Underhill To The Rescue

On the 14th and 15th of June 1945 the Underhill was sent to look for of an Army Air Force plane that was down in the waters North of New Guinea. The following is a verbatim report from the log of the Underhill that was copied from the Archives in WASHINGTON.

0000 Steaming in company with the U. S. S. Thaddeus Parker DE 369 searching for survivors of crash of OA-10 #23 by order of ComPhilSeaFron. Commanding Officer of the U. S. S. Parker is acting as OIC. Maintaing station ten thousand (10,000) yards on the Parker’s port beam. Steaming on courses 242deg True, 242 PGC, 230deg PSTgC speed 12 knots. Operating under normal split plant operation. Maintaining sound and radar search. 0144 Permission granted to pump bilges. 0212 Secured from pumping bilges.

0400 Searching as before. 0521 Made radar contact with Merir Island bearing 237deg T, distance 13.5 miles. 0545 By order of ComPhilSeaFron secured from search and took departure for Hollandia, New Guinea with Merir Island bearing 235degT, distance 17,800 yards, set course 137deg T 137deg PGG,144 PStgC speed 15 knots. 0725 sighted green sea marker bearing 236deg T, 1500 yards. 0729 Proceeding on various courses and speeds to investigate the sea marker. 0735 Objects in water identified as human beings. All engines stopped to lower whale boat and effect rescue in position Lat. 04deg 02’N, Long 132deg47’E. Three men picked up by whale boat from water. 0751 Survivors came aboard and gave their names as NEW, James R., Jr. , 0-2065813, 2ND Lieutenant, USAAF; Barrack, Isodore,Sgt. USAAF; Branch, Louis,, 38494177, Corporal, USAAF, attached to SWPA Wing A.A.F.C., at 1536 A.A.F.B.U., APO 565, Hollandia, New Guinea, survivors from OA-10 #23. 0729 Searching area at various courses at 10 knots for other survivors.

 Personal Comment
Because of their extremely dehydrated condition they were given water and very little food. They went to bed and slept for 24 hours. They recovered quickly and by the time we arrived in Hallandia they were in very good condition. To show their appreciation the AAF allowed us to use their rest camp at Lake Sentani. Only one half of the crew was allowed at one time. We then received orders to get under way and the other half of the crew never got there. I was never there.

In early 1990’s Lt. New attended one of Memorial Meetings and was a main speaker.

Submitted by Rodger J. Crum

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