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Yap Island Mission Loss—28 July 1944

The following plane was lost on 28 July 1944 on a mission to Yap Island. I would greatly appreciate anyone's help to locate additional information regarding the information listed below.Submit additional information, updates, newpaper articles, pictures, and supporting documents to: pat@missingaircrew.com

Date: Plane Type: Unit: Crew Names: Supporting Documents:
28 July 1944 F6F-3
Hellcat from the USS Cabot
VF-31, USN
  1. Ens. Edwin Free (Survived)

USN Bureau Report #40280

Aircraft Action Report



Description

Ditched due to mechanical failure.

Free was making his approach to Yap, when he started having engine problems. He headed back towards the CV but ditched a couple of miles off of Yap & was P/U bo an OS2U.

VF-31 was launched for a strike on Yap island. Lt. (jg) Edwin Free made water landing 15 miles from Yap but was picked up and returned later in the day by the Destroyer USS Bell (DD 587). Lt. Mulcahy had to make a forced landing near the task force upon returning but was also picked up unharmed and returned to USS Cabot.

From Justin Taylan www.pacificwrecks.com: As Lt(jg), he was credited with a victory over a Tony on 9-13-44 over Legaspi, Luzon. That's his only victory for the war.

From, "A History of the USS CABOT".

On 28 July, Lt. D. MULCAHY made forced landing after strike on Yap. Also, Lt. (jg) Edwin FREE made water landing 15 miles from Yap but returned later by the USS Bell (DD 587

From the History of the USS CABOT

"24 July, the Group approaching Woleai Island. Lt. (jg)? R. O. ZIMMERMAN made a barrier crash landing with no personal injuries. 25 July, the Force bombed and strafed Ulithi Atoll and on the 26th, TBM #1 missing from strike on Yap, but picked up by USS Brown (DD 546) and returned Lt. (jg) J. B. RUSSELL and crewmen W. M. BENNETT, AMM2c and H. M. WEBSTER, PhoMlc.

"On 28 July, Lt. D. MULCAHY made forced landing after strike on Yap. Also, Lt. (jg) Edwin FREE made water landing 15 miles from Yap but returned later by the USS Bell (DD 587).

From: http://www.mcallen.lib.tx.us/books/cabot/cab03_05.htm

From the History of Fighter Squadron 31

VF-31 was again assigned for a strike on Yap island. Due to engine failure of his F6F (#40280), Lt. (jg) Edwin Free had to turn around and made a water landing 15 miles from Yap. He was picked up and returned later in the day by the Destroyer USS Bell (DD 587). Returning from the Yap Island strike Lt. Mulcahy was forced to ditch because of flack damage to his aircraft after returning to the task force but was picked up unharmed and returned to Cabot. http://www.vf31.com A picture of Ens. Edwin Free can be viewed at: http://www.vf31.com/pilots/vf-31.html

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