Henry Drake - Prussia to USA 1834 - Brig Neptune:Information about Harrington Max Drake
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Harrington Max Drake (b. 23 May 1909, d. 01 May 1945)
Harrington Max Drake (son of Alonzo Henry Drake and Pearl Loretta Reed)769, 770, 771, 772 was born 23 May 1909 in Childress, Texas773, 774, 775, 776, and died 01 May 1945 in Lingshui District, Hainan, China.He married Catherine Lois Bedford on 10 Aug 1931 in Alhambra, California, daughter of Robert Lee Bedford and Catherine Ray.
Notes for Harrington Max Drake:
Letter received 15 Aug 2006
My name is David Deatherage; my father, Paul Deatherage, was a member of Naval Patrol Bomber Squadron VPB-119 which operated out of Clark Field, Luzon, Philippines during WWII.
This squadron operated under the direction & coordination of Fleet Air Wing 17 (FAW 17) while it was engaged in combat operations.Commander Harrington Max Drake was a member of the FAW 17 staff.
I believe Commander Drake is your grandfather; I found your family genealogy page on the internet which shows that Harrington Drake died on Hainan Island on 1 May 1945.
When Cdr. Drake died, he was flying aboard a navy PB4Y-2 bomber piloted by a Lt. John W. Holt of VPB-119.The crew of this plane was crew #4 of the squadron - my dad's crew.
My dad was a radar counter measures technician and although he was primarily assigned to crew #4, he was often assigned to fly with other crews, depending upon the mission requirements.On May 1, 1945 - the day that Lt. Holt, Cdr. Drake, and crew #4 were lost - my dad was on one of these other assignments.Consequently, my dad survived the war.
When this plane first went down, it's fate was unknown;the squadron didn't what happened to it, they didn't have any specific location information nor any reports of hostile action.The plane just didn't return from its mission.The crew and Cdr. Drake were listed as MIA through the end of the war.It wasn't until after the War that the wreckage of the plane and the crew remains were located.
After the War, my dad had heard that the plane had been found but never really knew if everybody on board had been recovered.Within the last few years, squadron operational reports and search & recovery reports from WWII have become declassified and much of it can now be access via the internet (or at least, the citation can be determined and scanned copies may be obtained from the government).
Any way,my dad is still alive (although he was disabled by a stroke several years ago) and I've done some research on the squadron and this plane in particular.of the 13 men on board, I have found the grave sites of 12 (including your grand father - see the attached photo).I plan to visit the graves of each of these men and provide my dad with photos.
In the course of my research, I have spoken with some of the still living veterans other than my dad, I have talked with (or exchanged emails with) sons, nephews, and other family members of squadron VPB119 personnel.Many of us a wondering why Cdr. Drake was on Lt. Holt's plane that day.Perhaps he was doing some sort of intelligence work, or the Wing needed his opinion of the operational area over Hainan, or he may just have wanted to go out on a combat mission for some backup experience.
Whatever, it was, it's something of a mystery.I was wondering, do you know why Cdr. Drake was on that plane that day?
Any info you might care to share would be gratefully appreciated.
David C. Deatherage
Son of Paul E. Deatherage, Crew #4, VPB-119, 1944-1945
More About Harrington Max Drake:
Date born 2: 1909, Texas.777
Date born 3: 1910, Texas.778
Burial: 07 Mar 1947, Arlington National Cemetary.
Residence 1: 1930, US Naval Academy and US Navy Hospital, Anne Arundel, Maryland.778, 779, 780, 781
Residence 2: 1910, Childress, Childress, Texas.781
Residence 3: 1920, Fresno, Fresno, California.782
More About Harrington Max Drake and Catherine Lois Bedford:
Marriage: 10 Aug 1931, Alhambra, California.
Children of Harrington Max Drake and Catherine Lois Bedford are:
- +Harrington Max Drake.
- Lois Ann Drake.