pilot Lt.Chester F. Rief USN/Ok, Ens Bruce Higgenbotham (co-pilot)/Minor inj,

Amm1c Paul J. Simpson,Jr./Ok, Amm2c Joseph G. Moore,Jr./Ok, Amm2c Anthony P.

Montella/Ok, Rm1c Val M. Cummings/Minor inj, Rm2c Arthur J. Leavitte/Ok, Sea1c

Thomas J. Gibson,Jr./Ok, Aom2c David W. Offrell/Ok, Aom2c Gerald L.Farrimond/Ok,

Ens John P. Rhodes/Minor inj, and Ens Robert Crosby/Ok. 

15 FEB 1944 PB4Y-1 Liberator  BuNo 32191  was overdue from anti-submarine patrol and as a result of enemy action the PB4Y-1 Liberator crashed into the sea . OFFICERS: LT K. L. Wright (OK), LT L. M. Peterson (OK) and ENS R. W. Lacey (OK). CREW: C. F. Lillie (OK), W. E. Middleton (OK), R. A. Zabic (OK), R. C. McDaneil (OK), R. C. Erdman (killed), T. E. Ryan (killed), B. N. Faubion (killed) and R. M. Green (OK)

20 MAR 1944 PB4Y-1Liberator BuNo 32209 Was on anti-submarine patrol when the last word heard from plane was SOS at 50-20N 08-04W. Plane then switched on broad IFF. Crew missing. Pilot Lt(jg) Jack Cooper Kessel A-V(N) USNR, Ens Robert E. Holloran A-V(N) USNR, Ens Donald H. Ballard A-V(S) USNR, Amm1c Orville J. Parks USNR, Rm1c Charles B. Newcombe USNR, Aom2c Arthur E. Robinson USNR, Amm3c Albert L. McKinney USNR, Amm2c Robert A. Sayers USNR, Aom2c James S. Curley USNR, Aom3c Cecil L. Meekins USNR, and Rm3c Edward F. Garloff USNR. 

27 MAY 1944  PB4Y-1  Liberator BuNo 32201  Ground engine "Run-in" This aircraft was parked on a hard strip approach from the perimeter track to the hanger, clear of all airplane traffic along the perimeter. With all four engines turned up, with wheels chalked, was hit by taxiing PB4Y-1 32297 of VB-110, piloted by Ens.McNair during Pilot Qualification flight. Damage to 32201. All engines stoppage. Nose section aft to station 3, destroyed. Fuselage, ruptured num, places, by flying metal. All four propellers bent and torn off. Possible internal damage center section, wings and fuselage out of alignment, crown turret damaged. DBR Damage to 32297 Aircraft has major damage, repairable at local; station. Crew of 32201 OK. Amm(I)2c William C. Kley V-6 USNR, and Amm(C)3c Wayne S. Zehring V-6 USNR. 

24 NOV 1944 PB4Y-1 Liberator BuNo 32281 After aborted take-off on Dunkeswell runway.  During take-off run pilot aborted at 100mph. Brakes were locked, nose wheel collapsed and plane slid on it nose off the end of the runway. Engines performed normally. Pilot forgot to raise nose of aircraft during take-off. Plane:DBR Crew OK. Pilot Lt William R. Gaines A1 USNR, Lt L. N. Perkerson, Acmm J. I. Kelly, Amm3c I. R. Palmer, Amm3c D. S. Marshall, Rm2c J. V. O'Shea, Rm3c R. J. Mercer, Amm3c R. N. Nelson, and Aom3c J. A. Patrick.

9 DEC 1944 PB4Y-1 Liberator BuNo 32200  Overshot on landing, pilot used wrong setting for altimeter, thinking he was 500-ft higher than he really was during landing approach. Landing was made 2000-ft down runway, overshooting, and hitting two hedgerows DBR Crew OK - Pilot Lt(jg) Robert O. Morgan A-1 USNR, Ens R. L. Pierce USNR, Ens J. W. Dickinson USNR, Amm2c L. M. Edwards USN, Amm3c H. E. McGahee USN, Ammf3c J. A. Kirst USNR, Arm2c J. M. Majestic USNR, Arm3c O. A. Franza USN, Aom2c F. C. Huff USNR, Aom2c R. E. Gochanour USNR, and Aom3c F. M. Kindel USN.  

27 DEC 1944 PB4Y-1 Liberator BuNo 38704 Training flight Plane was let down by means of a "Radar talk-down" system until the pilot visually contacted the field at approximately one-half mile from the beginning of the runway at an altitude of three-hundred feet and an airspeed of 140mph. At this time co-pilot applied full flaps, while the first pilot closed all throttles and nosed over this plane as to land as soon as possible. This set probably built up additional airspeed approaching 150mph, which resulted in floating down the runway. During landing roll-out, pilot applied the brakes fully, 1700-ft from end of runway. Plane skidded on ice which had formed on the entire runway, 200-ft from end of runway, pilot attempted a ground-looped and overshot by 150-ft:DBR Crew OK. Pilot Lt Charles M. Weyand USNR, Lt(jg) W. L. Robertson USNR, Lt(jg) G. B. Battersby USNR, Cmdr W. J. Pettens USNR, Amm1c J. O. Wood V-6, Amm3c W. I. Smith V-6, Amm3c J. E. Concaugh V-6, Arm3c J. H. Mooney V-6, Arm3c N. E. Stainbrook V-6, Sea1c W. N. Panos V-6, and Aom3c W. L. Kreuter V-6. Contributed by Terry pb4y-2@sbcglobal.net [25OCT2001]