Raymond E. Eastcott

NAME
Raymond Edward Eastcott
NICKNAME
SERVICE NUMBER
O-13590
UNIT
VMSB-143
Pilot
HOME OF RECORD
13278 Marlow Street, Detroit, MI
NEXT OF KIN
Father, Mr. James A. Eastcott
DATE OF BIRTH
1918
ENTERED SERVICE
August 25, 1941
DATE OF LOSS
March 14, 1943
REGION
Solomon Islands
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal
(en route)
CASUALTY TYPE
Missing
Declared Dead March 15, 1944
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Second Lieutenant Raymond E. Eastcott was a Marine bomber pilot assigned to VMSB-143, an Avenger squadron that fought in the campaign for the Solomon Islands.

On 13 March 1944, Eastcott joined a group of TBFs for a ferry flight from Espiritu Santo to Guadalcanal. They were joined by a handful of Marine fighters and an Army transport plane which led the group.

About an hour out of Espiritu Santo, the formation encountered a massive weather front. The thirteen Avengers flew into the storm – and only eight flew out. The remaining five, including Eastcott’s TBF-1 05899, were never seen again. All nine pilots and aviators were declared dead on 15 March 1944.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
LAST KNOWN RANK
Second Lieutenant
(posthumous First Lieutenant)
STATUS OF REMAINS
Missing in action
MEMORIALS
Honolulu Memorial

Biography:
Coming soon. Contact the webmaster for more information about this Marine.

When the C-47 [leading the formation] punched through the storm, only six TBFs remained on its wing. Two more reached Henderson Field later, but by the end of the day it was evident that five had been lost…. Perhaps several had suffered a chain-reaction collision in the midst of the violent storm. It was a small consolation to the Avenger squadron that instead of the normal crew of three, only gunners had ridden with the pilots aboard four of the missing planes, and one pilot flew solo. But the blow was still tremendous: nine souls were gone, including the executive officer. The cause of their disappearance remains a mystery, for no trace of them has been found.

– Bruce Gamble, The Black Sheep


Articles & Records:

Excerpt from the war diary of Marine Air Group 12, March 1943. It is not known which gunners flew in which plane; one pilot flew alone.

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