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|Pilot 1st Lt Robert E. Cassels, O-421609
(MIA / KIA) IL
Gunner Sgt Loree L. Le Boeuf, 6971026 (MIA / KIA) LA
Crashed July 29, 1942
Inbound to the target, one A-24 aborted the mission, and seven remaining A-24s proceeded to bomb Japanese transports 20 miles north of Gona, 1 1/4 miles form shore. The convoy was protected by A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kōkūtai which intercepted the A-24s as they started their dives.
The A-24s dive-bombed in two waves. The first wave: A-24 41-15797 (shot down), A-24 piloted by Hill (heavily damaged and force lands at Fall River) and A-24 piloted by Raymond Wilkins (the only aircraft to return to 7-Mile). The second wave: A-24 41-15819, A-24 41-15766, A-24 piloted by Cassels (this aircraft) and A-24 piloted by Parker all four were shot down. The Kotoku Maru, was hit once at the No. 5 hatch by the second wave, forcing its troops to unload and leave its cargo undelivered. The Japanese ships all return to Lae.
Cassels has a memorial marker at Catholic Cemetery of La Crosse in La Crosse, WI.
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