• Image of four aviators at leisure, playing cribbage

    Aleutian World War II

    National Historic Area Alaska

VP/VPB-139, Part 3

 
Plane #32, before crash

Courtesy Will R. Swinney, ARM, VPB-139.

Plane #32 was 1 ½ tons over its weight limit prior to its take off on May 18, 1944. Crewmember of this plane included: Lieutenant Ralph Lowe; Lieutenant Philip “Phil” Brady, Pilot; Blaine “Blackie” E., AMM2c; William “Bill” L. Gorrell, ARM2c; Glenn “Pappy” Green, AMM2c (retrained as navigator); and Ernest “Ernie” Orchard, AMM2c.

 
Plane #32 after its crash

Courtesy Will R. Swinney, ARM, VPB-139

Plane #32 crashed upon landing on May 18, 1944. The aircraft burned on landing, wounding three of the crewmembers on board. However, all crewmembers recovered.

 

Did You Know?

A PBY plane surrounded by crew

A PBY plane piloted by Lt. Jean Cusick was sent from Dutch Harbor, on June 3, 1942, to locate Japanese forces in the Pacific. He was shot down by enemy fighters en route. Five men out of the seven-man crew survived the crash and got into life rafts. Cusick and his enlisted pilot died on the rafts from their wounds. The other three were captured by the Japanese, and became the first prisoners of war in the Aleutian Campaign.