I'm trying to locate any family members of 2nd Lt. Thomas M. Pepe, SN O-37305, VMSB-243 MAG 32 USMCR, and his brother, MM 2/c Joseph M. Pepe SN 4036502 USNR.Both were killed in WW2, Tom in the Philippines and Joe in Italy.Their parents were Mauro and Lucy Pepe who lived at 20 Bay 23rd St. Brooklyn, NY at that time.
My uncle, Guy Richard Loy, S/Sgt SN 13122 VMSB-243 MAG 32 USMCR, was Tom's gunner in their SBD-5 Douglas dive bomber (tail no. 616, serial no. 54210) when they were shot down on 3/9/1945 near Manila, Philippines.Each plane on that mission was carrying one 1,000 lb. G.P. bomb with its fuse set for a 1/10 sec. delay.They were lost during one of the strafing runs made after their bombing run. Their bodies were identified and recovered 3/23/1945.The investigators sent to the crash site observed that the engine from their plane had rolled down a hill and destroyed a Japanese Aid Station by burning it.
The remains of Thomas and Joseph Pepe were returned to the U.S. on 6/3/1948 for simultaneous and adjoining burials at the National Cemetery, Farmingdale, Long Island, NY.My uncle's body was returned for burial at our family cemetary in Newville, Pa on 3/4/1949.
I will be attending the 59th anniversary and reunion of VMSB-243 from 10/10 thru 10/14/2001 in San Diego, CA.This will be my third reunion with this wonderful group of people.It would be great if someone from the Pepe family could join us in remembering our lost heros.