Corp Virgil Holland Dockery

Corp Virgil Holland Dockery

Tennessee, USA
Death 15 Aug 1943 (aged 22–23)
Morobe, Papua New Guinea
Burial Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines
Plot D, Row 9, Grave 188
Memorial ID 56782060 · View Source
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He was the son of Virgil Dockery & Eula Williams Dockery Brown

Virgil H. Dockery (1920 Tennessee), a resident of Davidson County, Tennessee, enlisted as a Private in the U.S. Army Air Corps (S/N 14078341) on 21 January 1942 in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. He was single, had completed 3 years of high school and had been working as a salesperson. Virgil was described as 5’6” and 129 lbs.

Virgil Holland Dockery was a Dental Assistant serving with the 39th Fighter Group.

Corporal Virgil H. Dockery (39th FS, Dental Assistant) was a passenger aboard a military transport Douglas C-47 Skytrain "Liliane" (Serial Number 41-18682, Tail VH-CCI) that was shot down 15 August 1943 in the Tsili Tsili area in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. The plane “took off from Port Moresby with personnel of the 35th Fighter Command Squadron and 39th Fighter Squadron. While approaching Tsile Tsile Airfield at low height, the aircraft was attacked by a Japanese Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar led by Shigeo Nango of the 59th Sentai.

In the initial attack, the aircraft was set on fire, and passenger Dockery was seriously wounded in the shoulder. The captain attempted to make an emergency landing when attacked a second time, he was killed. The aircraft hit trees and crashed in a wooded area near Tsili Tsili.

Australian troops reached the crash site about an hour later. They found Robert Heller alive, and he had sustained injuries to both legs. He was thrown clear of the wreckage when its fuel tanks exploded. He was taken to Tsili Tsili, where he was evacuated back to Port Moresby. Two hours after being admitted to the hospital there, he died. Also shot down was another C-47 (41-18668). Sources: &

“One flight of the C-47's had just landed when twelve Sallys, escorted by an equal number of fighters and flying low enough to have avoided the Allied radar, roared in though mountain passes. Japanese shells riddled one airborne C-47 of the second flight and caused it to crash, killing all occupants; another transport vanished into the surrounding mountains and was never found. Source:

Aboard the "Liliane" that day were:
Crew (374th TCG)
Pilot: 1st Lt. Enoch P. Burley, O-66496 (KIA)
Co-Pilot: 1st Lt James F. Miles, O-66508 (KIA)
Crew Chief: T/Sgt Edward R. Bering, 682536 (KIA)
Radio Pvt John Kvaka, Jr., 13057826 (KIA)
Captain Robert C. Heller (39th Fighter Squadron, Dental Officer) (WIA/KIA)
Cpl Virgil H. Dockery (39th Fighter Squadron, Dental Assistant) (KIA)

Gravesite Details Entered the service from Tennessee.



  • Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56782060
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Corp Virgil Holland Dockery (1920–15 Aug 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56782060, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by War Graves (contributor 6) .