Shot down in the Philippines, WWII

Discussion in 'Stories' started by kdeyette, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. kdeyette

    kdeyette New Member

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    Hello folks! My wife has a friend who was a little girl in Cebu, Philippines during WWII. One day while down by the water, she came across a US Pilot hiding in the bushes. The island was occupied by Japanese forces at this time. Using hand signals, she told him to stay hidden, then she went to a nearby convent and informed the nuns of her discovery. The nuns brought simple, local clothing for the pilot to change into, so he would be disguised as they brought him back to the convent. This young girl, now an elderly woman living in the States, has thought of this pilot every day of her life since. She never saw him again, and has asked if I could help her find out what happened to this pilot. Does anyone know of any organization, website, book, etc., that may help me find some information?

    Thanks,
    Kevin Deyette
    MMCS(SS) USN (Ret)
     
  2. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Try Pacificwrecks.com . If you can find out where and when exactly she found the pilot (the church may have records if she can't remember the date), you can start searching crashes in the area and start narrowing it down till you get the pilot.
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Does she know the approx date it happened?
     
  4. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Good question Sys. Short on info. Need more details.
    When? Where? ect. How long was he there? Where did he go? How long did the Nuns hide him?

    This guy could've been USN or USAAF. Either one were in the area. And he could've been one of any number of crewmen. Just because she called the guy a pilot ( no offense to the lady) doesn't mean he was one. Given that he was solo, it is probable he was. But he might've been any of number of crewmen on a larger bird.

    The odds of getting the exact guy are small but by getting more information you can do a Sherlock Holmes on it ("After removing the impossible, what ever is left, however improbable, must be the truth"). Right now, it is a process of elimination based on info.
     
  5. kdeyette

    kdeyette New Member

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    Thanks for the advice to date based on the limited information I have provided. This lady does know the name of the pilot, I just don't remember it off the top of my head, so I will have to get back with her and then this forum with that tidbit of info. As far as location, it was in Cebu bay, Mactan area, near the current airport in Cebu.

    Kevin
     
  6. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    That would be Mactan Island just of Cebu. In the area Lapu Lapu. I know the area reasonabley well. Kevin
     
  7. kdeyette

    kdeyette New Member

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    Emac,
    That is correct. Both this lady I describe, and my wife, are from Cebu City.

    Kevin
     
  8. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    As is my wife. My wife was born and raised Mandaue City Cebu and she worked at one of the MEPZ Zones on Mactan near the airport. Her former company my wife worked for was Tong Fang International situated MEPZ 1. When I was courting my wife I became somewhat of a celebrity or at best a curosity for the people working in MEPZ 1. I suppose that when I was in that area I came to know my way around Lapu Lapu and the MEPZ Zones much to my wife's annoyance. You being married to a Filippina would know what I mean Kevin. I have never felt I was in danger in Lapu Lapu or most parts of Cebu. But I could not convince my wife of that. It was funny Kevin. My wife would ring the Hotel whilst she was at work, ask for me to be told that I had gone of exploring by the Hotel Staff into the City but the Hotel Staff didn't know where. As it didn't cross my mind to tell them. I just gave them a time when I would be back approximately. This use to infuriate my wife no end. And you know what. It still does. She calls me her SIPAT BANA hahaha
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Emac, you ever been to Jakarta?
     
  10. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    No Sys but been to Malaysia. Lived for 2 1/2 yrs in Penang and Butterworth. Was a great experience and still look back on it fondly. Travelled to Bangkok Thailand and up to Hell Fire Pass and the Thai Burma Railway. Trekked the Track you might say Sys. Camped overnight nearby at the Commonwealth War Graves. Even crossed the Bridge by foot. I suppose looking back at those days Sys. It is where I came more excepting of others. Besides what my Mum and Dad instilled into me. I can't help myself I am interested in other people's and their countries. And I want to go and have a look for myself
     
  11. USS GOLD STAR

    USS GOLD STAR New Member

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    Yes, by all means, the approx date is useful. Two possible periods...

    [1] Early 1942, not later than early May - could have been a USAAF pilot. All Navy were gone to the NEI by mid January. Reference for the USAAF people, see William Bartch, Doomed from the Start. This is the best study of the Army air in the PI in the early war period.

    [2] From September 1944 the U. S. Navy was back in the PI in spades. Carrier-borne fighters roamed the Islands, focusing primarily on Luzon. Occasionally they had come competition, but not much. Cebu was liberated in April 1945 by the Americal Division. Doubtless either 13th of 5th Army Air Force was providing close support.

    I my estimation, your man is Army, from this later period. We assume that he survived, right? USAF History at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, can at least point you in the right direction.

    Hope you find your man, Chief. What boats did you serve in? Me, too. SUBPAC, 1970s.

    Cheers, Lou
     
  12. kdeyette

    kdeyette New Member

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    Lou,
    Thanks for the info. I intend to get the book you mentioned. Looks like a good read!
    As far as the boats I served on: USS Alabama SSBN-731, USS Casimir Pulaski SSBN-633, USS Florida SSBN-728, USS Kamehameha SSN-642, USS Pasadena SSN-752. Served on both coasts, but most of my time was out of Bangor, WA and Pearl Harbor.

    Kevin
     
  13. lowowl

    lowowl New Member

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    Sorry for reviving this thread but I would like to add that my grandmother has told me this story when I was little and it has always lingered in my head. During this incident she and her family were in Mandaue city in Cebu and witnessed a "dogfight" she however did not know if the downed airplane was an American or Japanese, she only said they saw someone "falling out" as the plane fell its way to the water. It was only when I enrolled in this Catholic school operated by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul sisters in Mandaue that I found out it was a USAF airplane that got shot down. One of the nuns who was there shared this experience with us one time and that the pilot parachuted into the shore close to the school (it was a convent during this time). They hid him in their bathhouse that looked like a shack and as I can recall he was ultimately rescued but by whom I can not seem to remember. I also have this vague feeling that she mentioned the pilot's name.

    The crash actually took place near Mandaue and not Lapu-Lapu (Mactan island) although it's just across. The school was built by the Spanish and its still there today. I am not sure about the nun though because that was some 15-20 years ago.
     
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