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Named Mae West- KIA?


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So I recently picked this up from a friend of mine for $30 and have been trying to assuredly ID it ever since. The name J L Corbett is faintly stenciled along with an enlisted serial number beginning with 36-. My best guess is that it says something like “366425(2 or 0)7”. It has been difficult as it seems to be in the same pen stroke as the name but no Corbett matches that number.

 

The closest, and only J L Corbett in the air corps I could find, was a Lt James Louis Corbett. His Serial number started with the same numbers as he was a draftee from Wisconsin who later received a commission and became a B24 copilot in the 372nd BS, 307th BG (same time and squadron as Louis Zamperini). Another reason I lean towards this ID, however crazy it might be, is that I discovered he went MIA after his plane crashed on 28 July, 1943. Supposedly on the way to Bomb a Japanese airfield At Funafuti, about 2 miles out from the target two engines went out and the others began sputtering. The crew pulled off and made an emergency water landing. Only four crew managed to escape to the life raft while the rest, including Corbett, were never found. I found a report that discussed how days later the navy was searching an atoll where wreckage from the crash washed up. The navy men said the only remain of the crew they found was a single uninflated life vest with Corbett’s name written on it. They gave it to their commander who returned it to the army. If this is in fact his life vest, it is extremely morbid.

 

While the story is wild, the vest has clearly been through a lot and has multiple inspection stamps, including one over the name and number. I know we have some great detectives on this site so any and all help would be appreciated in absolutely confirming this story or figuring out the truth behind the vest.

 

Best,

 

Alex

 

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GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

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Lt James L Corbett

 

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GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

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The James J Corbett in the 307th BG has a different service number O-737006

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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The James J Corbett in the 307th BG has a different service number O-737006

That is his officer number. He began as a draftee and enlisted man and later received a commission. His enlisted number I found began with 36. My presumption is that this belonged to some other enlisted man named Corbett as I wouldnt think that number carried over by the time he was issued flight gear but I do not know, i could find no other Corbett close in the enlistment records.

GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

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There are many serial numbers missing from the online NARA database, especially numbers beginning with 36 and 37. Im not surprised you couldnt find it online. Send me a PM and I can tell you how to potentially solve the mystery.

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That is his officer number. He began as a draftee and enlisted man and later received a commission. His enlisted number I found began with 36. My presumption is that this belonged to some other enlisted man named Corbett as I wouldnt think that number carried over by the time he was issued flight gear but I do not know, i could find no other Corbett close in the enlistment records.

I assumed that, but the manufacture year in the picture appears to be 1943, so I doubt this belonged to him based on that alone. It is hard to see the year in the pic.

 

Kurt

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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I assumed that, but the manufacture year in the picture appears to be 1943, so I doubt this belonged to him based on that alone. It is hard to see the year in the pic.

 

Kurt

Good point. I believe it is Jan 43 manufacturing, ill message Index to see what we can figure out

GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

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