Topics - Ship Accidents - 1950

 
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USS Valley Forge (CV-45)

On July 25, 1950, an F4U-4B Corsair fighter bomber with Fighter Squadron 53 aboard this aircraft carrier was forced down by enemy anti-aircraft fire along the front lines 15 miles northeast of Posong, South Korea. The pilot was taken Prisoner of War, forced to march to North Korea on the "Tiger Death March", and died while a prisoner at Hanjang-ni, North Korea on January 22, 1954. His remains were not recovered.

In Memory of the Ensign Who Died as a POW

Keith Edward Thomson
Born April 29, 1927, Macomb, Illinois


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USS Valley Forge (CV-45)

On August 12, 1950, an F9F-3 Grumman Panther fighter with Fighter Squadron 51 aboard this aircraft carrier was last seen strafing an enemy train north of Kumchen, Korea. The pilot was listed as Missing in Action and was presumed dead on February 8, 1954. His remains were not recovered.

In Memory of the Ensign Who Died That Day

John Henry Nyhuis
Born June 22, 1927, Sumner, Washington


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USS Chevalier

On August 18, 1950, this ship lost one man missing in action.

In Memory of the Missing Man

FN E-3 Homer Lee Kelly
Born January 1, 1933, Partridge, Kansas


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USS Philippine Sea (CV-47)

On August 20, 1950, an F-9F Pantherjet fighter with Fighter Squadron 112, aboard this carrier, while attacking rail facilities near Pyongyang, Korea, was struck by anti-aircraft fire and crashed. The pilot's remains were not recovered.

In Memory of the Ensign Who Died That Day

Curtis Latham Smith
Born August 13, 1925, Long Island, New York


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USS Benevolence/Mary Luckenbach

On August 25, 1950, the Luckenbach crashed into the hospital ship USS Benevolence in foggy weather.  Click HERE to read about the accident that claimed 18 lives.


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USS Boxer (CV-21)

On September 19, 1950, after completing a raid over Korea, an F4U-4 Corsair fighter with Fighter Squadron 63, Carrier Air Group Two aboard this aircraft carrier struck the barrier as the aircraft landed and went overboard inverted. The pilot's remains were not recovered.

In Memory of the Lieutenant JG Who Was Killed in Action That Day

Franklin Smith Jr.
Born March 30, 1924, Greenville, South Carolina


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USS Valley Forge (CV-45)

On September 25, 1950, the pilot of a F4U-4B Corsair fighter with Fighter Squadron 53, aboard the carrier USS Valley Forge (CV-45) was on a combat mission near Sariwon, North Korea, when his aircraft crash landed possibly due to enemy anti-aircraft fire. His remains were not recovered.

In Memory of the Ensign Who Lost His Life That Day

William Edmund Brown
Born January 01, 1927


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USS Brush (DD-745)

On September 26, 1950 while shelling the shore off Tanchon, Korea, Brush struck a mine, ripping her midships section and breaking her keel. Fourteen men were killed and 31 injured. Brush received temporary repairs at Japan and returned under her own power to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, arriving December 22, 1950.   To learn more information about the USS Brush, visit her website: ussbrush.org.

In Memory of the Fatalities that Day

  • FTC John D. Beagles, Charles City, IA
  • FA Bennie Joe Berryman, Norphlet, AR - MIA
  • FCS James Robert Colleran, Gary, IN - KIA
  • SH2 Frank A. Davis, Forest, VA
  • FA Willie H. Fisher, Jr., Greenville, MS
  • FA Bobby Eugene Freeman, Biltmore, NC - MIA
  • RMN1 Meyer L. Getz, Altoona, PA
  • FT3 David Morrell Grubb, Welch, WVa
  • FN  Dale Lloyd Hoover, Sioux Falls, SD - MIA
  • SN Gordon Eugene Johnson, Winger, MN - KIA
  • SN Henry Dean Little, Bogalusa, LA - KIA
  • BMC Warren Maxwell Shepherd, Kensington, KS - KIA
  • EM3 Eugene Leroy Timmons, Salt Lake City, UT - KIA
  • FA Oliver Clyde Sexson, Ripley, OH - KIA

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USS Mansfield (DD-728)

On September 30, 1950, the USS Mansfield was damaged after striking a mine.  Some reports state that there were missing in action in this incident.  However, there were no MIA, but there were 28 casualties:

Seriously injured (7):

Chowwing, Donald P., 344 75 99, FN, USN
Corcoran, William L., 761 58 53 GM2, USN
Hadel, Julius M., 365 31 81, ICFA, USN
Morris, Brooks H., 311 92 80, SD1, USN
Roberson, Clarence V., 625 38 51, TN, USN
Sargent, Easu., 830 94 12, SD3, USN
Woolley, Richard D., 797 80 50, SN, USN

Not seriously injured (21):

Baughman, Ralph F., 799 04 20, SA, USN
Beech, Admer C., 347 72 42, SN, USN
Cavender, Cecil L., 569 07 42, SH3, USN
Collins, Vernon D., 367 72 35, SN, USN
Durrett, Alfred E., 558 13 91, SN, USN
Grant, Ormond M., 226 0551, FN, USN
Greene, Dennis M., 657 67 98, ME2, USN
Greer, Hearbert L., 569 06 70, SN, USN
Hass, Robert L., 325 46 26, SN, USN
Hayse, Raymond M., 231 37 02 ENFN, USN
Hicks, Frank C., 760 85 85, SA, USN
Jones, Thomas G., 957 72 71, SN, USN
Joyal, Burton C., 325 46 26, SN, USN
Masigla, Rafael I., 583 15 49, TN, USN
McClanahan, Robert E., 569 00 25, SN, USN
Rodriguez, Alex, 569 10 25, SN, USN
Sanders, Bernice, 837 44 63, SN, USN
Simons, Edward C., 274 05 94, QMC, USN
Stegall, John E., 276 16 86, SN, USN
White, Manly D., 253 29 19, GMSN, USN
Wohlhart, Peter J., 300 86 34, SN, USN

[KWE Note: The source of this information is Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington, DC.  The list was found on the USS Mansfield website (http://kman.my.meganet.net/nfmine.htm), which provides extensive information about this ship.]


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Boat

On October 1, 1950, members of the 90th FAB, 25ID drowned in the Han River when the boat they were riding in near Chinju, South Korea capsized.

In Memory of the Men Who Drowned That Day

Pfc. Gerald O. Bangert
Born April 07, 1926

Pfc. Donald Dean Bruce
Born October 01, 1950


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USS Magpie (AMS-25)

On October 01, 1950, this minesweeper was sunk when it hit a mine off the Korean coast.  Click HERE to read the action report and casualty list.


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USS Pirate (AM275)

On October 12, 1950, this minesweeper was sunk in enemy action off the coast of North Korea.  Six crewmen were declared missing in action.  Click HERE for details.


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USS Pledge (AM277)

On October 12, 1950, the Pledge struck a mine off the east cast of North Korea near Sin-do and sank.  Click HERE for more details.


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USS Samuel M. Moore (DD-747)

On November 05, 1950, while engaged with the enemy in the Korea Strait, one of its crew was reported washed overboard in rough seas.  His body was not recovered.

In Memory of One Crew Member Lost at Sea That Day

FN Melvin Floyd Bydalek
Born September 10, 1929, he was from St. Paul, Nebraska.


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USS Philippine Sea (CV-47)

On November 13, 1950, a crew member of this ship drowned after he fell or was knocked from the deck.

In Memory of a 19-Year Old Who Died In Service to His Country That Day

SN1 Frank Bassett Carroll
Born October 26, 1931, a son of
Ben T. Carroll (1899-1956) & Vernie L. Carroll (1900-1976)
Brother of: Chester Gilbert Carroll & Thurman Carroll,
Mrs. Maloy Holderman, Mrs. Joseph Boisvert, & Miss Margie Carroll


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USS St. Paul (CA-73)

On November 17, 1950, this ship was providing gunfire support to the United Nations troops advancing on Chongjin when shrapnel from a shell from a Communist shore battery.  Six men at gun mount stations were injured.  Jack Sutton of Lexington, Indiana lost his leg on Mount #5.


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USS Leyte (CV-32)

On December 04, 1950, a Corsair assigned to the Leyte was struck by enemy fire and crash-landed, killing the pilot.

In Memory of the US Navy's 1st Black Pilot Who Lost His Life That Day

Jesse Leroy Brown

He was the first African-American pilot in the United States Navy, and was the first black naval officer to lose his life in combat during the Korean War. Born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, after graduating from the Ohio State University he accepted an appointment as a midshipman in the United States Navy. He completed his Navy pre-flight training at Ottumwa, Iowa, followed with flight training at Pensacola and Jacksonville, Florida, and received his wings at the navy's first black pilot on October 21, 1948. He then joined Fighter Squadron 32 on board the aircraft carrier USS Wright (CVL-49) and was commissioned an Ensign on April 15, 1949. His squadron later embarked on carrier USS Leyte (CV-32) and joined Fast Carrier Task Force 77 in support of the United Nations Forces in Korea in October 1950. As a pilot of Fighter Squadron 32, Ensign Brown became a section leader and received the Air Medal for daring attacks against the enemy at Wonsan, Chongjin, Songjin, and Sinanju. Leading his section in the face of hostile anti-aircraft fire, he courageously pressed home attacks that inflicted heavy losses on the enemy and provided effective support for friendly ground troops.

On December 4, 1950, while aggressively providing close air support to the United States Marines fighting near the Chosin Reservoir, his Corsair aircraft was struck by enemy fire. It lost power and, he had to crash-land it. His squadron mate, Captain (then Lieutenant, junior grade) Thomas J. Hudner, crash-landed his plane alongside near Brown's aircraft in a heroic rescue attempt (his efforts he earned the Congressional Medal of Honor). Lieutenant Hudner was unable to free Brown, who was badly injured in the crash and whose leg was stuck between the crumpled fuselage and hydraulic control panel of his aircraft. 45 minutes later, Marine First Lieutenant Charlie Ward arrived in a rescue helicopter, but the two men were still unable to free Brown. Having to depart at dusk since the helicopter was not equipped to fly at night, Ensign Brown told Hudner that if he did not survive, to tell his wife Daisy how much he loved her. Prior to his departure, Hudner spoke to Brown, but got no response. Weather prevent any return to the site until December 7. Since the site was in enemy territory Hudner recommended against a helicopter mission with a flight surgeon to extricate Brown's body. He recommended a flyover, during which time Brown's body was seen still in the cockpit of the Corsair, but stripped of all clothing, evidence of the desperation of local Koreans for clothing items. The pilots, all of whom knew Brown, dropped napalm on his and Hudner's aircrafts. Today, the rusted hulks of the aircraft can still be seen from observation satellites (Latitude 40 degrees, 36' N, Longitude 127 degrees 06). Ensign Brown was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. the frigate USS Jesse L. Brown (DE/FF/FFT-1089) was named by the Navy in his honor. (bio by: Warrick L. Barrett) Cause of death: crashing-landing wounds and climate exposure during the Korean War


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USS Hanson (DD-832)

On December 06, 1950, a seaman on this ship was killed in action while engaged with the enemy during the evacuation of Hungnam and Wonsan, North Korea.

In Memory of the Killed in Action That Day

SN3 Jimmy Lee Davisworth
Born February 16, 1930, he was from
Huntington, West Virginia.


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USS Paricutin (AE-18)

On December 6, 1950, this supply ammunition ship was engaged in action with the enemy when one seaman was missing in action.

In Memory of The Man Who Was Missing in Action

Seaman Daniel Montez Alvarez - MIA
Born July 25, 1930, Los Angeles, California


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USS Eldorado (AGC-11)

On December 15, 1950, a crew member of this ship was killed in action while engaged with the enemy in Korea.

In Memory of The Crew Member Who Died That Day

Seaman Thurman Russell Johnson
Born September 06, 1930 in Richland, Washington


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SS Tainaron

On December 20, 1950, this Military Ship Transport (merchant marine) lost two men killed in action during the Hungnam redeployment.

In Memory of the Two Seaman Missing in Action That Day

James W. Brake, Clarksburg, Tennessee

Joseph Tomlinson Tennent, Atlanta, Georgia


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USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697)

On December 23, 1950, the Sperry was damaged by three hits from a shore battery at Songjin, North Korea.  There was only minor damage and no casualties.


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USS Valley Forge (CV-45)

On December 23, 1950, an F4U-4 Corsair fighter with Fighter Squadron 63 aboard this aircraft carrier was performing close air support through Army controllers north of Hungham, North Korea, when the aircraft was struck by anti-aircraft fire and crashed. The pilot's remains were not recovered.

In Memory of the Pilot Who Lost His Life That Day

Ensign John Richard Brinkley
Born Fbruary 10, 1929, Belle Fontaine, Ohio


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USS Ozbourn (DD-846)

On December 23, 1950, the Ozbourn was damaged after being hit by a shore battery at Wonsan, North Korea.  There were two casualties.


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USS Princeton (CV-37)

On December 24, 1950, an F4U-4 Corsair fighter with Fighter Squadron 193 aboard this aircraft carrier, while on a combat mission northwest of Hungnam, Korea, crashed and disintegrated upon impact. The pilot's remains were not recovered.

In Memory of the Ensign Who Died That Day

Hugo Vernor Scarsheim
Born February 27, 1928, Seattle, Washington

 
 

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