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Ens. Joseph Cox F6F-5 Hellcat Memorial Site on Yap Island


Ens. Joseph Cox Memorial
I'm please to announce that the new Ens. Joseph Cox memorial has been completed on Yap Island. The memorial pays tribute to Ens. Cox as well as the USS Enterprise and the VF-20 squadron. It is one of the best memorial sites in the Pacific. Four VF-20 F6F-5 Hellcat's off the USS Enterprise were shot down over Yap during the war. They included Lt. Brown (9/6/44), Lt. Lillard (11/22/44), Ens. Cox (9/6/44), and Ens. Holding (9/6/44). Over the last five years my Missing Air Crew Project has located all four crash sites while I have searched for my missing uncle who was lost in an AAF B-24 over Yap. Brown, Lillard and Cox all remain missing in action. Only the remains of Cox was located and returned home after the war. We are currently working with JPAC to recover the remains of the missing men and bring them home after 66 years. We originally located the Cox Hellcat crash site in the Yap jungle in 2005, however, when we returned to Yap in subsequent years we found that the nearby Yap dump was going to overtake and cover the remains of the plane. The crash site was unique because the plane was on its back with the gear fully extended down yet relatively intact compared to other crash sites we have located. We worked with the Yap Visitors Bureau (YVB) to move the wreckage away from the dump and to a location a ½ mile away on government land. See pictures below showing the wreckage being moved to its new location. Over the last year we have worked with the YVB to turn the site into one of the best memorial sites in the Pacific. As you can see from the pictures at the following link the plane has been turned back on its gear and is now right side up for the first time in 66 years. The plane now sits on a concrete pad and has a granite memorial marker dedicated to Ens. Cox in front of the plane as well as an all weather sign next to the plane that provides an overview about Ens. Cox and his family, F6F-5 info, a mission summary explain how the pilot was shot down and information about the USS Enterprise. Visitors to Yap will no longer refer to the nameless junk in the jungle. They now can understand that the story that claimed a young man serving his country during a brutal war. We will setting up an official dedication for the memorial this summer (August 2010) when we return to Yap. If anyone is interested in attending the dedication or would like more information please contact me at: pat@missingaircrew.com

Click on a thumbnail image below to view the full sized image.


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Audio Files:

Download the listen to the following audio files to hear more about the air war over Yap during WWII, the three American Hellcat pilots that were lost over Yap on September 6, 1944 when flying a mission from the USS Enterprise and the Ens. Cox Hellcat memorial that was dedicated in 2010. The audio files will be part of an upcoming video that will be posted showing the memorial dedication. Please watch for the video to be posted.

Click to play or to download the files, right click on the files below and "save target" to your desktop to play. Files may take a few minutes to play or download due to the size.

Voice over by Jessica de la Cruz.

Please submit additional information.

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