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  B-17F-5-BO Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-24427  
USAAF
5th AF
19th BG
30th BS

Pilot  Captain Robert L. Williams, O-023070 (MIA / KIA) SC
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt Robert R. Wilson O-430646 (MIA / KIA) NJ
Navigator  2nd Lt William A. Dietch, O-433137 (MIA / KIA) IL
Bombardier  1st Lt Marion L. Wheeler, O-412742 (MIA / KIA) IA
Radio  Sgt William D. Lewis, 6914241 (MIA / KIA) IL
Engineer  S/Sgt Marion C. Taylor , 19054589 (MIA / KIA) MT
Gunner  Sgt Thomas L. Cotner, 6274735 (MIA / KIA) WY
Gunner  Sgt Glenn C. Keclik, 6932077 (MIA / KIA) KS
Gunner  Sgt Ernest L. Pugh, 6947173 (MIA / KIA) VA

MIA  September 15, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried oversea via Hawaii to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 19th Bombardment Group, 30th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On September 15, 1942 took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby at 5:30pm for a night bombing mission against Rabaul. After take off, no further contact was made with this bomber. On September 16, 1942 at 1:30am, when this B-17 failed to return from the mission, it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 7, 1946. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Dietch has a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery at section MJ site 84.
Wheeler has a memorial marker at Sorden Cemetery in Webster, IA.
Keclik has a memorial marker at Fort Scott National Cemetery at Fort Scott, KS at section Ma site 36

References
History 30th Bombardment Squadron
Knudson Diary
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-24427
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert L. Williams
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert R. Wilson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William A. Dietch
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Marion L. Wheeler
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William D. Lewis
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Marion C. Taylor
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Thomas L. Cotner
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Glenn C. Keclik
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ernest L. Pugh
FindAGrave - William A Dietch (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Marion Lonner Wheeler (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Glenn Clifton Keclik (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Glenn Clifton Keclik (tablets of the missing photo)
Thanks to Steve Birdsall for additional information

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-17

MIA
MIA / KIA
9 Missing
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