Rubincam, Vernon Grant, Capt

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 Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary MOS
7598-Basic Fixed-Wing Pilot
Last MOSGroup
Pilots/Naval Flight Officers
Primary Unit
1943-Present, 7598, Missing In Action
Service Years
1942 - 1943
Official/Unofficial USMC Certificates
Golden Dragon Certificate
Shellback Certificate



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 Personal Details 

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MGySgt Scott Welch-Deceased to remember Marine Capt Vernon Grant Rubincam.

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 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Golden Dragon Shellback

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1943, World War II Fallen

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Vernon enlisted in the Marine Corps on January 19, 1942, soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He trained at Navy schools (Marine Aviators are trained by the Navy). Vernon returned home on leave in May 1942 after receiving his wings and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant at the Miami Naval Air Station in Florida. Shortly after, he left for the west coast for additional training and deployment. He was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant. Vernon was among the first Marine Pilots stationed at Henderson Field, on Guadalcanal. The Marines landed on both Guadalcanal and at Tulagi on August 7, 1942, as Operation Watchtower. The Japanese were constructing an airfield, which at the southern most end of the Solomon Islands, would cut the supply routes to the North Eastern portion of Australia. The Marines completed the construction of the airfield, naming it Henderson Field, in honor of Major Lofton Henderson, a Marine squadron Commander who had been lost during the battle of Midway. Vernon arrived on August 31st.  Henderson field was a dangerous place to fly from, let alone occupy. The Japanese constantly bombed, and strafed the field, as well as shelled it from the sea with everything from destroyers to battleships. And the enemy continually fought to retake the airfield. Front lines sometimes overlooked or came to the very edge of the runway. The Japanese were constantly reinforced by the Tokoyo Express coming down the slot between the islands in the Solomon group.  Marine Pilot Vernon Rubincam flew Navy Dive Bombers from Henderson field. He flew Douglas SBD Dauntless. Vernon flew almost daily attacking Japanese cruisers and destroyers, many times without fighter escort, taking his chances against the much vaunted Japanese Zero fighters. But, we did a lot of damage to the jap ships anyhow, he was quoted as saying. After 6 weeks of intense flying and completing 30 combat missions, he earned a well deserved relief.  Vernon returned to the states in April 1943 for leave and additional training. He switched from dive bombers to torpedo bombers training to fly the Grumman TBF Avengers. He returned to the Solomon Islands for his second tour of duty as a pilot and Executive Officer of a Marine Torpedo bomber unit with a promotion to the rank of Captain.   After several months of flying, and completion of 30 more combat missions, Vernon received a well deserved furlough and on November 23, 1943 boarded a Navy transport aircraft for a flight to Australia.

On 23 November 1943 the USAAF 403 Troop Carrier Group (TCG) was part of an organisation known as SCAT - South Pacific Combat Air Transport. It was based at Luganville Airport (aka Pekoa) on Espirítu Santo and provided an air freight and military passenger service all around the South Pacific. Douglas C-47 Skytrain 41-18675, call-sign "675-Baker-253" took off from Noumea-Tontouta Airport, New Caledonia bound for Espiritu Santo. Radio contact was established at 0810 but the aircraft failed to respond to a scheduled call at 0910. Two days later, damaged gear and some personal effects from the plane were found in Nakety Bay. A cold front had passed through the New Caledonia area in the early hours of the morning of the 23rd bringing a cloud layer at 2 to 4 thousand feet and a visibility of 4 to 6 miles, with 3 miles in heavier rain. The route was considered flyable on instruments and several aircraft flew it that day without the pilots reporting any difficulty with the weather conditions.
The bodies of the 6 crew-members and 19 passengers (3 RNZAF and 16 USMC from VMTB-232) were never found.

RUBINCAM, Vernon G, CAPT, O-010323, USMC, from Pennsylvania, location New Caledonia, date of loss November 23, 1943 + RUBINCAM, Vernon G, Captain, O-010323, USMC, from Pennsylvania, Honolulu Memorial + RUBINCAM, Vernon Grant, 10323, VMTB-232, MAG-11, 1st MAW, FMF, New Hebrides, November 23, 1943, accidental death + RUBINCAM, Vernon G., Captain, USMCR. Parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Rubincan, 127 S. 5th Ave., Coatesville, Pa

Body Not Recovered

Other Comments:
Not Specified
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 Ribbon Bar
Pilot Wings
Rifle Sharpshooter (Pre 1959)USMC Basic Qualification Badge

 Unit Assignments
Marine Corps Air Bases EastVMA-231VMTB-232Missing In Action
  1942-1942, 7598, MCAS Miami Fla. Operations Squadron 3, MCAS Miami
  1942-1942, 7598, VMA-231
  1942-1943, 7598, VMTB-232
  1943-Present, 7598, Missing In Action
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 New Georgia Group Operation /Battle of Kolombangara
  1943-1943 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Raid on Choiseul
  1943-1944 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Bougainville
 Colleges Attended
Drexel University
  1937-1940, Drexel University
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