P-38 crash on USS Randolph

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Barrett, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Barrett

    Barrett New Member

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    On June 7 '45 two P-38s buzzed USS Randolph (CV-15) at anchor off Leyte. One Lightning pilot cut it too close and crashed on deck, killing himself and 11 sailors.

    The only thing I've found is that the '38s were on a ferry mission, so they don't show on any unit roster. For some reason the incident is not on the aviation archaeology site showing losses outside the Continental US.

    Any leads?
     
  2. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    this site has people who were there.

    Personal Experience> USS Randolph la CV 38

    Two US P-38s made a" mock straffing" run on us, one of the planes whipped stalled and came back and struck air planes sitting on the flight deck, it knocked several planes off the deck and killed several.Our guns started firing on the second , we refered to the event as the day the US AF declared war on the Navy, The remaining P-38 flew away.The barge moved away with no damage.About 35 years later, while talking to another member of the USPS he was tailing about the day that two P_38s hit a carrier laying at anchor in the Philippines. I said that I was on the carrier that was hit, he then said the he was the Chief Boatswain on the Ammo barge.
     
  3. hotflyer

    hotflyer New Member

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    My father was killed in this accident but I have been unable to find out any details on the web. Does anyone know where I can get information about this accident?

     
  4. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    • Dumb Dumb x 1
  5. TonyM

    TonyM New Member

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    According to AAF Aircraft Accident Brief:

    The airplane was an F-5E.

    Lockheed F-5E # 44-24559

    Pilot was Capt. P. Gillespie. He was killed in the crash.

    The accident occurred at 1545 (I am guessing that would be local time)

    Four USN personnel killed; 14 USN personnel seriously injured.

    Ten USN aircraft were destroyed and the carrier suffered serious damage on the forward flight deck.

    The AAF Aircraft Accident Brief # 883 can be found on:

    AAF Aircraft Accident Reports Microfilm
    Call # 46521, June 7, 1945, Accident # 507.

    Hope this helps. Good Luck with your research.

    Tony Mireles


    ______________________________________________________________

    Anthony J. Mireles

    FATAL ARMY AIR FORCES AVIATION ACCIDENTS
    IN THE UNITED STATES, 1941-1945

    Home
     
  6. TonyM

    TonyM New Member

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    This crash is indeed listed on Fuller's AAIR overseas accident index at Aviation Archaeology Research and Investigation. The crash is listed as occurring at Leyte, Phillipines. It is not listed as USS Randolph. The data base lists geographic crash location in the index, not objects or ships that an airplane might have crashed into.

    TonyM
     
  7. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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  8. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Hey Tony - my father was involved in one of the USAF biggest peacetime disasters in Japan, 1949 IIRC, but I have never had all the details.

    He was CO of the 35th FBW and they were war gaming a strike on one other airfield (probably not the originating base at Johnson AFB near Tokyo).

    The ready alert element leader on the ground took off, made the intercept, lost control and had a mid air with one of the 35th Mustangs and the debris went to the flight line, destroying several more ships.

    Do you have any details?

    Regards,

    Bill Marshall
     
  9. airutopiadotcom

    airutopiadotcom New Member

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    I have an old 8mm film taken on board of the Randolph and it shows what looks like a plane burning - film was taken I believe in the 1940s. Wonder if anyone here would be able to identify this event.
     
  10. Jimmy Wawarosky

    Jimmy Wawarosky New Member

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    My uncle Tommy (Thomas H. Carroll - AO-1) told us several times about when the P-38 hit the USS Randolph. Let me see if I can retell the story.
    Tommy was off duty and wanted to take a nap. He went to the front of the ship, took off his shirt to make a pillow and settled under the wing of one of the planes. He said it was a clear day (From the picture above I think he was a little wrong. Maybe the picture was from when the Kamikaze hit the ship in March 1945). After sleeping a while he felt a light rain fall across him which woke him up. He thought it was weird that rain fell from the only tiny cloud in the sky and while under the wing. As he sat up he saw a pair of P-38's flying by. One of the P-38s banked and headed towards the ship as if he was going to make a strafing run. The plane flew over very close to the forward deck where he was and pulled up and made a quick turn (Uncle Tommy making hand gestures and everything). He knew he needed to get off the deck just in case the pilot didn't pull up in time on his second run. Tommy edged off the deck on a ladder but kept his head up a little to see what the P-38 was doing. The plane dove down and as it reached its lowest point started to pull back up but it wasn't enough and plowed into the planes on the front of the ship. Tommy ducked down quickly as parts of planes and fire shot over him. Tommy was not a very religious man but knew it was God's hand in waking him up before the plane hit. Tommy later found out that the pilot, Capt. P. Gillespie, had a brother stationed on the ship. Capt. Gillespie was headed home and wanted to buzz the ship his brother was on.
    So many stories about this ship and the time he spend on it.
     
  11. Brent Jones

    Brent Jones New Member

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    Just joined this forum to help shed more light on this incident. The photo above is indeed from the P-38 incident. I have attached a second photo from a different angle, taken immediately after the crash. It shows the same grouping of small craft and auxiliaries, although the vessel alongside Randolph had not yet cast off. This photo was taken by Herman Schnipper, ship's photographer for USS Astoria CL-90, anchored at a berth very near Randolph. He told me that everyone was ordered below decks due to exploding ordnance, but he managed to run to his darkroom and retrieve his camera.

    The list to port visible in both photos has nothing to do with the crash. The task group was in their first week at anchorage after lengthy operations off Okinawa and Japan, and they were undergoing hull painting and maintenance. (Astoria was listed port and starboard the next day to paint at the waterline.)

    The F-5 pilot was Captain Lewis M. Gillespie, 8th Photographic Squadron, 6th Reconnaissance Group. From Oklahoma, he is officially listed MIA in the ABMC database because no remains were recovered.

    Jimmy, your uncle Tommy's story matches with the official account in the USS Randolph war diary for June 1945. I have attached a screen grab of the relevant text as well.
    -Brent

    PS The Randolph enlisted muster roll for June 1945 includes a Fireman 2nd Class Edward A. Gillespie. No idea if they are related, but the name is present.

    1945_06_07_CV-15_2_frCL-90_tbHerSch_4x3_700x.jpg
    1945_06_07_CV-15_War_Diary_Excerpt_srcFold3.JPG
     
  12. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Amazing research work boys!
     
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