Dear Sgt. Grit,
I am the only son of a WWII Marine Corps aviator. My father, Capt. Doit L. Fish, was assigned to Marine Bombing Squadron VMB-611 as a PBJ-1 (B-25 Mitchell) pilot, Moret Field, Zamboanga, Mindanao, Philippine Islands. On May 30, 1945, Commanding Officer Lt. Col. George A. Sarles lead an all-day, multiple PBJ strike on the Kibawe Trail area near Davao, Mindanao. In the morning, Col. Sarles' PBJ was hit by Japanese anti-aircraft and crashed with him and three of his crewmembers KIA. In the afternoon, while en-route to the target area, my father and his wingman were advised the Colonel's aircraft was missing. After searching the area for the lost aircraft to no avail, the two PBJs attacked their assigned target area. My father's PBJ disappeared, never to be seen again. He and his seven-member crew were declared missing in action. The loss of 12 brave fellow Marine squadron members was VMB-611's highest single-day causalities in their short history.
In November 1956, the aircraft wreckage and skeletal remains were discovered in the Philippine jungle near the area they were reported missing. Although individual identification was impossible, it was determined the remains were of Dad and his crew. A group burial of the eight Marines, with full military honors, was held at Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver, CO on July 15, 1957.
I recently purchased a USMC Ka-Bar knife from your on-line store. What prompted me to make this purchase was two-fold; a discussion about the Ka-Bar on a Marine Forum that I belong to and the attached photo of my father in front of a PBJ. The photo shows Dad with his hand on his trusty Ka-Bar. While his was lost in the jungle of the Philippines, I at least have a modern Ka-Bar to add to my memorabilia. Another interesting tidbit is that after my 18 year-old grandson saw my Ka-Bar, he also purchased one for himself. The tradition lives and continues to grow.
Best regards, and In Their Honor and In Their Memory, Semper Fi.
David L. Fish
Proud Son of Capt. Doit L. Fish, USMCR