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  B-17F-10-BO "San Antonio Rose" Serial Number 41-24458  
USAAF
USAAF
5th AF
43rd BG
64th BS

Former Assignments
19th BG

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
5th CCU January 5, 1943

Pilot  Major Allan Lindberg, O-383726 (MIA / KIA) New York, NY
Co-Pilot  Captain Benton H. Daniel, O-421896 (MIA / POW / KIA) Hollis, OK
Bombardier  2nd Lt. Robert Hand, O-726160 (MIA /KIA) Hampstead, TX
Navigator  1st Lt. John W. Hanson, O-434002 (MIA / KIA) Missoula, MT
Engineer  T/Sgt Dennis T. Craig, 6152544 (MIA / KIA) New York, NY
Radio  S/Sgt Quentin W. Blakely, 6581181 (MIA / KIA) Washington, DC
Gunner  Sgt Leslie A. Stewart, 6996623 (MIA / KIA) East Chicago, IL
Gunner  Pvt Leland W. Stone, 19064721 (MIA / KIA) Oakland, CA
Gunner  Pfc William G. Fraser, Jr., 20815917 (MIA / KIA) San Antonio, TX
Observer  Major Jack W. Bleasdale, O-022328 (MIA / POW / KIA) San Fernando, CA
Observer  Brig. General Kenneth N. Walker, O-012510 (MIA / KIA) Cerillos, NM

MIA  January 5, 1943
MACR  15359

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 3132. Delivered to the U. S. Army on July 8, 1942. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group. Later, assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 64th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "San Antonio Rose". Aircraft number "458". When lost, engine and weapon serial numbers not noted in MACR.

Mission History
Took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby leading a formation of six B-17s and six B-24s bomb the harbor, shipping and the airfield at Rabaul. Last seen over the target area, pursued by Japanese fighters and the left outboard engine smoking, this B-17 was never seen again. Also lost was B-17F 41-24538.

According to the aircraft's missing air crew report (MACR 15359):
"Departed on mission 4L to attack Rabaul, at 0848 from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby to attack ships in Simpson Harbor. Last seen going into clouds, closely pursued by four to five Japanese fighters. The left outboard engine was observed to be smoking."

A memorandum to the MACR AG 704 (April 29, 1949) states:
"The plane in which these men became missing in action was a B-17 #458, observed turning left making a possible run on shipping in the Keravia Bay on 5 January 1943, in the Rabaul area. It was last seen heading south, just east of Vunakanau, at about 5,000' with left outboard motor smoking and out. The plane, closely pursued by several enemy fighters, went into the clouds and did not rejoin the flight."

Fates of the Crew
Two of the crew: Bleasdale and Daniel successfully bailed out and were taken prisoner by the Japanese at Tol then transported to Rabaul and interrogated during February - March 1942.

Daniel's name was noted by a Catholic Priest also imprisoned at Rabaul. The two prisoners are mentioned in documents supposedly signed by Bleasdale seen by surviving POWs during their interrogations in July 1943.

Captain Daniel was captured during middle or late January 1943 at Tol and transported to Rabaul. In late February or early March, he was interrogated about the technical details of the B-17 including its performance and capabilities that was the subject of a report "The B-17 and Its Armament" March 2, 1943 and was intercepted by ATIS and translated. Daniel's name was noted by a Catholic Priest also imprisoned at Rabaul. Later, he was reportedly taken to Kavieng, and is presumed to have be executed or otherwise died there. He did not survive the war or captivity.

The fate of the rest of the crew is unknown. All are presumed to have died aboard the B-17 during the crash, or were wounded or killed during the air combat.

Search
On January 6, 1943 B-24D piloted by Rose searched for this bomber. Over Wide Bay, it was shot down by Zeros from the 582 Kokutai. The Missing Aircraft Report (MACR) for this B-17 was generated long after the loss or postwar in early 1946.

Wreckage
The wreckage of this aircraft has never been found. To date, the American military, including US Army AGRS (1945-1949), US Army CILHI or JPAC have never actively searched for this bomber.

Relatives
Kenneth Walker, Jr. (elder son of Kenneth N. Walker)
Douglas Walker (younger son of Kenneth N. Walker)

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead on December 12, 1945. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

On March 11, 1943, Walker posthumously earned the Medal of Honor and was the highest ranking MIA American missing in action on a combat mission during World War II.

Walker was given a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery on December 7, 2001 section MC Site 36-M (Memorial Section - Gravestone Only). At Maxwell AFB "Walker Hall" is named in his honor and is home to the College of Aerospace Doctrine Research and Education. Also, Walker AFB in Roswell, NM until closure in 1967.

References
Maj. Lindbergh who was the Commanding Officer (C. O.) of the 43rd Bombardment Group, 64th Bombardment Squadron. Brig. General Kenneth N. Walker was Commanding Officer (C. O.) of 5th Bomber Command.
Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 15359 was generated retroactively during 1946
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-17F Flying Fortress 41-24458
Pride of Seattle page 9
Kenneth N. Walker: Airpower's Untempered Crusader biography of Walker
MIA General Kenneth N. Walker
  (DVD) memorial service and interviews
Thanks to Douglas Walker, David Lindley, Steve Birdsall, Brian Bennett, Richard Dunn and Larry Hickey for additional information

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Last Updated
August 27, 2014

 

Tech Info
B-17

MIA
MIA
11 Missing

Photos
Walker Memorial Service

History
Japanese Side of the Mission

History
Speculation about POWs

Medal of Honor
Walker Medal of Honor Citation

DVD
MIA General Walker
DVD Video

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