Incident Curtiss SOC-2 Seagull 0420, Sunday 3 January 1943
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Date:Sunday 3 January 1943
Type:Curtiss SOC-2 Seagull
Owner/operator:USS Columbia US Navy
Registration: 0420
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:13° 11' S 164° 15' E -   Pacific Ocean
Phase: Standing
Departure airport:USS Columbia
Destination airport:
At 11:30 hrs on 2 January 1943 TF 67 left Espiritu Santa port for a double mission: covering a convoy bringing reinforcements to Guadalcanal and bombarding the Japanese airfield at Munda, New Georgia. The task force was divived in two groups, a bombardment group made of the cruisers Nashville, Helena and St Louis and the destroyers Fletcher and O'Bannon, and a support group made of the cruisers Honolulu, Columbia, Louisville and HMNZS Achilles and the destroyers Lamson, Drayton and Nicholas.

At 0505 hrs on 3 January 1943, the formation was sailing towards the Solomon Islands when the light cruiser USS Columbia lost one of its two aircraf, the SOC-2 Buno 0420, that rolled off port side from the catapult with one man aboard, AMM1c Anthony E Valerio, of the aviation unit of the cruiser. The destroyer Drayton was directed two minutes later to pick up the man and sink the plane. It was still dark and nothing was seen before sunrise at 0545 hrs. At 0602 hrs a plane dropped a smoke pot to lead the destroyer and at 0607 hrs a raft and the plane were seen in the water. Two minutes later, the destroyer picked up Valerio. At 0624 hrs the Drayton sank the damaged plane by 13° 11' S 164° 15' E, before sailing back to the formation, rejoining it at 0900 hrs.

TF 67 war diary, January 1943 (online at
USS Drayton war diary, January 1943 (online at
USS Columbia Muster Roll, October 1942 (online at

Revision history:

04-Jan-2017 14:57 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Country, Phase, Source, Narrative]
24-Dec-2020 21:09 Reno Raines Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Narrative, Operator]

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