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Aunspaugh, Claude William

Rank and Name, Aviation Radioman Second Class Claude William Aunspaugh.

Unit/Placed in, Bombing Squadron 17, (VB-17),  United States Naval Reserve.


Claude is born approx. on 24 Nov. 1919 in .

Father, Robert M. Aunspaugh.

Mother, Dove Aunspaugh.

Sister(s), Vera Anspaugh.


Claude enlisted the service in Arkansas with service number # 6301650.


Claude‘s Crew-members and their position on-board the plane a SB2C-1 were,

LtJg.            G.L. Glass                        Pilot

Arm2.          Claude W. Aunspaugh         Radio Operator/Gunner


Claude was KIA on the mission to Truk Lagoon, diving on a ship it was hit by Anti-Aircraft and crashed in the lagoon in flames on 16 Feb. 1944, he is honored with a Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Expeditionary Medal, American Campaign Medal, Navy & Marine Presidential Unit Citation, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WW II Victory Medal.


Claude is buried/mentioned at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial Manila, Metro Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines.

Walls of the missing.

He also has a Memorial Grave at Pleasant Plains Cemetery, Pleasant Plains, Independence County, Arkansas, USA.


Thanks to, https://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/USN/LLFeb44.htm


Jean Louis Vijgen, WW2-Pacific Website.

Air Force Info, Rolland Swank.

ABMC Website, https://abmc.gov

Seabees History Bob Smith  https://seabeehf.org/

Navy Info, http://navylog.navymemorial.org

POW Info, http://www.mansell.com    Dwight Rider and Wes injerd.

Navy Seal Memorial,  http://www.navysealmemorials.com

Family Info, https://www.familysearch.org

Marines Info, https://missingmarines.com/    Geoffrey Roecker

Info, https://www.pacificwrecks.com/

Medals Info, https://www.honorstates.org


Philippine Info, http://www.philippine-scouts.org/

Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com

Narrative of Death

  • 16 Feb 1944
  • Truk Islands

AUNSPAUGH, Claude William, Aviation Radioman 2c, USNR. (Petty Office Class)  Parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Morgan Aunspaugh, Rt. 2, Box 455, Kingsburg.  (http://www.accessgenealogy.com/navy/california/a.htm), accessed October 6, 2009.

AUNSPAUGH, CLAUDE W         6301650         USNR         ARM2         02/16/1944 MIA   Service Personnel Not Recovered Following World War II
http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/WWII_MIA/NAV_M_A.HTM, accessed October 6, 2009

* Merced AAF, 6 miles (9.7 km) northwest of Merced     HQ Continental Air Forces     90th Army Air Force Base Unit

“As the attack continued unabated through the first nineteen days of February, the B-24’s flew 256 sorties, the B-25’s 263, the TBF’s 244, and the SBD’s 573. Fighter sorties fell off to 1,579 as the enemy’s defenses weakened. Shipping targets became rare in Simpson Harbor, and the SBD’s and TBF’s turned their attention to antiaircraft positions. AAF heavies and mediums continued to devote their attention chiefly to air installations, for airdrome maintenance crews kept the runways under constant repair and enemy interception, though weakening, remained a factor that could not be ignored.143 A standard schedule of morning, afternoon, and night missions gave Rabaul’s defenders little respite, except when the weather interfered. The tempo of the attack was stepped up during the week preceding 15 February, when South Pacific forces landed virtually without interference on Nissan in the Green Islands, which is only a little more than 100 miles from Rabaul.144 The last enemy interception of any significant size occurred on 19 February, the date subsequently selected by the South Pacific command to mark its victory in the air battle of Rabaul.  The air assault on Rabaul actually continued for weeks thereafter, but there was justification enough in the selection of 19 February as the day of victory. After U.S. Navy carriers had struck two hard blows at Truk on 16 and 17 February, all but a few of the remaining planes at Rabaul were called back to Truk . . . (http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/IV/AAF-IV-10.html), accessed October 6, 2009.


Bombing Squadron 17 (VB-17)
Curtiss SB2C-1 Helldiver
USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) Carrier (Base)
Map Truk Island
His rank Aviation Radioman Second Class
Fierce fighting, Helldiver landed without tail