The National Museum of Naval Aviation at Pensacola, Florida has a world class collection of aircraft associated with Marine, Navy and Coast Guard aviation. Less well known are the other artifacts in its collection. One of those artifacts caught my eye recently.
The Victory Model seen below was recovered in 1988 on a small, uninhabited island in the Palau Islands of the Pacific Ocean. A native fisherman there had found a previously undiscovered aircraft crash. Navy investigators were dispatched from Guam. What they found was the TBF-1C torpedo bomber (BuNo 25215) of Lt.(jg) Jarrell Jenkins which had been lost on March 30, 1944. On that date Lt. Jenkins, a member of Torpedo Squadron 31 (VT-31), was part of the attack launched by the USS Cabot against Japanese shipping in the Palaus. Also found were the remains of Jenkins and his crew, AMM1c Thomas Conlen and ARM2c Lewis Sumers. They had been listed as missing in action since 1944.
The condition of the Victory is such that determining the serial number is probably not possible. It is fitting that this Victory now resides in a place of honor where it commemorates the service and sacrifice of these American airmen.
Edited by Charlie Flick, 15 August 2019 - 01:55 PM.
Fix loss of pic due to Photobucket meltdown