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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.)

Jack Burrell
Jack Burrell
Navigator
MIA June 5, 1952


James Cave
James A. Cave
Gunner
MIA June 5, 1952


Archie Trantham
Archie P. Trantham
Pilot

MIA June 5, 1952


David Dell
David P. Dell
Navigator
K June 7, 1952

Grady Weeks
Grady M. Weeks
Gunner
MIA August 8, 1952
All flak damage was not final. Sometimes you could keep an airborne wreck flyable for a safe bailout, as Jim Braly did in June of 1952.

Braly had attacked a target that turned out to be a flak trap. The first shells came into the cockpit and Braly said it seemed like they were hit by a dozen. The first burst stopped the left engine, shot out most of the instruments, cut the hydraulic lines, cut the cables so the landing gear fell into the trail position, and short circuited the flap motors which started going from full up to full down. The crew bailed out over Chodo Island off the west coast of North Korea and all came home.

A B-26 could fly with a lot of damage. Injuries to the navigator, bombardier or gunner could be survivable, but incapacitation of the pilot was disastrous. Even that can be survivable at least once, as Vince Alessi showed when he directed a blinded pilot home to a safe landing. (Be sure to read his story, "The Pilot Is Hit!")

Crews were reluctant to leave a wounded airplane. It was a piece of the USA in a very hostile world. Maybe we can make it back. However, a burning wing is not going to heal itself and there comes a time when you have to get out and walk.

For most of the war we flew very heavy with lots of ordnance hung on the wings. There were young pilots flying a hot airplane and there were administrative pilots flying beyond their capabilities.

The B-26 capabilities and flying characteristics changed as the fuel and ordnance was expended. A high speed pull-up while very heavy could cause the wings to fail, so airspeed limitations changed with the load.

Making violent maneuvers while flying at night without adequate outside visual reference, caused some pilots to lose control. The squadron commander of another squadron, who shall remain nameless, made a fast pullout with a heavy plane. He got into a high-speed stall and became inverted over Sinanju. He was an experienced pilot and regained control of his plane.

Sometimes skill didn't matter. In February 1951, Squadron Commander King, Charles Woolham and Voorhees Root placed a delayed action fused 1000 pound bomb right on target from low level. The delayed action fuse was to permit the aircraft to escape the bomb blast. However, the bomb was a Comp B bomb, an unstable explosive, instead of TNT. The bomb exploded on impact destroying the plane and crew.

An aircraft diving into the ground at high speed can make a big hole. When the hole is filled up and smoothed over you have your own piece of real estate for eternity. It was called, "buying the farm."

In Braly's story about the "Flak Traps", he writes, "I always felt we lost as many crews to pilot error as we did to enemy action."

Pilot error is sometimes an unfair category of cause. It has been described as, "Running out of altitude, airspeed and ideas at the same time."
Earl Ruhlin
Earl O. Ruhlin
Pilot
MIA July 8, 1952


Robert Mase

Robert R. Mase
Gunner
MIA July 8, 1952

James Van Fleet, Jr.
Kenneth D. Wiley
Gunner
MIA July 25, 1952

John Roessel
John J. Roessel
Navigator
MIA August 7, 1952


William Holcom
William L. Holcom
Navigator
MIA August 8, 1952


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