2Lt. August C. Baetzhold, Jr.
Buffalo, NY

SBD Dauntless

Marine Scout Bomber Squadron 243
Marine Air Group 24
2nd Marine Air Wing
Marine Corps Air Station Ewa
Hawaiian Islands
Johnston Island
Central Pacific Area


2Lt. August Baetzhold, USMCR, was an SBD pilot with VMSB-243 during late 1942 and early 1943,
stationed at MCAS Ewa on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu. He and his gunner, Corporal Paul O'Brien
of Massachusetts, went missing during a training flight in March of 1943, though I have found
conflicting information as to the exact date and location and have yet to sort it out. Regardless
of that, Baetzhold and O'Brien were apparently never found, as they are still listed as 'Missing'.

August Baetzhold is pictured here, near the center of the photo, with some of his squadronmates
while enroute to Hawaii from San Diego, California in mid-late January of 1943.


Though headquartered at Ewa, VMSB-243 also operated from Palmyra Atoll and Johnston Island
during much of 1943, and I believe that 2Lt. Baetzhold may have been based at the latter.

Here's a photo showing one of VMBS-243's SBDs in the air near Johnston Island.
You can see more photos of VMSB-243's operations at Johnston HERE.


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