This B25 Mitchell, 43-27979, and crew were assigned to the 100th Squadron of the 42nd
Bomb Group. The plane was hit with Japanese anti-aircraft during a low-level bombing mission on Kendari Airfield on Celebes
Island. There were no survivors. On August 16, 1949 all the crewmembers were buried at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
at Site E145-146.
2/Lt John W. Magnum Pilot
2/Lt Clarence W. Acker Copilot
2/Lt Thomas W. Quinn Navigator
Cpl Philip Arkus
Sgt Carl Snyder Engineer
Cpl Wallace E. Hough Gunner
They took off from Sansapor Airfield (Mar) in Indonesia and crashed after a low level bombing mission
on Kendari Airfield on Celebes Island. The entire crew was presumed to perish. An eyewitness recalled in an after
action report: "It is believed that the aircraft was hit in the right engine just after dropping its bombs in the target area.
The plane was observed to slowly settle while on fire. It crashed and exploded on a ridge 6,000 feet west of the target area
P-1 at Kendari. The bombay doors were still open when the plane exploded. There was no chance for any of the crew to escape
Relatives reported that Lieutenant Quinn had completed his rotation and was due to be redeployed back
to the United States. The CO asked if he would volunteer for two additional missions. He was a B-25 pilot, but filled in as
the navigator on the doomed flight.
On January 11, 1945, large numbers of B-24s, B-25s, A-20s, and fighter-bombers concentrated on communications targets throughout Northern
Luzon and attacked airfields, communications, and town areas in Southern Luzon, the Central Philippines , and on Mindanao. B-25s and P-38s attack Kendari Airfield but lost B-25J 43-27979.
This B25 Mitchell, 42-87296, “Montana Maid,” and crew were assigned to the 17th
Squadron of the 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group. They took off from San Jose Airfield located at the tip of San Jose on Mindoro. Experiencing heavy rains, the plane ran out of fuel
attempting to reach Tacloban Airfield on northern Leyte. On September 30, 1949, they were all buried at Zachary Taylor Memorial Cemetery at Site E160-161
2/LT Gadnes, Robert J
S/SGT Allmon, Robert L
S/SGT Davies, William E Jr
1/LT Kennon, Van
1/LT Vowell, Burwell M,
S/SGT Smith, James C
Hershey, Richard L. Navigator
TUESDAY, 26 DECEMBER 1944
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA [SWPA, Far East Air Force (FEAF)]: B-24s pound Clark Field on Luzon Island; on Mindanao, B-25s hit Matina Airfield, shipping in the Davao River, and bomb nearby Samal Island; and B-24s hit Libby airfield; the 418th Night Fighter Squadron,
310th Bombardment Wing (Medium), moves from Morotai to San Jose, Mindoro with P-61s. On Halmahera, B-25s, B-24s, and fighter-bombers hit Galela, Lolobata, and Hate Tabako. Miscellaneous attacks by other FEAF aircraft are flown against targets in N Borneo, NE Celebes,
and Halmahera. The 36th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group, moves from Hollandia,
New Guinea to Biak Island with F-5s (first mission is 25 Mar 45). Lost are B-25D "Montana Maid" 42-87296 and B-25D "The Mad Missourian" 42-87297.
This B24, 42-73194, and crew
were assigned to the 493rd Squadron of the 7th Bomb Group. They were shot down, with two others, on
November 14, 1943 after being attacked by enemy fighters. There were no survivors. The crew was buried at Zachary Taylor National
Cemetery Section E163-164 on September 27, 1949.
1/LT McLoughlin, Willis J. Pilot
2/LT Smith, Theodore F. Jr. Copilot Honolulu American
1/LT Kinney, Kenneth E. Bombardier
S/SGT Tronic, Sidney S. Gunner
S/SGT Whitsell, Uhel F Gunner Zachary
Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
T/SGT Funderburg, Floyd V Flight Engineer
Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cem.
S/SGT Higgs, William E Radio
Operator Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
S/SGT Litz, Herman Gunner Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
2/LT Rogers, James Navigator Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
S/SGT Swope, Howard B
Gunner Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
Part of a six plane formation led by Major Werner on a bombing mission with the primary
target the Mamyo barrack area and the secondary target the town of Pakokku. After two bomb runs were made over Mamyo, both
dry due to weather obscurity, Major Werner led the formation to the secondary target, Pakokku. The formation was hit by 15
to 20 enemy fighters attacking from all directions. The planes of Lt McLoughlin, Major Werner and Lt Kimball were shot down.
Lt McLoughlin and Major Werner crashed about 200 yards apart just west of the Chindwin River.
This B25, 42-64535, and crew
were assigned to the 488th Squadron of the 340th Bomb Group On
July 31, 1943 the plane was shot down over Sicily by anti-aircraft with no survivors. On June 23, 1949 all the crew members
were buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery Section E71-72.
2/LT Morrison, Matthew C,
2/LT Noble, George F
1/LT Wilke, Erwin H Pilot
SGT Wilson, Harry S
T/SGT Brown, William J Jr
Thirteen B25 Mitchells from
the 488th Squadron targeted the Cesaro town and roads at 10,500 feet altitude. Heavy and accurate anti-aircraft
was experienced from locations north, south and east of town. Traffic consisting of large trucks and tanks were seen on roads
west of the town and were heading west. 42-64535 was shot down by an anti-aircraft direct hit and crashed northeast of town.
This B24 Liberator, 44-40929, and crew were assigned to the 372nd Squadron
of the 307th Bomb Group. The plane came up missing on December 10, 1944. On January 16, 1950 all the crew of 44-40929
were buried at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery Site E253-255.
2/Lt. Herbert N. F. Patrick, Pilot
Lt. Col J. W. Hinton (Group C. O.) Copilot
1/Lt. Fred K. Harrison, Jr. Navigator
2/Lt. Robert M. Jones Bombardier
T/Sgt Roy E. Hanan Engineer
S/Sgt George H. Westlund Ass’t
T/Sgt Henry J. Hritz Radio Operator
Robert H. Podewils Ass’t Radio Operator
S/Sgt Francis E. Shea Gunner
S/Sgt Thomas Wong Armorer/Gunner
S/Sgt Leonard C. Bennett
MIA December 10, 1944
Built by Consolidated. Assigned to the 307th Bombardment Group, 372nd Bombardment Squadron. This B-24
had no nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R-1830-43 serial numbers: BP-443755, BP-440608, BP-440608, BB-443699, BB-440650.
Ten 50 caliber machine guns were installed, serial numbers unknown.
Co-Pilot J. W. "Grasy" Hinton was a quarterback for one season for the St. Louis Gunners. Joined the US
Army, he graduated from advanced flying school in 1939. He was the group's commanding officer.
One of two B-24s that took off from Pitu Airfield (Pitoe) on a strafing mission against Miri Airfield and Miri on Borneo. Loaded were 15 x 250 lbs bombs, 10,00 rounds of ammunition
and 3,100 gallons of fuel. Weather was 12 mile visibility with high clouds above 10,000' with a few scattered clouds. No radio
contact was made after take off. Last sighted by Captain Lex E. Souter, the exact cause of the crash was unknown.
the loss of this B-24, six search missions were conducted and the scene of the crash was believe to be located, at the northern
tip of Halmahera. Photos were taken but revealed nothing definitive and further
searches were aborted.
In December, 2009, a US Army Air Corps Advanced Flying School ring of J. W. Hinton was discovered and offered for sale at an antique shop in Bali.
declared dead on the day of the mission. Later, the remains of the crew were recovered and transported to Manila. Finally,
they were buried on January 16, 1950 in a group burial at section E, site 253-255 at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.
11028 created December 12, 1944
307th BG Mission Report - December 10, 1944
"The two were killed in action while taking
off on an early morning shipping strike from Morotai with Colonel Hinton, our deputy group commander. I think Colonel Hinton
was flying the plane with Pat in the co-pilot seat. George was attempting to makeup a mission probably missed because of a
cold or some other circumstance. The plane crashed into a hillside on IIalmahera Island. The crash explosions could be seen
from the runway on Morotai. A concentrated air to ground search was conducted for a period of six to ten days to no avail.
We could not locate the plane or the crash sight. Several years after the war their remains were found, returned to Zachary
Taylor Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky, and buried in a common grave." Thanks to Pat Ranfranz for additional information
Thanks to Pacificwrecks.com for this information.
This B25 Mitchell, 41-30386, and crew were assigned to the 487th Squadron of the 340th
Bomb Group. On February 12, 1944, the plane was shot down over the Italy target. Four members of the crew were buried
at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery on January 19, 1950 at Section E216-217.
1/LT Boston, J. W. Pilot Sicily-Rome American Cemetery
2/LT Chandler, C. H. Copilot
1/LT Alexander, Robert B Bombardier Zachary
Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
S/SGT Isaacowitz, William Gunner Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
S/SGT Liebe, Woodrow Radio Oper. Zachary
Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
S/SGT Rupert, Paul A Gunner Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
Twelve of our ships took off at 1033 hours this morning to
bomb a road and railroad junction at Compoleone, Italy. Capacity bomb load was dropped directly on the target area from 9400'.
100% hits were recorded on the road, railway junction and station. Ack-ack was heavy, intense and accurate, knocking one ship
out over the target. The ship was last seen in distress with one 'chute opening, although other formation report seeing all
six 'chutes in the air upon leaving the target area. Time and time alone will assure us of the fate of our absent comrades.
The ship was crewed by: 1st
Lt. J.W. Boston, pilot; 2nd Lt. C. H. Chandler, co-pilot; 1st Lt. R. B. Alexander, bombardier; Sgt. W. Liebe, radio-gunner, Sgt. W. Isaacowitz, gunner and S/Sgt. P. A. Rupert,
This B24, 44-40502, and crew were assigned to the 512th Squadron of the 376th Bomb Group.
On August 22, 1944, this B24 was involved in a midair collision with another B24, 42-73085, assigned to the same unit returning
from the mission. On January 18, 1950, four crew members were buried at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery Section E237-238.
CPL Brancato, Stephen V Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
CPL Edwards, Horace P
Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
CPL Jones, Robert L
Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
1/LT Stickel, Marshall N Jr, Zachary
Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
CPL Catron, William H. Sicily-Rome American Nat’l Cemetery
1/LT Good, Robert P. Sicily-Rome
American Nat’l Cemetery
2/LT Johnston, James L.
CPL Newton, Lawrence D.
2/LT Scott, Douglas
2/LT Smith, Charles W. Arlington Nat’l
Captain 1st class Blagoje Radosavljevic Pilot
Captain 1st class Borivoje G. Vulic
Captain 2nd class Slobodan M. Pavlovic Navigator
Lt. Vojin Stojkovic tail gunner
2nd Lt Vuko V. Sijakovic
2nd Lt Obrad Dj. Crvenkovic
2nd Lt Boris K. Parapatic
2nd Lt Toma M. Zivanovic
Sgt. Milutin A. Bobek
Emil A. Trampus
The 376th Bomb Group
had a small contingent of Yugoslav crews. Lt Vuko Sijakovic was a pilot in the Royal Yugoslav Air Force until 1941. He escaped
to Egypt with several other officers. This flight started on Bari AFB, Italy. The
mission target was Vienna but the accident occurred over Yugoslovia.
On August 22, 1944, the Captain Radosavljevic crew took part in assault on underground oil storage
tanks near Lobau, east of Vienna. It was the 200th mission of the 512th Squadron in which members of Yugoslav Detachment participated
and the 35th combat mission for the 42-73085 crew.
The B24, 44-40502, under command of American 1/LT Marshall N. Stickel, was hit over the target by several
heavy shots and began lagging behind the formation. The formation leader reduced
engine power, slowed and descended to protect the stricken plane. Just before crossing Adriatic coast, 1/LT Stickel, unable
to control the damaged plane, asked the Yugoslav crew via radio if he was over liberated territory. Capt. Radosavljevic, through
his Navigator Capt. Pavlovic, answered affirmative.
Flying at 12,800 feet, Lt Stickel,44-40502, collided in mid-air with 42-73085. Right wing and propellers
of 44-40502 cut the tail and fuselage and broke the left wing of the Yugoslav Liberator 42-73085. Both aircraft crashed
some 20km NW of Sinj, east of Kijevo village, near Knin, Yugoslavia .
Only one man from each plane bailed out. Only Yugoslav survivor was 2nd Lt. Vojin Stojkovic who by
a real miracle succeeded to get out of the tail turret. Before he touched the ground on the Dinara mountainside he sighted
another parachute most probably some American flyer who drifted with the wind west of the Cetina river in an area held by
Nazi Germans. Stojkovic heard shots being fired, and, as he understood from his rescuers conversation, the flyer was killed.
Partisans found Vojin Stojkovic and he was evacuated to Vis island. He returned to his unit in Italy in early September after
a nineteen day journey.
This B25 Mitchell, 43-27649, and crew were assigned to the 379th Squadron of the 310th
Bomb Group. On January 18, 1945, the plane was shot down by flak with the loss of the entire crew when they crashed in Yugoslavia.
The mission was
to create a landslide over a railroad line near San Ambrogio di Valpolicella, Italy (MACR 11392). On
March 28, 1949, the crew, except for Sgt Nelsen the tail gunner, was buried at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery at Site
Paul A Zachary Taylor Nat’l
Captain McKanna, Ellis J
Pilot Zachary Taylor
Captain Phillips, Edward I Jr Copilot
Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
Captain Rath, Walter J, Zachary
Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
Sgt Stewart, Robert E
Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
1/Lt Watts, George S
Bombardier Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
Sgt Nelsen, James D. Tailgunner
The squadron engaged in psychological warfare missions, dropping
propaganda leaflets behind enemy lines. They took part in the Allied operations against Axis forces in North Africa during
March–May 1943, the reduction of Pantelleria and Lampedusain islands during June, the invasion of Sicily in July, the landing at Salerno in September, the Allied advance toward Rome during January–June 1944, the invasion of Southern France in August 1944, and the Allied operations in northern Italy from September
1944 to April 1945.
This A20 Havoc, 44-108, and crew were assigned
to the 668th Squadron of the 416th Bomb Group. On December 25, 1944, the target was a communications
center at Munstereifel, Germany that was heavily defended with anti-aircraft. Just as the bombs were about to be dropped by
Lt Burg, a burst of flak hit inside the bomb-bay and the plane exploded. On September 15, 1949, 2 cew members were buried
at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Section E142.
Galloway, Arthur F Gunner Zachary Taylor
S/SGT Simmonds, John R Gunner Zachary
Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
CAPT Miracle, Richard Victor Pilot
1/LT Burg, Jack J. Bomb/Nav Henri-Chapelle American Nat’l Cemetery
Merry Christmas; -- in peacetime those
words would carry a wonderful feeling. Here, it marked the end of the trail for some of our best boys. Men, who came all the
way with us, were lost today, one of the blackest days in the squadron’s history. They gave their lives on the very
day that signified “peace on earth”. Their sacrifices must never be forgotten, and never have to occur in the
future generations to come. Those who won’t answer the roll tonite are; Captain Richard B. Prentiss, Captain Richard
V. Miracle, 1st Lt. Robert R. Svenson, 1st Lt. Jack J. Burg, 1st Lt.
Francis H. Bursiel, S/Sgt. D.M. Brown, S/Sgt. P.G. Fild, Sgt. A.O. Wylie, S/Sgt. John H. Simmons, and S/Sgt. A.F. Galloway.
The status of these men is unknown; they may be dead or alive. In many cases, witnesses doubt their chances of being alive.
Time will tell, whom fate smiled on.
Very early on this Xmas morning, the formation
took off to secure peace and happiness for the future world. Thirty-five aircraft were sent out, six of them containing crews
from this squadron. The B/N Team of Miracle & Burg, with Gunners Simmons and Galloway led the second flight of the second
box. Flying with them were; Lt’s Chalmers, Prucha, Montrose, Jacobsen, and Lackner?.
The trip over was mild until nearing the
target. Again it was a communications center target, this time at Munstereifel, Germany. Heavy accurate flak came up, and
took its toll. Just before the point of releasing bombs, a burst caught Capt. Miracle directly in the bomb-bay. The plane
was seen to explode in mid-air, and that was all there was to it. Thus ended the career of four of the best men to have ever
entered the squadron. Capt. Miracle was a West Point graduate, with a very promising future in the air. He had over 55 missions.
Fate was against Lt. Burg, as he almost was lost on Capt. Meagher’s last flight. S/Sgt. Simmons, young and curly haired,
had twenty missions to his credit. S/Sgt. Galloway was on the sure par with Simmons. This was one of the smoothest B/N Teams
in operation. Several pilots on the mission claim to have seen one chute come from the plane. A dim ray of hope still shines
for one of these men.
Another plane and crew was lost of another
squadron. The rest of the formation returned intact to the base, badly riddled. Enemy planes were seen, but didn’t attack
due to our perfect fighter cover. This mission was of 3:30 duration. Needless to say, everyone felt pretty bad when learning
of the news. Xmas had ceased to exist for many. The results were good, with one “superior”, two P.N.P., and one
“no attack”. Refueling, re-loading and repairing was the order prior to the next missions takeoff. Ground crews
working feverishly had the planes ready in a little over an hour’s passing.
At just a little past 1400 hours, the
next mission was already taking off. This was Group Mission # 177, and was to strike us another hard blow. We had nine crews
take part from this squadron, two of them leading both boxes. Captain “Rick” Prentiss, with Lt. Bursiel and Gunners
Brown and Wylie, led the first box in an A-20J. Right behind them, leading the second box was Major Price, with Lt. Hand and
Gunners Fild at the .50 cals. This was Fild’s 51st mission,
and upon return he would return to the States. These are the twists of fate that cut deep.
The target was the defended village of
Hillsheim, Germany. Again, all of this bombing was done to put a crimp in Von Runstedt’s drive. The flight over was
quite, till the target area was reached. Then all hell broke loose, the effects—devastation. “Rick” Prentiss
rocked his plane all over the sky in evasive action, but to no avail. The flak was heavy and intense, and clawed at the planes
in the sky. Bursts of flak surrounded Prentiss’s plane, and also caught his wingman and deputy. Both were seen going
down, with no chutes blossoming. They crashed, and no one escaped to the knowledge of the eyewitnesses. “Rick”
Prentiss was to be married in three months. He had over 45 missions to his credit, holder of the Air Medal and DFC. “Frank”
Bursiel was one of those dependable bombardiers and an excellent officer. S/Sgt Brown was Chief Gunner of the squadron, and
was doing a great job. It was Wylie’s second mission, and he was eager always. “Swede”
Svenson was always sweating them out to get back to Ohio and the Mrs. Fild was happy in the fact that it was his last, and
he too would be able to go home to Ohio. Christmas will be remembered by many this year.
The rest of the formation made it back
to the base after dropping their loads. They were very battered and broken up, and both Major Price and Lt. “Buck”
Buchanan couldn’t bring their planes back to the area. They had to be towed back. The flight lasted 3:00 and all planes
bore evidence of flak. It was dusk as the last plane landed, signaling the end of the day. Christmas Night, and empty beds
filled the tents. No one reveled or rejoiced in wild abandon. Thoughts were with those men – “somewhere out there”.
The results on the last mission were undetermined, with no photos taken due to the severe evasive action used. Another or
our aircraft was forced down, piloted by a crew from the 669th. The crew reported later, safe and sound.
The curtain fell on Christmas of “44”. It is better to leave