|Pilot Major Earl O. Hall, Jr., O-325099, C.O. 42nd BS (MIA / KIA) Crawford, TX
Co-Pilot 1st Lt Joaquin Castro, O-428914 (MIA / KIA) Mission, TX
Navigator 2nd Lt Frank N. Stern, Jr., O-438256 (MIA / KIA) Chicago, IL
Engineer TSgt Paul Adler, 6147915 (MIA / KIA) Cambridge, MA
Bombardier SSgt James Y. Bales, 15058894 (MIA / KIA) Crawfordville, IN
Radio SSgt James C. Stephens, Jr., 6953552 (MIA / KIA) Pania, CO
Asst. Engineer SSgt Francis S. Banasiak, 11020224 (MIA / KIA) Holyoke, MA
Asst Radio Sgt Jesse N. Olmstead, 11033041 (MIA / KIA) Norwalk, CT
Gunner Sgt Martin T. Grady, 6980875 (MIA / KIA) New York, NY
MIA February 1, 1943
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to the South Pacific.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 11th Bombardment Group, 42nd Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engine and weapon serial numbers unknown.
On February 1, 1943 one of nine B-17s took off from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal to bomb shipping in the Shortland area, led by Hall. This bomber was part of a four plane second element with 3 B-17s from the 42nd BG (this aircraft, B-17E "Eager Beavers" 41-9122 and B-17E "Yokohama Express" 41-2442) plus one B-17 piloted by Captain Thomas (5th BG, 72nd BS). The second element was commanded by Captain Hall (C. O. of the 42nd Bombardment Squadron).
Hall's B-17 targeted a supply vessel near Tonolei Harbor off southern Bougainville. After scoring hits on this target, they turned right toward Choiseul Bay and were jumped by 15 to 25 Zero fighters and shot down.
The sole surviving fourth bomber, B-17 piloted by a Captain Thomas was also badly damaged but managed to crash land at Guadalcanal. Two crew members (radio and bombardier) were wounded.
The crew was officially declared on January 11, 1946. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Castro has a memorial marker at Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission, TX at section MS1 row D site 29. Banasiak has a memorial marker at Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam, MA, section M1, row B, site 11.
Hal W. Hall (relative of Hall)
"Families of the crew of B-17 9151 have uncovered a letter in which an witness to the action reported that this aircraft may have crashed on or very near Choiseul Island. All previous records and reports did not indicate a possibility of an island crash. I have unsuccessfully sought the Coastwatcher's report on this action. I have seen it mentioned, but have been unable to find any reference to where those reports might be housed. Do you have any information about where the reports might be archived?"
Missing Air Crew Report 15093 (MACR 15093) was created retroactively and incorrectly list target as Munda
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Earl O. Hall
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joaquin Castro
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frank N. Stern Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Paul Adler
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James Y. Bales
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James C. Stephens, Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Francis S. Banasiak
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Jesse N. Olmstead
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
Martin T. Grady
FindAGrave - Maj Earl O Hall (photo)
FindAGrave - Francis S. Banasiak (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Joaquin Castro (tablets of the missing)
Joaquin Castro (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Frank N Stern, Jr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - TSgt Paul Fredrick Adler (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt James Y Bales (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt James C Stephens, Jr (tablets of the missing)
SSgt Francis S Banasiak (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Francis S. Banasiak (memorial marker)
Sgt Martin T Grady (tablets of the missing)
Texas A&M Libraries - Earl Oxford Hall: A Brief Biography and Wartime History
Texas A&M Libraries - "Lost in the Pacific" Biography of TSgt. Paul Fredrick Adler MIA 1943
Texas A&M Libraries - "Living on and Under the Wing" A Biography of 1st Lt. Joaquin Castro
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February 4, 2018