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||Pilot Flight Captain Hugh W. Prince (KIA, BR)
Co-Pilot Frederick F. Gundrum Jr. (KIA, BR)
Engineer Willard L. Churchill (KIA, BR)
Navigator Eddie B. Hult (KIA, BR)
Radio J "Arthur" Strumph (KIA, BR) NY
Clerk Pfc William A. Staley, 13170733 (KIA, BR) Pittsburgh, PA
Passenger Air Commodore Isaac John Fitch, RAF, 22162 (KIA, BR) Bedfordshire, UK
Passenger Lt. Col. John C. Pearson, 44527 Royal Artillery, 127 Lt. A.A. Regt. (KIA, BR) Surrey, UK
Passenger Major Ronald R. Barton-Tates, 155697 British Army, Royal Corps of Signals (KIA, BR)
Passenger Lt. Col. Paul H. Berkowitz, O-19375 U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (KIA, BR) PA
Passenger Lt. Col. Euliss L. Duggan O-363515 USAAF (KIA, BR) TN
Passenger Col. Charles P. Burnett Jr., O-306508 General Staff Corps (KIA, BR) Seattle, WA
Passenger 1st Lt. Stephen J. Maliszewski, O-1294336 (KIA, BR)
Passenger 2nd Lt. William P. Foil, O-521735 (KIA, BR) LA
Passenger Capt. Herbert R. Gore, O-510365 (KIA, BR)
Passenger Capt. John S. Ingraham, O-916676 1551 AAF Base Unit USAAF (KIA, BR) WA
Passenger Maj. Morton L. Talley Jr., O-336771 (KIA, BR)
Crashed July 26, 1944
Built by Consolidated at Fort Worth, Texas. Constructors Number 202. Assigned to Consolidated Airways Corporation (Consairways) as C-87-CF Liberator Express serial number 41-11706. Departed Fairfield-Suisun Airfield on a flight transporting passengers and cargo across the Pacific bound for Amberly Field in Australia.
On July 26, 1944 at 11:00am took off from Tarawa Airfield (Hawkins Field) piloted by Hugh Prince on a flight bound for Henderson Field on Guadlacanal. Aboard were five civilian flight crew plus twenty-one passengers including Americans and British personnel. The weather was clear. Over Malaita Island, this C-87 was tracked by radar until 10:35pm then was not seen again. When this aircraft failed to arrive, it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
On July 28, 1944 a search party departed aboard Catalina NZ4014 piloted by Flt. Lt. Butcher flew a rescue party to the crash site. The party included the Consairway station manager from Guadlacanal Dick Wood and Consairway Representative Ed Jones. Interviewing locals, they reported hearing a plane, seeing the landing lights and then heard a crash and guided the party to the site and recovered the remains of the crew.
At the crash site, Dick Wood recovered a briefcase marked “Top Secret” and turned it into headquarters on Guadlacanal. He was twice interrogated to determine if he opened it or saw any of the contents, he had not. The briefcase contained war plans from U. S. President Roosevelt to be delivered to General MacArthur. This brief case likely belonged to Col. Burnett who was assigned to the General Staff Corps.
On August 13, 1944, Fitch and Pearson were buried in the New Zealand section of the American Cemetery Guadalcanal . Postwar, their graves were exhumed and transported to New Caledonia and the United States for permanent burial.
Four were buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). Gundrum and Barton-Tates are buried in a group burial at section Q, site 1335. Strumph at section P, site 836. Ingraham at section C, site 860.
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