90th BG c1943
|Pilot 1st Lt Lewis G. Jones, O-728089 (MIA / KIA) Pampa, TX
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Samuel A. Robinson, O-737474 (MIA / KIA) Owensboro, KY
Navigator 2nd Lt Julian H. Hicks, O-734560 (MIA / KIA) Huntington, IN
Bombardier 1st Lt Billy D. Hunter, O-663269 (MIA / KIA) Silver City, NM
Engineer T/Sgt Irving S. Berman, 16028397 (MIA / KIA) IL
Radio T/Sgt John J. Hennessey, 31087574 (MIA / KIA) Newton, MA
Waist Gunner S/Sgt Chester L. Bull, 7061329 (MIA / KIA) Arsenal, AR
Assist Radio S/Sgt Samuel P. Culp, 36353602 (MIA / KIA) Lewler, IL
Assist Engineer S/Sgt Billie D. Feather, 19102970 (MIA / KIA) Portland, OR
Photographer S/Sgt Emerson C. Fie, 6911308 (MIA / KIA) Des Moines, IA
Tail Gunner S/Sgt Robert W. Whitehead, 17020664 (MIA / KIA) Silver Lake, KS
MIA August 15, 1943 at 1:16pm
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Constructors Number 399. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 90th Bombardment Group, 400th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Hells Angels" (with quotations around the nickname) in white. The nose art was a bomb shaped like a devil with a pitch fork and forked tail an a downward angle. This B-24 was initially assigned to pilot Lt. Donald L. Kimber.
When lost, engines: R183043 serial numbers: 4237083, 4236897, 4237056, 4236316. When lost, this B-24 had ten .50 caliber machine guns and two .30 caliber machine guns, serial numbers unknown. When lost, most of the crew aboard had joined the 400th Bombardment Squadron on January 6, 1943.
On August 15, 1943 took off from 5 Mile Drome (Ward) near Port Moresby on a reconnaissance mission over New Ireland and the Solomon Sea. Weather was reported as good visibility, believed to be fair weather with cumulus clouds. The last contacted by radio with this B-24 was received from this aircraft was sent at 1:16pm, "Seven ship convoy sighted 05.00 south 163.20 east, am attacking." When this B-24 failed to return, it was listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
This coordinate in their last radio report, 05.00 south 163.20 east would place this B-24 east of the Solomon Islands. It is believe the longitude was stated or recorded in error and should have been 163° 20' east, about 40 miles southeast of Cape St. George on New Ireland and was on the route that they were to fly.
On August 16, 1943, B-24 piloted by 1st Lt. James B. Young searched
the last reported position approximately midway between New Ireland and Buka Island with nil results. No further information about the missing B-24 was received.
The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 12, 1946. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Fie has a memorial marker at Evergreen Cemetery in George, Iowa.
Missing Air Crew Report 4827 (MACR 4827)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lewis G. Jones
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Samuel A. Robinson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Julian H. Hicks
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Billy D. Hunter
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Irving S. Berman
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John J. Hennessey
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Chester L. Bull
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Samuel P. Culp
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Billie D. Feather
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Emerson C. Fie
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert W. Whitehead
FindAGrave - 1Lt Lewis G Jones
FindAGrave - Samuel A. Robinson
FindAGrave - 1Lt Julian H Hicks (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Billy D Hunter
FindAGrave - TSgt Irving S Berman
FindAGrave - TSgt John J Hennessey (tablets of the missing photo)
SSgt Chester L Bull
SSgt Samuel P Culp (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Billie D Feather (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Emerson C Fie (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Emerson Chester Fie (Evergreen Cemetery memorial marker)
Legacy of the 90th Bombardment Group page 73
"On reconnaissance that day [August 15, 1943] were aircraft covering New Guinea and New Britain. One of planes failed to return. Hell's Angels, the aircraft that failed to return was piloted by 1st Lt. Lewis G. Jones of the 400th Squadron. The last message from the crew at 1316 stated, 'Seven ship convoy sighted 05°S/163°20'E, are attacking'. It is apparent the records are in error as to the longitude since 163° 20' would put them east of the Solomon Islands. It probably should have read 153°20', which would put them about 40 miles southeast of Cape St. George, New Ireland, and was on the route that they were to fly."
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May 3, 2016
August 15, 1943