difficult and trying job well done under the most adverse conditions. With the maintenance unit in operation, necessary work on the planes was performed more quickly and efficiently, and the strain on engines was greatly reduced by taking off from the water with a light gas load and refueling at the airstrip. Further relief came with tho establishment of a ramp on Cabalitian Island, near the seaplane anchorage where light repair facilities were available.
A heavy loss was sustained on February 3 when Lieutenant (jg) Albert J. LEMICKE, Jr., USNR, failed to return from a night patrol to Formosa. The last and only contact with the plane - a routine radio check shortly after take-off. Special searches wore sent out for three consecutive days with negative results. Unfavorable weather with high winds and low visibility hindered the special search planes. In addition, all other aircraft units operating in the Formosa area were notified of the loss and requested to maintain a close watch for survivors, but no word has been received of the missing plane or crew.
Patrol Bombing Squadron SEVENTY-ONE proudly records in its War History the f.ollowing dispatch received February 23, 1945 from Admiral F.D. WAGNER, Commander Aircraft, SEVENTH Fleet:
"YOUR AGGRESSIVE BLACK CAT PATROLS ARE WRITING NEW PAGES IN THE OUTSTANDING RECORD OF SOUTHWESTPAC BLACK CAT OPERATIONS."
The tour of duty at Lingayen came to an end March 1 and immediately thereafter the squadron moved to the seaplane base at Jinamoc Island in Leyte Gulf and commenced day search operations.
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