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Thread: RAF G/Capt James Winter Carmichael (Hank) More and USAF Colonel Owen Baggett

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    Default RAF G/Capt James Winter Carmichael (Hank) More and USAF Colonel Owen Baggett

    I just found a thread on the old RAF Commands forum about G/Capt. James Winter Carmichael ‘Hank’ More.

    http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/03213.php


    He was a great friend of my grandfather G/Capt John Heber Percy, and Godfather to my Dad.


    The OP in 2003, Matt Poole was asking on behalf of Colonel Owen Baggett, a B-24 pilot who befriended Hank in jail in Singapore. Hank died when the SS Rakuyo Maru was torpedoed by the USS Sealion on September 12th, 1944.

    I have a photo of Hank at my father’s Christening in 1941 which the Colonel would probably appreciate.

    William

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    Hi, William,

    Many thanks for your info. Alas, Owen Baggett passed away in late July 2006, so I would say don't worry about copying the 1941 christening photo.

    I was not able to confirm the story of Owen shooting down an Oscar while floating in his parachute after being shot down. The Japanese records of the 64th Sentai were largely destroyed at the end of the war (a common fate of Japanese unit records), and Japanese author/expert Hiroshi Ichimura told me there were no 64th Sentai pilots still alive who would have known anything. I was unable to locate a Japanese pilot's name to go with the alleged date of death, even though a list of JAAF deaths was consulted.

    Owen never outright believed the story, which had been related to him by fellow American POW Harry Melton (a P-51 pilot shot down over Burma), who had been told details by a Japanese colonel. Melton had planned to write a report after he was released from POW incarceration, but he died when his hell ship was torpedoed on the way to Japan. In fact, Owen tended to not want to talk about it (but with me, he did), because, well, he wasn't certain of the reality.

    However, it may have been true.

    It is not unusual that this story has become gospel, as if the evidence is rock-solid. Myth becomes fact in many war stories.

    As is often the case, in published/online versions of the story (such as at http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineA...0796valor.aspx), the Japanese aircraft involved in downing Owen's B-24 were called "Zeros", but they were actually Nakajima Ki-43 Oscars.

    Again, thanks for posting your details.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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