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A Navy Victory Model Combat Loss


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Gentlemen:

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.

Victory from TBM crash ed.jpg

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.

Regards,
Charlie Flick

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Charlie Flick,

 

Thanks for posting this.

 

The National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola is well worth the trip for anyone who has interests like we all share on this board. Highly recommended. I visited last year, and plan to go again next year.

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com

NRA Life Member
Past President, The American Thompson Association
American Society of Arms Collectors
Ohio Gun Collectors Association
Carbine Club
Garand Collectors Association

International Ammunition Association
Contributing Writer, Small Arms Review Magazine
Co-Author, "Thompson Manuals, Catalogs, & Other Paper Items" Collector Guide
One of the "Other Authors" of "The Ultimate Thompson Book," by Tracie L. Hill
Eagle Scout, and Member of NESA

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  • 3 years later...

Charlie,

 

I also would like to thank you for the fascinating post. No doubt the plane hit hard in order to bend the grip to such an extent!

 

May these heroes rest in peace.

 

and worn in a shoulder holster when the gripframe bent.

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That took quite an impact to bend that way. Glad they were able to find the crew. I assume they returned the remains to the US and their families.

RIP Molly...Oct. 2000 - July 2013 For 13 years you have been my best friend and companion, giving love and asking only for love in return. May you rest now, free from your pain. I will miss you girl, and will keep you in my heart forever....the sweetest dog and best friend ever! I'll see you again one day.


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Good to hear there that the plane was found. Incredible what salt water does to things, that pistol is rough!

Please Remember the Following Service Members who have passed on!

 

Manley S Webb- 1925-2006 US Navy WW2

James W Boutilier - 1921-1983 US Navy Seabees WW2

Russell W Haight - 1876-1953 Spanish American War, Cuban Pacification, Mexican Border War NYNG

Lt Colonel William H Warren 1921-2014 USAF

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  • 3 years later...

Grateful for their sacrifice, glad their remains have been brought home.

 

My father's younger and only brother was a TBM gunner MIA on a mission over Okinawa on April 29, 1945. They never found the aircraft wreckage or crew remains. In the back of his logbook his equipment inventory list has PISTOL, 38 CAL. 366303 penciled in. There's another Victory Model war loss

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OldNugget:

 

Thanks for your post, and welcome to the Forum.

 

Here is a post-script to the thread. These three Naval aviators who flew together and died together are now buried together at Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Aircrew TBM Crash Palau Arlington gravesite-photo-july-2006 ed.jpg

[Photo credit to Roxsanne Wells-layton]

 

Regards,

Charlie

 

 

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