01 DECEMBER 1944
First Lieutenant Larry E. Bormann, pilot of "Playmate Two One", a Navy PBY-5A, [BuNo 48393] loaned to us while our ships were being repaired following damage during an enemy bombing raid in November, departed Morotai at 0550 with orders to cover bomber strikes on Negros.  He arrived at his rendezvous point, with fighter escort, at 1100 and departed at 1240 to search for a Snafu reported to have gone down at 0855'N, 12320'E, North of Tagola Point, Mindanao. Lieutenant Bormann arrived at the designated coordinates, landed in a very rough sea and picked up six survivors. Since the sea was rising rapidly and his fuel was running low he elected to discontinue the search and at 1450 took off for his base. He dropped. He dropped a message to a Guerilla Lieutenant at Baliango Point requesting that they continue searching for three missing flyers. He arrived at Morotai at 1930. The survivors, Second Lieutenant Pete Potterpin, Second Lieutenant Gene J. Kurkowski, Technical Sergeant James D. Owenby, Staff Sergeant John W. Pangburn, S/Sgt Sherrod W. Gillis, and T/Sgt Edgar D. Parris. The three missing men are Flight Officer Eugene H. Brush, Staff Sergeant William R. Armstrong, and Technical Sergeant Charles B. Gabour. [Photo] All survivors were in good physical condition and reported that their B-24 had been severely damaged and set fire over the target and they were forced to bail out about ten miles from the target. Nine chutes were seen to open. All survivors were members of the 394th Bomb Squadron, 5th Bomb Group. (Narrative provided after the fact by Administrative personnel)

MISSION: Cover strikes on Negros - timeline documented by the crew and submitted with Squadron History:
0600: Takeoff

Arrived at rendezvous point and should hear fighter calling us but they could not hear us. Decided to go up to orbit point hoping to find them. Arrived orbit point, can hear Devil Two but cannot see him. Stayed at orbit point until 1240, decided to leave and see if the Fillipinos had their flag up at Baliangoa a we found C-47 downed in the water off Silino Is. on the way up. There was one on the beach and a small boat was near plane with four natives in it. Boat was flying American Flag. 10°N - 12225'E from 1130 to 1245. Devil two relieves Devil One at 1200.






Could hear B-24 in trouble but can't contact him and find out where he is. Received message that nine men bailed out at 0855'N, 12320'E. We landed and found six men - no trace of the other three. The water was rough and getting rougher all the time. No further landing could be made on the sea. We were also very low on gas and it seemed advisable to take off and aban search at this time. Took off and dropped message to Guerilla Lt at Baliango Pt. to send out searching party and we would be back tomorrow. They found message okay .

Headed home, sent message that we picked up seven men and sent ETA for 1930. Survivors picked up were: Gillis, S.W. S/Sgt; S/Sgt E.D. Parris; 2d Lt G.J. Kurkowski; T Sgt J.D. Owenby; S Sgt J.W. Pangburn; 2d Lt Habal; 2d Lt P. Potterpin. Men still missing are: F/O E Brush; S Sgt W. Armstrong; T Sgt C. Gabour. All of these men are from the 5th Bomb Gp. 394th Bomb Squadron

Download the actual mission report taken from the microfilm

RESCUED:  [Photo] 394th Bomb Sq., 5th Bomb Gp. - B-24J 44-40964
2Lt Pete Potterpin, 2Lt Gene J. Kurkowski, T/Sgt James D. Owenby, S/Sgt John W. Pangburn, S/Sgt Sharrod W. Gillis, T/Sgt Edgar D. Parris

BuNo 48393  (NOa(s)-464)
: "Playmate 21"

(Pilot) 1st Lt. Larry E. Bormann; (Co-Pilot) Ensign Orris; (Navigator) 1st Lt. Peter Y. "PBY" Naylor*; (Engineer) AMM 1st Class Eaddy; (Radio) ARM 1st Class Sererin; (Radar) Staff Sergeant Zewart; (Surgical Tech) Sergeant Dean W. Renner

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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