LOSS OF A CURTISS SOC SEAGULL
IN THE SEA OFF BRISBANE, QLD
ON 22 DECEMBER 1941
Photo:- US Navy Photo #:80-G-5885
Curtiss SOC-1 Seagull Scout Observation floatplane
At 0019 hours on 22 December 1941 the Pensacola convoy sighted the Moreton Point lighthouse about 30 miles away on Moreton Island.
The USS Pensacola was escorting a convoy of ships that had originally been headed for the Philippines. Plans were changed after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Initially the Pensacola convoy continued steaming towards the Philippines but on the 9 December 2013 it was initially ordered to return to Pearl Harbor but this was quickly changed and it was ordered to head for Brisbane in Queensland, Australia.
Curtiss SOC-1 Seagull floatplane 5-CS-10 (Bu. No. 9977) of Detachment C of the Heavier Than Air Cruiser Scouting Squadron Five, Cruiser Division Five was launched from USS Pensacola at 0609 hours for an anti-submarine patrol during the entry of the convoy into Moreton Bay, the entrance to the port of Brisbane. The aircraft was last seen at 0800 hours that day. The Accident Report states that the aircraft was catapulted from USS Pensacola at 0558 hours whereas USS Pensacola records show it as 0609 hours.
The USS Pensacola moored alongside Newstead Wharf in Brisbane at 1246 hours on 22 December 2013 while the rest of the convoy remained anchored off the Pile Light in Moreton Bay.
At 1300 hours the alarm was raised when the Curtis SOC-1 Seagull had not returned to the USS Pensacola by 1030 hours. Two other Curtiss SOC-1 Seagulls (5-CS-9 and 5-CS-12) were launched to conduct a search for the missing floatplane. Australian shore based aircraft assisted with the search. The two other SOC-1 Seagulls returned from their search and were hoisted aboard USS Pensacola at 1813 hours and 1819 hours. The Royal Australian Navy District Naval Officer was also requested to assist in any possible way.
The search for the missing floatplane was discontinued after an early morning search flight on 24 December 1941. The floatplane was given up as lost. The loss of the aircraft was reported to the Secretary of the Navy via Cincpac.
The two aircrew lost in this accident were as follows:-
Ensign Robert F. Rogers A-V (N) United States Naval Reserve, Service No. 0-081562
RM1c Glen Dwayne Saxton, United States Navy, Service No. 3212801
The USS Pensacola carried four Curtiss SOC Seagulls.
Photo:- US Navy Archives #19-N-67932
USS Pensacola (CA 24) on 14 October 1943
I'd like to thank Edward Rogers, John Lundstrom, Jim Sawruk, Robert Cressman and Nelson ? on Pacific War 1941-1945 web page for their assistance with this web page.
I would like to find out the names of the two aircrew members who were lost.
Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?
"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 13 January 2013
This page last updated 02 February 2020