was thought to be the Japs’ debarkation point. The detachment which carried out this assignment was headed by Commander N.C. GILLETTE, Jr., USN.

On July 2 a plane of Patrol Bombing Squadron SEVENTY-ONE again participated in the early phases of a Borneo invasion. Lieutenant Victor A. BLANDIN, USN, staging through Tawi Tawi, landed at Balikpapan on "D-plus one" day. On the return trip, two combat photographers with official films of the landings and four other passengers were carried. Lieutenant BLANDEN was commended by Rear Admiral A.G. NOBLE, Commander Amphibious Group EIGHT, for being the only Catalina of the four that landed at Balikpapan to be able to take off again. Two of the others cracked up and sank and one was damaged to such an extent that it had to be beached while attempting to take off in the heavy swells.

An evacuation mission worthy of special mention was performed by Lieutenant Walter B. LEVY, USNR, on July 26. On this occasion Lieutenant LEVY landed in the open sea seventy-five miles northeast of the Naval Air Base at Samar and took aboard an emergency patient from an LST. The latter was one of a convoy of seventeen vessels and was bringing in survivors of the USS UNDERHILL (DE-682) which had been torpedoed and sunk. The Commander, Philippine Sea Frontier sent a congratulatory message in which he credited the saving of the man’s life to the time saved by getting him to the base hospital by air.

During August two separate detachments were established. Commencing August 23 a standby alert plane was maintained at Puerto Princesa, Palawan for airways air-sea rescue duty. The second detachment consisted of six crews with four planes and was based at Sangley Point near Manila.


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