Navy Memorabilia

Sleyster, Frederic B

Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade, US Navy
Serial Number: O-116372
Military Branch: VMSB-143
Origin: Missouri
Date of Death: 1943-5-19
Manila American Cemetery
Featured: No

Frederic Burton Sleyster was born on August 28, 1919 in Keyesville, Charlton County, Missouri to his parents Julius and Julia. He enlisted in the Navy and made Aviation Cadet on October 2, 1941. He was married to Dorothy Woodworth, who lived in California while her husband was overseas. He was attached to Torpedo Squadron 21 and temporarily attached to a Marine unit VMSB 143 flying out of Henderson Field.

At the time, he was lost, on May 19, 1943, he was flying a TBF-1 Avenger,Bu. No. 05239. His crew was Aviation Radioman 2c Harry H. Johnson, s/n 6382500, and Gunner, Aviation Radioman 3c Manual Paiva, s/n 2044712. They were on a night mine laying mission in the Bougainville area.

Lt(jg) Frederic Sleyster failed to return from the mine laying mission over enemy controlled territory. His last mission was on 18 May 1943 in the Buin-Faisi area and was listed missing in action.

He received his Air Medal for participating in aerial combat(torpedo bombers) from Henderson Field from 1 Feb.1943 to 9 Mar.1943, and again from 16 May 1943 to 18 May 1943, during which time he participated in 7 combat missions against enemy ships and bases, in which opposition was encountered, in the central Solomon area. On 4 Feb., 1943 he took part in an attack on the "Tokyo Express". On 28 Feb., 1943 he volunteered for and participated in the first attack made by torpedo bombers on the Kahili airdrome.

He served with the following:
Escort Scouting Squadron 9- 8 Oct 1942
Escort Scouting Squadron 11-3 Nov 1942
Composite Squadron 11-1 Mar 1943
Torpedo Squadron 21-10 May 1943

In the pictures below, there is an artcle found on the internet about Lt. Sleyster listed as missing in action. There is also an original newspaper article with the group that gives details about a box of souveniers he sent home shortly before his loss. Note that part of the souvenier group is his flight jacket and a .45 automatic. His group includes his photo and his extraordinarily engraved solid brooch Air Medal and his posthumous type 3 officially engraved Purple Heart, plus copies of internet research.

Spring 2022 sold to a collector. 

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