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Dive Bomber Pilot Grouping W/ Painted Mk1 Vest


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Here’s a nice grouping I picked up from the daughter of the pilot, who flew from 41-45 (and reserves after).  He was a dive bomber pilot in the pacific 1943-45, and in looking at the war diaries made a few direct hits that resulted in ships sinking (well after his craft was out of the area, unfortunately).   Between the war diaries on fold3 and the paperwork his daughter has, it's been a fun research project so far.  Needless to say a nice keeper USN pilot grouping!



The MK1 vest has a hand painted insignia on the front, which I believe was an early or unofficial logo for Bombing Eight.


His log books cover the entirety of 41-45, with 43-44 flying off the Intrepid and Bunker Hill.  In early 1945 he returned to CONUS and was flying shuttle missions in various aircraft on the east coast.  Numerous other smalls came with the grouping, and the daughter is slowly selling me other items as she finds them. 


Our pilot is standing on the left in the below, possibly wearing the same lifevest before the insignia was added. His radioman named Campbell is standing to his left.  This was probably taken aboard the Bunker Hill in 1944. 


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What a wonderful grouping.

I would venture to guess that image you have of him and his gunner were aboard the Intrepid in 1943 based on clothing and accruements. It is possible its the same vest but they would have had several. 

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On 1/12/2024 at 3:19 PM, KASTAUFFER said:

I’d love to see some of the entries in the flight log

Any particular entries/dates your interested in? Or just the ones with good content?  I can pull them out later this week @KASTAUFFER

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Spectacular group!


Any log entries with notes about the mission?

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A few pages of combat related entries.  The last photo was on fold3 and per the war diaries there shows a tanker he had a direct hit on on Sept 24th 1944, the ship sunk shortly after the squadron left the area. It's afire in the center of the photo. 


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