Richard Rudd 1980
|Pilot Major Clarence E. "Sandy" McPherson, O-22396 (KIA, BR) Sandpoint, ID
Co-Pilot 1st Lt. Lucius G. Penick, O-413487 (KIA, BR)
Engineer MSgt Louis T. "Soup" Silva, R-45343 (KIA, BR)
Passenger SSgt Marvin C. Bond, 6912315 (KIA, BR)
Passenger Sgt Walter F. Schofield, 6581360 (KIA, BR)
Passenger MSgt Walter W. Weisner, 6754182 (KIA, BR)
Passenger Sgt William C. Wood, 6914948 (KIA, BR)
Passenger SSgt Charles Baxter (KIA, BR)
Passenger Pvt Richard Purcell (KIA, BR)
Passenger Sgt John Stevenson (KIA, BR)
Passenger 1st Lt. Albert McCabe Hart, O-346934 104th AAA (KIA, BR)
Passenger Pfc Rufus B. Humphries, 20467589, 20467589 (KIA, BR)
Passenger Pvt Phillip R. Mills, 34102201, 34102201 (KIA, BR)
Passenger Pvt Albert Washington Moore, 34102085 (KIA, BR)
Passenger T/5 Atwell E. Moore, 20487595 (KIA, BR)
Crashed July 16, 1942
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the U. S. Army at Boeing Field on November 17, 1941. Departed Boeing Field piloted by Lt. Maurice C. Horgan to Salt Lake City on November 26, 1942. This B-17 departed Hamilton Field on a ferry flight to Hickam Field.
Assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group, 14th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. During January 1942, this B-17 operated from Hickam Field flying patrol around Hawaii.
Ferried overseas from Hickam Field across the Pacific to Australia. Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group, 40th Bombardment Group. Possibly, nicknamed "G. I. Issue".
During early April, took off from Batchelor Field near Darwin piloted Lt. David G. Rawls and co-pilot Jones arriving at Del Monte Airfield on Mindanao to participate in the Royce Mission. On April 12-13, 1942, took off from Del
Monte Airfield on bombing missions against Japanese targets in the Philippines. Afterwards, returned to Australia.
On a June 9, 1942 during a bombing mission,
the top turret "ran away" rotating out of control and firing, damaging the tail and rudder.
On June 19, 1942 took off from Longreach Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. Gilbert E. Erb on a local flight to practice night landings.
During the middle of June 1942, assigned to the 435th Bombardment Squadron.
On July 16, 1942 took off from Coen Airfield bound for Horn
Island Airfield. Aboard were five U. S. Army passengers from the 104th Anti-aircraft Artillery AW Battalion plus a
salvage crew and replacement parts including landing gear, propeller blades, brake assembly and tools to repair B-17E "Sally" 41-2633 that was damaged on July 4, 1942.
While attempting to land in windy conditions near dark, this B-17 was lining up to land on the wrong side of a flare path. Realizing the error, the B-17 attempted to pull up quickly and the heavy replacement parts inside that were not properly stowed to shift, causing the bomber to dive into the ground killing the entire crew on impact. This B-17 was officially stricken from the register on October 31, 1944.
Remains of this B-17 still remain on Horn Island including an undercarriage leg in 1980.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the crash, the remains of the crew and passengers were all recovered. They were initially buried on Horn Island. Later, exhumed and reburied at the U. S. cemetery at Townsville on April 1, 1943. Reburied at the U. S. cemetery at Ipswich on July 14, 1945.
Postwar, the remains of the crew were transported to the United States for final burial. McPherson, Penick, Schofield, Silva, Weisner and Wood are buried in a group burial at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery at section 79 site 426A-B. The rest of the crew are presumed to be buried in private cemeteries in their hometowns.
Headquarters 104th Anti-aircraft Artillery AW Battalion
"On July 16 the Battalion suffered its first casualties. Chaplain Albert M. Hart, T/5 Atwell E. Moore, Privates Albert W. Moore, Rufus B. Humphries, and Philip R. Mills were flying from Coen to Horn Island when the B-17 in which they were riding crashed while landing at Horn Island, killing all nineteen of the occupants instantly."
FindAGrave - Clarence C. McPherson (photo, group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Lucis G. Penick (photo, group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Walter Fred Schofield (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Louis Thomas Silva (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Walter W. Weisner (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - William C. Wood (group burial photo)
Gilbert E. Erb Flight Log - July 1942
Forty of the Fifth page 21
Horn Island: In Their Steps 1939-45 page 196-197
Australia @ War: 16 July 1942 - Crash of B-17E Flying Fortress at Horn Island
Echoes From an Eagle page 52
Fortress Against The Sun page 221
Steve Birdsall adds: "
I've never seen evidence of the nickname 'G.I. Issue' for this B-17"
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January 5, 2018