USAAF May 15, 1944
|Pilot 2nd Lt. Jack S. M. Arnett, O-809803 (MIA / KIA, BR) Friendly, WV
Co-Pilot F/O William B. Simpson, T-002389 (MIA / KIA, BR) Winston Salem, NC
Bombardier 2nd Lt. Frank J. Arhar, O-709240 (MIA / KIA, BR) Lloydell, PA
Navigator 2nd Lt. Arthur J. Schumacher, O-762989 (POW / MIA) MN
Engineer T/Sgt Robert J. Stinson, 39167263 (MIA / KIA, BR) San Bernardino, CA
Assistant Engineer / Nose Gunner S/Sgt Jimmie Doyle 38346235 (MIA) McKinney, TX
Radio T/Sgt Charles T. Goulding, 32626618 (MIA / KIA, BR) Marlboro, NY
Assistant Radio S/Sgt John Moore, 38512637 (POW / MIA) AR
Gunner S/Sgt Earl E. Yoh, 35558843 (MIA / KIA, BR) OH
Tail Gunner S/Sgt Leland D. Price, 15080991 (MIA / KIA, BR) OH
Photographer Sgt Alexander R. Vick, 6553144 (POW / MIA) Campbell, CA
Crashed September 1, 1944 at 11:06
Built by Consolidated. Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 307th Bombardment Group, 424th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engine serial numbers R-1830-65A serial number HP437702, HP437793, HP436468 and
42-40966. Aboard were 50 caliber machine guns serial numbers: 935616, 935614 (tail) 935179, 935727 (ball turret), 936039, 765025 (top turret), 935952 (left waist), 935577 (right waist)
Regularly, this crew flew with pilot Lt. Norman Coorssen. Prior to this mission, Coorssen, his co-pilot, and their photographer were replaced by Arnett, Simpson and Vick on this mission.
Took off from Wakde Airfield (APO 719) on a bombing mission against Koror in the Palau Islands. Weather was unlimited visibility and weather excellent and reached the target area at 17,000'. Hit by two bursts of Japanese anti-aircraft fire in the left wing, causing the No. 2 engine to catch fire and the bombs were immediately salvoed and slid out of formation descending. One person was observed to parachute out and landed on a coral reef approximately 1 1/4 miles south east of the southern tip of Babeldaub. The bomber appeared to be under control making a steep turn to the right in an effort to extinguish the fire. Another person was observed to bail out, their parachute did not open until near the sea.
Suddenly, the left wing folded up and broke off the bomber, causing it to go into an uncontrolled spin that broke the fuselage into two pieces. The wreckage crashed into the sea between Koror and Babeldaub. At least two of the crew were observed to successfully bail out and deploy their parachutes. The other crew members went down with the bomber.
Roughly an hour later, three B-24s piloted by Lewis, Hunter and Randolph circled Babeldaub and the vicinity of the crash at an altitude of 4,000' and searched for any surviving crew members. No trace of the crew was seen, although a small launch was observed in the area bound for Koror.
Fates of the Crew
In fact, three of the crew bailed out and reached a village where they were captured by the Japanese and became prisoners of war. Later, all three were executed.
On January 26, 2004 this bomber was located due to the efforts of Bent Prop and Pat Scannon on a coral head approximately two miles west of Babeldaub Island. The rear fuselage was also located, separated from the rest of the bomber. Also found was the nose section and starboard wing.
The bomber was officially investigated by JPAC on four occasions over a four year period spanning 2004-2008.
1) During February 2004, Bent Prop took JPAC to this B-24, while they were in Palau working on a recovery of remains from FG-1 Corsair 76471.
2) During April-May 2005 JPAC returned and recovered remains from the bomber
Reference: Bent Prop P-MAN VII (2005) report
3) During January-February 2007 JPAC augmented by US Navy divers from the Mobile Underwater Diving Salvage Unit 1, deployed to Palau to conduct an underwater excavation for sixty days and recovered remains. References: JPAC News Release 07-01 January 23, 2007 and Bent Prop P-MAN IX Final Report.
4) During January-February 2008 the wreckage was again visited by JPAC and remains were recovered. During the operation, US Navy Admiral Keating and his wife visited this site. References JPAC News Release "JPAC to conclude mission, found remains, February 25, 2008" and Bent Prop P-MAN X Update #13.
On February 12, 2009 eight members of the crew: Arnett, Arhar, Simpson, Goulding, Stinson, Doyle, Price and Yoh were positively identified and announced in a
Department of Defense / DPMO news release dated April 30, 2010.
Three other members of the crew are still listed as missing: Schumacher, Moore and Vick). During 2009, BentProp continued to search for them. Reference: JPAC as part of the PMAN XI (2009) report.
Eight of the crew: Arnett, Simpson, Arhar, Stinson, Price, Goulding, Yoh and Doyle were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Three of the crew: Moore, Schumacher and Vick were officially declared dead on March 15, 1946. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Following their identification, on April 29, 2010 eight members of the crew: Arnett, Arhar, Simpson, Goulding, Stinson, Doyle, Price and Yoh were buried at Arlington National Cemetery in group burial at section 60 G 9440-9441.
Nancy Doyle (daughter in law of S/Sgt Jimmie Doyle)
"Doyle was born born Oct. 29, 1918. My husband, Tommy, and I traveled to Palau where my husband dove on the plane. He had learned to scuba dive and had been certified only 2 weeks before the dive."
Tommy Doyle (son of S/Sgt Jimmie Doyle)
With the help of Bent Prop, Tommy Doyle (son of SSgt Jimmie Doyle) SCUBA dived the wreck during March 2005. His visit is documented in the Last Flight documentary. Reference: P-MAN VII Attachment 2.
Janet Potts (niece of Earl Yoh):
"Earl Yoh was my Uncle and this is the first photo I've seen of him with the crew."
Thanks to Pat Scannon/ Bent Prop and Dan O'Brien / BentStarProject for additional information
Last Flight Home interviews Doyle's relatives & footage of the B-24
BentProp P-MAN VI Final Report, 2004 reporting initial discovery of B-24
JPAC continues recovery mission February 4, 2008
JPAC to conclude mission, found remains February 25, 2008
Orlando Sentinel "At long last, pilot returns from World War II" December 8, 2009
The Bent Star Project - MIA Updates
DPMO - Recently Accounted For - April 30, 2010
Philadelphia Inquirer "The lost, now found, laid to rest at Arlington" by April 30, 2010
NBC Nightly News "World War II Airmen Laid to Rest, 65 Years Later" April 30, 2010
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March 5, 2013
MIA / POW