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|Pilot 1st Lt. Harold E. Surbaugh, O-672897 307th BG, 370th BS (MIA / KIA) Champaign, IL
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Thomas J. Price, O-801394 (rescued)
Navigator 1st Lt. Charles L. Ogg, O-390814 (rescued)
Engineer SSgt Stanley A. Okon, 32380081 7 ADS (MIA / KIA) Erie County, NY
Radio Pfc Stephen F. Sakalski, 33355550 (rescued)
Passenger Captain R. S. Taylor, SIDF (MIA / KIA)
Ditched May 1, 1944
On September 22, 1942 at St. Joseph then on September 29, 1942 at Consolidated. On October 21, 1942 to Sioux City and October 23, 1942 to Sacramento Air Depot (SAD).
On October 26, 1942 flown from Hamilton Field on a ferry flight to Hickam Field as part of the cadre of the 307th Bombardment Group. The ferry crew included pilot 2/Lt Buford B. Flahaven, co-pilot 2/Lt John H Ralph, bombardier 2/Lt Moses Payton, navigator 2/Lt Michael J Hriczko, 2nd navigator 2/Lt Walter C Witherspoon, Engineer S/Sgt John W Anderson, Engineer, radio operator S/Sgt Stanley W. Maperkoski, assistant engineer S/Sgt James M Faulkenberry, and S/Sgt assistant radio operator John E Fanning and tail gunner Sgt Donald J Potter.
Assigned Project Number 30044 and afterwards ferried overseas across the Pacific to the South Pacific.
On December 22, 1942 one of twenty-six B-24s from the 307th Bombardment Group took off from Midway Airfield on December 21, 1942 at 4:30pm and climbed to 10,000' for a night bombing mission against Wake Island. Participating bombers include this bomber plus B-24D "Bundles For Japan" 41-23965 and B-24D "Flying Gator" 41-23898. Over the target at December 23, 1942 from midnight until 12:40am, the B-24s bombed one of nine targets from 4,000' making a single bomb run. The B-24s were armed with five 500 pound general purpose bombs, with some fused with 1/10 second delay fuses for specific targets, the rest with instantaneous fuses. The Japanese appeared to be caught off guard and did not offer a coordinated defense, with anti-aircraft fire and search lights not beginning until the raid began and described as light and mostly from machine guns with some heavy anti-aircraft guns. Search lights did not seem to be coordinated with anti-aircraft fire and caught only a quarter of the formation in their beams. Four enemy aircraft were believed to be in the air but did not intercept. Afterwards, the formation returned to 10,000' and returned to Midway Airfield and landed between 5:50am to 7:30am. No B-24s were lost or crew members injured. Only slight superficial damage was sustained on two bombers. In total, this mission spanned over 4,300 nautical miles and reported in the press as a Christmas Eve attack.
Afterwards, flown back to Oahu then ferried overseas across the Pacific to the South Pacific. During early 1943 until early 1944, this bomber flew combat missions in the South Pacific based at Henderson Field and Carney Field on Guadalcanal.
Later, the original green house nose was replaced with a nose turret. On the left side of the nose was painted "899" (the last three digits of the serial number). A scoreboard with Japanese flags indicating enemy aircraft claimed shot down was located on the left side of the nose below the cockpit. On April 30, 1944 condemned (CON AFMSC) as war weary.
Afterwards, assigned to the 7th Airdrome Squadron (7th ADS) and used as a transport. During late April 1944 or May 1, 1944 this B-24 flew from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal to Sydney Airport (Mascot) near Sydney with the same air crew.
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