Accident Statement #1



I certify that I was Flight leader of a four ship formation flight, taking off from Oakland Airport at 1320, April 8, 1943. Lieut. Jago was my wing man and Lieut. Cook was leader of the second element. Approximately 45 minutes after take-off, we were flying a string formation about 9000 feet, at which altitude there were vertical risers of cumulus clouds. I lead the flight around one of these clouds with Lieut. Jago following behind about two hundred yards. After I had passed the cloud, I looked back and saw Lieut. Jago following me; and coming around the other side of the cloud I saw my element leader, Lieut. Cook. I looked forward again for a few seconds and then looked back to see if my flight was following me, and the only ones I saw were my element leader and his wing man following. I circled the area for 15 minutes, and couldn’t find Lieut. Jago, so proceeded to home base. At our altitude, the visibility was unlimited except for a few cumulus risers from a broken cloud layer about 5000 feet, the base of the broken layer was approximately 3500 to 4000 feet.

Charles W. Hoffman

Captain, Air Corps,

Flight Leader &

Operations Officer