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90th BG c1942
|Pilot 2nd Lt. Dayton S. Altman, Jr., O-659626 (MIA / KIA) SC
Co-Pilot Lt. Norman D. Smith O-661983 (survived)
Navigator 2nd Lt. William H. Hoyt, Jr., O-660493 (MIA / KIA) TN
Bombardier 2nd Lt. Herbert H. Gardner, O-727630 (MIA / KIA) GA
Crew TSgt Freddie K. Affeld, 15082101 (MIA / KIA) IN
Radio TSgt Francis M. Brigham, 11010936 (MIA / KIA) CT
Crew SSgt Vincent H. Calise, 32199356 (MIA / KIA) NY
Crew SSgt John F. Ratliff, 13035569 (MIA / KIA) VA
Crew SSgt Francis H. Bogucki, 11010977 (MIA / KIA) CT
Ditched January 9, 1943
MACR 764 / 15683
As the B-24 made its bomb run, it was attacked by eight escorting Zeros attacking in pairs, making seven or eight passes head on. The nose gun ceased firing and a shell severely wounded pilot Altman was in his head and also hurt the radio operator Brigham.
Taking the controls, co-pilot Smith dove down to 2,000' and tried to evade the Zeros in clouds, but they continued to damage the bomber, setting the no. 3 engine on fire, but was extinguished using the the fire extinguisher, but the no. 2 engine also caught fire and was extinguished, but the propeller would no feather. Smith called for the crew to prepare to ditch, but none responded.
Smith and wounded Altman tried to make a smooth water landing, but suffered a violent impact, submerging the nose section. Smith was able to escape through the cockpit window and shouted for others, but none responded. Swimming to a floating life raft, the plane sank presumably with the rest of the crew aboard. Alone, Smith rowed to shore.
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