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13th squadron logo

The Last Full Measure - MIA Photos



All gave some ... some gave all.
Nearly one hundred men from the 13th were lost or killed in the Korean War. We honor those who gave all for the cause of freedom. Let us never forget!

View complete roster of 13th casualties. (50K)

(Click on any thumbnail to see a larger picture. All pictures are set to open in a new window. To return here, just close the window you're in.)

Thomas Lafferty
Thomas Lafferty
Pilot
MIA January 31, 1952

Charles Billingslea
Charles L. Billingslea
Gunner
MIA February 21, 1952

Dave Sullivan
Dave P. Sullivan
Navigator
MIA February 21, 1952


Warren Wisdom

Warren B. Wisdom
Pilot
MIA February 21, 1952

Gene Gould
Eugene W. Gould
Navigator
MIA March 31, 1952

The world is black. No moon. You can't see the stars so you must have an overcast. If there are trucks below you may see headlights, or you may have clouds below to obscure the ground.

Navigator: "We should be coming up on our route in about 3 minutes."

"Can I let down here?"

"I think so."

"How high are the hills?"

"The map says 2500 feet to 3500 feet." (The map also is blank in some areas where is says "unknown.")

"Do you have our position?"

"Well, pretty much so."

While you are talking you are moving away at four miles per minute from the place where the navigator had what he thought was a good position.

"The hills are lower over to the west, and beyond that is water. Maybe we should go over there and see if we can let down."

"OK, if you say so."

It was called "flying into a rock filled cloud."

There are many ways to die in a low-level night mission. The obvious way was to be hit by enemy antiaircraft fire. If the shell hits the plane in a vital place the plane may explode and you have had a very bad day.

When things went bad they went bad very fast.

Occasionally we learned what happened. In May 1951 pilot Robert Martin struck a wingtip on a hill during a strafing run in the Wonson area and ditched in the bay. The aircraft was in a nose high attitude and attempting to climb when it hit the water in an uncontrolled ditching. The aircraft disintegrated but "dollar ride" pilot, Norbert Kirkpatrick, survived by hanging onto the nose wheel, which broke loose and floated. A helicopter picked up Kirkpatrick in the morning. Capt. Martin, Sgt. Chitwood and Lt. Kern were lost.

Then there was the other unintended ditching. Lt. Tom Lafferty, flying a notoriously heavy aircraft, LOVE, had difficulty on his takeoff roll. After the aircraft was committed to the takeoff, one of the overhead hatches opened. Shortly after lift-off the other hatch popped open. Lafferty had his hands full -- a heavy airplane -- dark night flying into the black on instruments -- turbulence -- and evidently flying into a thunderstorm. Then the crew became aware that the cockpit was filling up with water. They had ditched into the bay. Lafferty and the navigator, Lt. Norton, survived but the gunner, Clifford Sloppy, drowned. It was his 55th mission and to be his last, and it was.
John McAllaster
John A. McAllaster
Navigator
MIA April 4, 1952

Ralph Phelps
Ralph L. Phelps
Gunner
MIA April 4, 1952

James Van Fleet, Jr.
James Van Fleet, Jr.
Pilot
MIA April 4, 1952

Robert Ramsey
Robert J. Ramsey
Navigator
MIA May 31, 1952

Ray Wells
Ray E. Wells
Pilot
MIA May 31, 1952

Note: The 29th Field Artillery Regiment has "adopted" the crew of Van Fleet, McAllaster and Phelps as its Korean War MIA/POWs. 29th website director Dan Fisher has done considerable research on this crew and his findings are posted at: http://members.tripod.com/~msg_fisher/fleet-3.html


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