B-24J crahed in China Dec 13, 1943

Discussion about wrecks and losses as well as historic sites in the Pacific.

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bstill1200
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:18 pm
Location: MA

B-24J crahed in China Dec 13, 1943

Post by bstill1200 » Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:31 pm

I am looking for info and any pictures of the B-24J (serial # 42-72836) that my grandfather (byron collier) served as the tail gunner on. He and the rest of the crew bailed out after a mission to the Hankow airdrome after receiving major damage. All crew were recovered alive and returned to duty 9 days later. I tracked the co-pilot down in 2002 and he said there was a photo of the entire crew at the crashed plane. Here is a list of the crew if anyone can offer help:

Pilot: Lackey, Donald P.
Co-Pilot: Neugent, Hubert R.
Nav: LaForest, Norman J.
Nav: McKinley, Glenn L.
Bombadier: Edgeman, Harold C.
Engineer: Adams, Harrison
Gunner: Collier, Byron (tailgunner)
Gunner: Rodenbaugh, Douglas A.
Gunner: Smith, Harry.

I have the actual paperwork that was on file with the AAF due to the loss of the crew and aircraft. The co-pilot I spoke with (Rodge) unfortunately passed away in 2003 before I could visit him in California. Any assistance you can offer would be great. I have contacted the paper in the town Rodge used to live as they supposedly published the crash site photo.

bstill1200
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:18 pm
Location: MA

follow up since original post.....

Post by bstill1200 » Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:53 pm

I was able to visit the local VFW post in Lompoc this week where Rodge lived and they were kind enough to help me track down the newspaper article that the Lompoc Record wrote about the crew my grandfather served on for B-24J serial # 42-72836. Turns out the photo is the entire crew in the local village that housed them while they were MIA. The village is Dong Dang Vietnam and the crew is pictured with lots of villagers around them. The good news is that all their faces are recognizable; the down side is that there apparently is no actual photo of the crashed B-24. I am very grateful for the awesome help of VFW post 1717 and American Legion Post 125 for their assistance. Rodge told me that flight was their maiden mission and that the plane had no name and did not have any nose art. This photo is the only one in existence of my grandfather while he was in the Indo-China theatre.

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