|Pilot 1st Lt. Stephen W. Blount, III, O-661181 (WIA, survived)
Co-Pilot Lt Julian J. Petty (WIA, survived)
Crew S/Sgt Delray Echohawk, 38088034 (WIA, survived) OK
Crew S/Sgt Clayton L. Landon 37383109 (WIA, survived)
Crew T/Sgt Alvin K. Hartley, 17016791 (KIA, BR) IL
Crew S/Sgt Sequoyah J. Downing 18128575 (KIA, BNR)
Crew 1st Lt Jack D. Ganz, O-419770 (MIA / KIA) IL
Crew S/Sgt Donald W. Ham, 39832194 (MIA / KIA) IA
Crew 2nd Lt John E. Wagner, O-734765 (MIA / KIA) IA
Crew T/Sgt Jack R. Myers, 15019872 (MIA / KIA) OH
Crew Lawewnce A. Ommundsen, 32279311 (MIA / KIA) NJ
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Received by the USAAF on April 19, 1943. Flown overseas arriving in Australia on June 14, 1943. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 43rd Bombardment Group, 64th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
This crew was a mix of personnel who did not normally fly together. One crew member was an observer, earning combat hours so he could earn leave at home. Took off from 7 Mile Drome (Jackson) near Port Moresby on mission to bomb Rabaul as part of a formation of B-24 Liberators from the 43rd, 90th and 380th Bombardment Groups. The formation encountered bad weather and aborted the mission.
Returning to Port Moresby, this B-24 ran out
of fuel and ditched into Bootless
Bay. Seven of the crew
drowned in the crash. Four were wounded and were rescued.
The entire crew was awarded Purple Heart for wounds or posthumously. Due to his actions save others, Cherokee Indian Echohawk was recommended for the Silver Star.
The mission cost four Liberators, this bomber plus B-24D "Mitsu
Butcher" 41-24043, B-24D
42-40885 and B-24D 41-41088.
Recovery of Remains
The remains of Hartley were located after the crash and postwar were buried at National Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at section A site 1056.
Ganz, Ham, Wagner, Myers and Ommundsen were never located and are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetary.
Downing has a memorial marker at Hogan Cemetery in Locust Grove, OK.
The port wing is against the reef at 1m. The starboard wing is 9m deep. The fuselage is broken in half behind the wings, and the rear is missing. Inside the fuselage is filled with silt and debris. One machine gun is visible. Visibility on the wreck is almost zero due to its proximity to shore.
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 42-40670
Wrecks & Reefs pages 128-129
FindAGrave - Alvin K Hartley (grave photo)
Sequoyah J Downing (memorial photo)
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February 13, 2014
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