ARM2c Albert ‘Bud’ Rybarczyk Repatriated Feature Image

ARM2c Albert P. Rybarczyk Repatriated


August 16, 2017


ARM2c Albert P. Rybarczyk, 21, was accounted for by Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency today. Project Recover located his downed TBM Avenger in March 2014 and is honored to play a vital role in his repatriation.

Project Recover humbly acknowledges ARM2c Rybarczyk’s service and sacrifice, as well as the enduring loss to his family. We are grateful and honored to play a vital role in bringing him home. The repatriation of ARM2c Rybarcyzk helps resolve generational grief and awaken us to gratitude, hope, love, and unity. This is the legacy of our MIAs and their final mission.

Keeping America’s Promise to bring our MIAs home is a mission for every American.

ARM2c Albert P. Rybarczyk

ARM2c ‘Bud’ Rybarczyk was the radioman on a TBM Avenger. He was a member of the Navy Torpedo Squadron Eighteen (VT-18) based on the USS Intrepid.

On September 8th, 1944, the Avenger, piloted by LT(jg) John J. Savage, took off on a mission to soften enemy positions. The Avenger glided to 1,000 feet and dropped their munitions on an ammunition dump. The resulting explosion caused catastrophic damage to their aircraft, and it crashed offshore. 

An eyewitness told Pat Scannon he saw one person parachute out of the plane. He saw enemy forces capture and execute the airman.

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Pat Scannon, M.D., Ph.D., located the right-wing of the Avenger in March 2005. Working in partnership with Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Delaware, College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, Project Recover located the remainder of the TBM Avenger in March 2014 after nine years of searching.

The team found the Avenger was in 100 feet of water, spread across 40 meters in two locations. The map of the crash site suggests the plane was tumbling when it crashed. The team held an unofficial flag ceremony over the crash site in honor of the three affiliated MIAs. 

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency conducted a recovery mission. They accounted for two MIAs. ARM2c Albert Rybarczyk was one of them. 

Project Recover was honored to attend his funeral in January 2017 in St. Joseph, MI.

MaryAnn Rybarczyk, the sister of Albert Rybarczyk and a retired Catholic nun, remembers when the knock at the door in 1944. She said that it was a miracle that her brother, Bud, was home again.

The families of AOM2c Sharninghouse and ARM2c Rybarczyk each attended the funeral of the other.

In 2019, Project Recover invited Bud Rybarcyzk’s family members to participate in a mission in Palau. Adam Gray dove on his great-uncle’s crash site. Later in the mission, he was invited to become a Project Recover team member. Adam is the third Project Recover team member who is also a relative of an MIA located by Project Recover.

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