|Pilot 1st Lt. Thomas R. Grimes,
O-805814 (MIA / KIA, BR) IL
Gunner S/Sgt Frank J. Kramerich, 36120826 (MIA / KIA) MI
Force Landed September 10, 1944
Built at Douglas. Possibly, assigned to the 312th Bombardment Group with tail letter J. Later, assigned to the 417th Bombardment Group, 675th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
On September 10, 1944 damaged over Babo Airfield by anti-aircraft fire and crashed near
Tofoy on the
Senindara River. Pilot Grimes was killed in the crash. Reportedly, the gunner survived the crash but later committed suicide near the aircraft.
This A-20 crashed near
Tofoy (Tofo) on the
Senindara River near Otawir Airfield.
After the crash, the site was visited by native people and the Japanese.
Recovery of Remains
During June 1947, this A-20 was located by RAAF Searcher Team led by F/Lt. Martin T. O'Shea.
Extracts from report by S/L Keith Rundle Serial No. 58, (c) Babo Area:
"A native names Lewakabessi has seen this plane... he went with the Japanese to the aircraft. They brought a body back (probably Grimes) and this native should know where it is buried."
Grimes' remains were recovered post war and were transported to the Philippines for burial. He is buried at the Manila American Cemetery at Plot A Row 7 Grave 180.
Kramerich was never found and was officially declared dead on February 15, 1946. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. It is believed Sgt. Kramerich's remains are located between Tofo village and the A-20 crash site, but have never been located or recovered.
Missing Air Crew Report 9128 (MACR 9128)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Thomas R. Grimes
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frank J. Kramerich
FindAGrave - 1Lt Thomas R Grimes
FindAGrave - SSgt Frank J Kramerich (tablets of the missing photo)
Extracts from report by S/L Keith Rundle No. 58, (c) Babo Area, 6-1947
[Newspaper article, details unknown] "Special RAAF Search Mission... aircraft that failed to return from wartime operations over the NEI and found the remains of 85 Australian, American and Dutch airmen" [published mid-1947]
"Up the Senindara River the party found an American Havoc in the jungle. The pilot was dead under the wing. The gunner had apparently survived and walked to the village of Tofo which was deserted at the time. There was no water in the vicinity so the gunner began to walk back to the wreck. Some distance before reaching it he committed suicide."
Sheet No. 4 / Explanations to the attached overlay map: 13, Location: Tofoe, District of Babo, Type of plane: A-20, Date of crash: on or about 10 September 1944. Date investigatedL 28 June 48"
Rampage of the Roarin' 20's does not list this serial number in the appendix as assigned to the 312th BG
Thanks to Bruce Fenstermaker for additional information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
January 5, 2018