|Pilot 1st Lt. Cyril J. Karsnia, O-662943 (MIA / KIA, BR) MN
Gunner Cpl James B. Caldwell, 36559515 (MIA / KIA, BR)
Crashed March 22, 1944
Built at Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Shipped oversea to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 417th Bombardment Group. On March 20, 1944 assigned to the 312th Bombardment Group, 389th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. Tail letter K. Assigned to pilot Koch.
When lost, engine and weapon serial numbers were not listed in Missing Air Crew Report (MACR).
On March 22, 1944 took off from Gusap Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. Cyril J. Karsnia on a bombing and strafing mission over Valif Island (Wallis Island) to the west of Wewak. This A-20 was flying the left wing for Col. Strauss. The weather was reported as good.
Over the target, this A-20 became uncontrollable due to prop wash, struck trees and flipped upside down and crashed on Valif Island (Wallis Island). Other pilots in the formation thought Karsnia might have misjudged his approach and did not pull up in time or lost control temporarily. When this aircraft failed to return the crew were listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
This A-20 crashed on
Valif Island (Wallis Island).
Recovery of Remains
Postwar, the crash site was located and the remains of the crew were recovered.
Both crew members were officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the recovery of remains, both crew were buried on December 15, 1949 a group burial at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at block C-4 grave 7955.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Cyril J. Karsnia
Missing Air Crew Report 15665 (MACR 15665) was created on October 30, 1946 and incorrectly lists this aircraft as serial number “42-9133” and notes "story of loss in AAF 201's on 2 crew members"
Rampage of the Roarin' 20's pages 79, 347, 364
FindAGrave - Cyril J Karsnia (grave photo)
James B Caldwell (grave photo)
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February 4, 2018