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Yap Island Mission Loss—3 August 1945

The following plane was lost on 3 August 1945 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:

Date: Plane Type: Unit: Crew Names: Supporting Documents:
3 August 1945 F6F-5P
Hellcat, Station Guam, departed Ulithi field
VMD-354, Group MAG-45, USMCR
  1. 1st Lt. Larry D. Slattery (Survived)
Bureau #72703

1st Lt. Larry D. Slattery
August 18, 1943 cadet graduation picture.
The complete picture can be viewed by clicking on this link, complete class picture


Slattery, Larry D. LT(jg)
Crashed 5 miles SW of Yap

    Rough seas
    5mi. SW of Yap Island.

Departed Ulithi field on a photographic mission over Yap Island. Accompanied by the DUMBO PBY-5A pf VPB-23. While on the way to Yap Island the engine began to labor vibrate violently. The pilot stated he was unable to maintain manifold pressure for fear of tearing engine loose from its mounts. At Approx 1400 it became impossible for pilot to maintain altitude. He notified DUMBO that he was going to make a water landing. At 1405 he made a power landing with full flaps, landing about 30deg out of the wind. The plane stayed afloat for about 60secs. then sank nose first. The pilot encountered no difficulty in getting out of the plane with his life raft. The DUMBO dropped flares smoke lights along with other survival gear. A DUMBO remained on station unill an APD picked up the survivor at 2105.

The VMD-354 detachment to Ulithi was responsible for maintaining the aerial surveillance of these Japanese held islands and to seek out any signs of change through Aerial Photographic Reconnaissance.

The squadrons base of operations was on Falalop. This island was extremely small. The aircraft take-off and landing strip was approximately 3500 feet long and ran across the island stretching from beach to beach. The pilot detachment to Ulithi included Lts. L.J. Corboy,Jr., J.H. Ferguson and L.D. Slattery. The small group of enlisted personnel, led by T/Sgt. C.E. Youngberg, provided the ground support for the detachment.

The Ulithi detachment had, basically, the same mission as did the Peleliu unit, i.e., the surveillance of the bypassed Japanese held islands in the Palau-Yap Group. The first operational combat mission of the squadron, was flown by the Ulithi detachment on 1 July 1945. This flight came exactly two years to the day that VMD-354 was commissioned at MCAS, Cherry Point. NC.

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