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Memorial at Baker's Creek
Located at Bakers Creek in Queensland, Australia

Memorial Plaque
The Memorial at Baker's Creek consists of two brick pillars with bronze plaques and a propeller in the center. Behind are two flagpoles for the Australian and United States flags. Dedicated to the crash of B-17C "Miss E.M.F." 40-2072 near Bakers Creek on June 14, 1943. Read memorial plaque. Aboard, forty crew and passengers were killed in the crash. One man, , Sgt Foye K. Roberts survived. This crash was the worst aviation disaster in Australia during World War II, the worst aviation disaster in Australia, the worst US military crash at that time and the worst single disaster involving a B-17, in terms of the number killed.

On June 14 1943, a VH-CBA B-17C aircraft of the United States Army Air Force crashed shortly after take-off approximately 1km north of here on the opposite side of Bakers Creek near the site where the meatworks now stands.

On board were five crew and thirty-eight passengers who were returning to New Guinea after completing "R & R" in Mackay. There was only one survivor.

The aircraft was operated by the 46th Troop Carrier Squadron, of the 317th Troop Carrier Group which formed part of the 5th Air Force.

The crash of the B-17C was the worst accident involving a transport aircraft in the south west Pacific during World War II.

This memorial was constructed by the people of the Mackay district in honour of the forty-two United States military personnel who were killed and the one survivor and was dedicated on the 11th May 1992.

PERSONNEL ON BOARD:

Crew:
1/Lt Vern J. Gidcumb (Pilot)
F/O William C. Erb (Co-Pilot)
2/Lt Jack A. Ogren (Navigator)
S/Sgt Lovell Dale Curtis (Crew Chief)
S/Sgt Frank E. Whelchel (Crew Chief)
Sgt David E. Tileston (Radio)

Passengers:
PFC Jerone Abraham
Capt John O. Berthold
T/5 William A. Briggs
Sgt Dean H. Busse
T/Sgt James A. Copeland
Sgt Carl A. Cunningham
T/5 George A. Ehrman
Pvt James E. Finney
Sgt Leo E. Fletcher
T/Sgt Alfred H. Frezza
PFC Norman J. Goetz
S/Sgt Roy A. Hatlen
S/Sgt John W. Hilsheimer
PFC Vernon Johnson
Sgt Donald B. Kyper
Sgt Charlie O. LaRue
Pvt Raymond D. Longabaugh
PFC Kenneth W. Mann
Cpl Marlin D. Metzger
Pvt Charles D. Montgomery
PFC John W. Parker
PFC Frank S. Penska
Maj George N. Powell
Sgt Anthony Rudnick
Cpl Charles W. Sampson
PFC Arnold Seidel
Cpl Jacob O. Skaggs Jr
Cpl Franklin F. Smith
Cpl Raymond H. Smith
PFC Frederick C. Sweet
Cpl Edward Tenny
PFC Dale Van Fosson
Pvt Ruben L. Vaughn
PFC Charles M. Williams

Survivor:
Sgt Foye K. Roberts

 

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