Crew 3, U.S. Navy PB4Y-2 "Privateer" Patrol Bomber Squadron VPB-118

Information recounted here was obtained from the VPB-118 book, "The Old Crows, VPB-118, The History of Navy Patrol Bombing Squadron 118." Most of the crew names were compiled by James Pettit. Crew photo courtesy James Pettit of VPB-118.

Crew 3 in front of BuNo 59383, with Torchy Tess nose art; U.S. Navy Photo (Courtesy James Pettit)

PPC Lt. J. A. "Tex" Lasater

Crew 3 of VPB-118 consisted of:

(Back L-R) Ewell W. Smith AMM2c (plane captain), Ens. Kenneth W. Gibson (co-pilot), Lt. J.A. "Tex" Lasater (PPC), Lt. (jg) Clarence J. Milner (co-pilot), Charles W. Jacobs AMM3c (3rd mechanic), Sterlin C. Bryant, Jr. AMMF3c (4th mechanic)

(Front L-R) Harry F. Brockhorst ARM3c (2nd radio), Robert E. Miller AOM2c (bombardier), Arden M. Ardaiz AOM3c (ordnanceman), Robert A. Carr AMMF3c (2nd mechanic), Davis McCallister ARM2c (1st radio), William J. Hawkins ARM3c (3rd radio); (not in photo: Willis L. Thornton, Jr. AOM3c (ordnaceman/gunner), who came over from the Binning crew)

This crew was lost on May 6, 1945 after the other plane in its patrol (Crew 10) returned to base with heavy damage. The Lasater crew flew on alone, and after minor radio contact was never seen or heard from again. By happenstance Arden M. Ardaiz as well as Tom Kelecy (radioman from Crew 1 who was to sit in) were not on that patrol…