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  B-17E "Miss Carriage" Serial Number 41-2645  
USAAF
5th AF
43rd BG
64th BS

Pilot  1st Lt. Charles N. Crowell, O-411698 (MIA / KIA) IL
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. John W. Bixby, O-790612 (MIA / KIA) NY
Crew  1st Lt. Henry G. Carr, O-724290 (MIA / KIA) OR
Crew  MSgt Frank C. French, Jr., 6265699 (MIA / KIA) CO
Crew  TSgt William F. Martin, 6151547 (MIA / KIA) MA
Crew  Sgt James H. Andrews, 6947160 (MIA / KIA) NC
Crew  S/Sgt Herbert L. Kerley, 6296890 (MIA / KIA) TN
Crew  Sgt Glenn H. Davis, 6904085 (MIA / KIA) NY
Crew  Cpl Raymond F. Kettner, 6975699
(MIA / KIA) NY
MIA  December 1, 1942


Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2456. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2645. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
On July 12, 1942 assigned to the 5th Air Force, 19th Bombardment Group to the 28th Bombardment Squadron or 30th Bombardment Squadron. Possibly, this B-17 was nicknamed "Miss Carriage". On November 10, 1942 assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 64th Bombardment Squadron. Assigned to pilot 1st Lt. Charles N. Crowell.

Mission History
On December 1, 1942 took off at 6:00am from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by 1st Lt. Charles N. Crowell as one of six B-17s on a mission to shadow and bomb a Japanese convoy of four destroyers including Isonami in the Solomon Sea off Gasmata bound for Buna. Two B-17s aborted the mission. The last radio contact with this B-17 was at 1:00pm. When this B-17 failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

During the day, A6M Zeros from the 252 Ku and 582 Ku were flying patrols over the convoy and several reported engagements with B-17s during the day. Around 1:00pm, the escort included six A6M Zeros from the 582 Ku that claimed to have hit the engine of one attacking bomber, possibly this B-17.

Search
Afterwards, extensive searches failed to locate the aircraft or its crew.

Memorials
The crew was officially declared dead on January 7, 1946. Posthumously, Bixby and Car were promoted to 1st Lieutenant. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Crowell earned the Silver Star and Purple Heart, posthumously.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2645
"2645 assigned to 19th BG. Condemned Jun 12, 1942"
History 43rd Bombardment Group frame 244
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2645
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles N. Crowell
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John W. Bixby
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Henry G. Carr
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frank C. French, Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William F. Martin
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James H. Andrews
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Herbert L. Kerley
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Glenn H. Davis
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Raymond F. Kettner
FindAGrave - 1Lt Charles R Crowell (tablets of the missing photo)
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Fortress Against The Sun pages 388
Ken's Men Against The Empire Volume 1 pages 91 (December 1, 1942 mission), 312, 326
Thanks to Steve Birdsall for additional information

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Last Updated
December 21, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-17

MIA
MIA
9 Missing
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