22 OCTOBER 1944
First Lieutenant Al Barnes, pilot of "Daylight One Three", departed his base at 0630 on a special mission with instructions to search along the Southern coast of Waigeo and the shores of the Jeffman Island Group for seven P-47 pilots ("Tubby Flight") who had ditched their planes the preceding evening while returning from a fighter sweep over Ceram. The pilots, in their eagerness to destroy the enemy, departed their target with scarcely sufficient fuel to make their base. On their return trip, they encountered bad weather and while trying to orient themselves, discovered that they were unable to reach their base with their supply of fuel. They all agreed to dive down through an opening in the clouds and ditch their planes in the sea. One pilot, with more gas than the others, climbed to 13,000 feet, contacted his base, permitting them to get his position. After they had located him on a true bearing of 200, 105 miles West of Middleburg Island, he went down through the clouds and landed on the sea. The pilots were naturally scattered over a relatively wide area. Lieutenant Barnes made no sighting along the coast of Waigeo and proceeded on West to the Jeffman Island Group, where on an unnamed island he sighted two survivors. He landed and taxied inshore taking the two pilots, Cpt O. S. Benner and 1Lt K. J. Grapeau aboard. They were in excellent condition. After taking off, two escorting P-47 pilots sighted another man down in the sea in his life vest. Lieutenant Barnes flew to that area and and picked up Lieutenant R. W. Powell, who was in good shape, but very nervous and anxious. His hands were lacerated from the 15 hour immersion in the salt water. The fighters located another pilot in a life raft about ten miles away and directed Lieutenant Barnes to him. Lieutenant Barnes landed for the third time and took the survivor, 1Lt G. E. Taylor, aboard. Lieutenant Taylor was in a moderately severe state of shock, brought on by his being forced to remain in the water alone throughout the night. The fact that he could not swim added to his apprehensiveness. He was given a half grain of morphine and readily fell into a deep sleep. Lieutenant Barnes took off and and on his way back flew over the island where he had picked up the first two survivors and sighted another pilot waving frantically. However, Lieutenant Barnes was unable to land due to insufficient fuel. He called his fighter cover to continue circling the survivor while he contacted "Daylight 33" who proceeded to the area and rescued the fifth survivor. The survivors aboard Daylight 13, were given food, medical care, and otherwise made comfortable. Lieutenant Taylor was taken to the hospital for rest and recuperation and the others were returned to their squadron. The remaining two P-47 pilots were rescued the following day.

See some photos of the planes underwater today! 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Read several accounts of the ditching by the 5th Air Force and the P-47 pilots who were involved! Click on the names below to see their statements:

RESCUED P-47 PILOTS:  [Read the Official 5th Air Force Report]
Maj Harry M. Odren, (Lost P-47D-21, SerNo. 43-25642) [Read his account]

Capt. Stephen 0. Benner, (Lost P-47D-21, SerNo. 42-25417)
1Lt Kenneth J. Grapeau, (Lost
P-47D-16, SerNo. 42-75935) [Read his account]
1Lt George E. Taylor, (Lost P-47D-23,
SerNo. 42-27631)
1Lt Jack T. Brown, (Lost
P-47D-15, SerNo. 42-23235)
1Lt Donald L. Murrie, (Lost
P-47D-16, SerNo. 42-75893)
1Lt Robert W. Powell, (Lost P-47D-21, SerNo. 43-25636) [Read his account]

USAAF SERNO: 44-33??? 
"Daylight 13" 
(Pilot) 1st Lt. George A. Barnes, (Co-Pilot) 1st Lt. Charles F. Tully, (Navigator) 1st Lt. Harry I. Schulman, (Engineer) Master Sergeant Charles B. Bendladge, (Radar) Sergeant James B. Standridge, (Radio) Corporal Theodore Fialkowski


The narrative of these rescues was compiled and published in April 1946 from logbooks of pilots, notes, letters, and other
information by secretary Marina G. de Guzman in Pampanga, Philippines.

  * Aircraft produced at Canadian Vickers Ldt, Cartierville, Quebec, Canada
** Canadian Vickers contract number that was unique to each aircraft produced by at the Cartierville, Quebec plan


MARCH '45 - APRIL '45 - MAY '45 - JUNE '45 -
JULY '45  - AUGUST '45 - SEPTEMBER '45


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