Jay Zeamer meets “Old 666”

A photo of 41-2666, or Old 666, as it would have looked when Jay Zeamer found it

On May 14, 1943, Jay Zeamer handed over the reins as squadron operations officer of the 65th Bombardment Squadron, and took up the reins of squadron executive officer, thereby taking charge of administrative duties of the day-to-day operation of the 65th. The next day, May 15, he and the Eager Beavers had a mission during which they were credited with shooting down a Zero. The exact circumstances are unknown, existing in the murky land of conflicting records. The official credit records that it happened near Gasmata, across the Solomon Sea on the southern coast of New Britain, as part of a three-plane mission. Zeamer himself writes in his flight log for that day that the Eager Beavers led a six-plane mission to New Guinea’s Huon Gulf. Zeamer says the Zero “crashed into the sea.” Until something clearer turns up, all we know is that the crew had a mission that… Continue reading