ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 219075
Last updated: 4 December 2021
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic L37 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed PV-1 Ventura
Owner/operator:VB-137 US Navy
Registration: 33212
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Betio airfield, Tarawa -   Kiribati
Phase: Standing
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
In the evening of 3 December 1943, the radar of the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis cruising off Tarawa reported enemy aircraft at 1940 hrs local time. An estimated force of nine Japanese twin engine bombers made some tens of minutes laters individual runs on Betio Island, Tarawa, dropping 36 138lb bombs from 24,000 feet on and around the airfield. The F6F-3 BuNo 66177 of VF-1 and the PV-1 BuNo 33212 of VB-137 were damaged beyond repair. Two additional PV's were seriously damaged and six F6F's received slight damage. Three minor fires and one major fuel dump fire started, and 200 barrels of gasoline and diesel oil burned. The slight damage done to the runway was repaired in two hours time. The only casualties were minor injuries sustained by three men. The attacking planes were taken under fire by the shore defenses but apparenty without effect. No ships were attacked. The Japanese withdrew to the northwestward, dropping four small bombs in the vicinity of Flink Point, Makin, during their return flight, causing no damage.


Commander Central Pacific Force War Diary, December 1943 (available online at
AVP-13 Mackinac War Diary, December 1943 (available online at

Revision history:

06-Dec-2018 08:51 Laurent Rizzotti Added
10-Feb-2020 10:01 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description