German Sub Shoots Down PV-1
from Floyd Bennett Field.

Updated: November 23, 1999

Lockheed PV-1 Ventura
Lockheed PV-1 Ventura

On August 7, 1943, a Lockheed PV-1 Ventura aircraft (BuNo 29909) of Squadron VB-128 based at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, NY, was shot down while attacking the U-566, a German submarine commanded by ObLt. Gerhard Remus.  The anti-submarine patrol aircraft's right engine was destroyed by a direct hit from the submarine's anti-aircraft gun, but Pilot LtJG Frederick C. Cross (USNR) was able to continue the attack by dropping two depth charges, possibly hitting the submarine.  Despite extremely painful injuries and the hazards of concentrated enemy gunfire, he struggled to maintain flight and then safely ditched the aircraft in the Atlantic Ocean.

LtJG Cross died of wounds received and was posthumously awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Navy Cross for his extraordinary heroism and courageous devotion to duty in connection with military operations against an armed enemy.

The wounded Copilot and Radio Operator were picked up by a Martin PBM seaplane dispatched to rescue the downed crewman at a location reported as "within 15 miles of 37-35N; 71-20W" (offshore of the Delmarva Peninsula).

Squadron VB-128 was established on Feb. 15, 1943, and was later redesignated as VP-1 on Sept. 1, 1948.

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