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  B-24D-20-CO "Axis Nightmare" Serial Number 41-24138  
USAAF
ATC
1330th AFBU

Former Assignment
5th AF
380th BG
373th BS

Pilot  1st Lt. Delton D. Shilling, O-670447 1330th Air Force Base Unit (MIA / KIA) Tulsa, OK
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt Charles H. Henley, O-670905 1330th Air Force Base Unit (MIA / KIA) Knoxville, TN
Radio  Pfc Charles O. Hedges, 17159249 (MIA / KIA) Stockton, MS
Engineer  T/Sgt William M. Costell, 6978434 1330th Air Force Base Unit (MIA / KIA) Wildwood Villa, NJ

MIA  February 1, 1945
MACR  12030
Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 380th Bombardment Group, 373th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Axis Nightmare" with the nose art of a grim reaper skull and hands wearing a hood.

Afterwards, assigned to the Air Transport Command (ATC) and ferried back to the United States. Ferried overseas departing Palm Beach, Florida to South America and Africa including Maduguri, Nigeria before arriving in China. The ferry crew included: pilot 1st Lt. Roy E. Tooman, co-pilot 2nd Lt. Robert E. Hairston, navigator 2nd Lt. Marvin J. Silvershatz, bombardier 2nd Lt. James F. Nolan, assistant engineer Sgt Charles B. Hertzberg, gunner Cpl Deno Renieri, engineer SSgt James L. Whited, assistant radio operator Sgt George C. Little and radio operator SSgt Robert T. Tertell.

Assigned to the 1330th Air Force Base Unit (1330th AFBU) with no nickname or nose art and armament removed. When lost, engines R-1830-43 serial numbers CP 307261, 42-44556, CP 301085 and 41- 44887.

Mission History
On February 1, 1945 took off form Hsinching Airfield in China on a flight bound for Jorhat Airfield in India. This B-24 was empty, returning to Jorhat Airfield following a cargo mission. The weather was cloudy at 27,000' with severe turbulence and icing conditions above 15-17,000'.

This bomber was on course "ABLE" last position report was being over Likiang China, the following bearings were shot from Kharagpurat 1938z, 232 deg. class 2 at 1946z, 234 deg. class 1 at 2013z, 235 deg, class 1 piaradoba on 183 at 2034z, 270 deg, class 2 aircraft didn't acknowledge these bearings. Airbase at likiang received distress call at 1930z last contact at 2034z somewhere southwest of Fort Hertz valley.

The B-24 was last contacted by Kharagpur air ground radio. Reportedly, this B-24 was low on fuel and might have force landed. When it failed to land, this bomber was reported as Missing In Action (MIA).

Search
Afterwards, search aircraft based at Mohanbari, India searched for this aircraft, unsuccessfully.

Memorials
The crew was officially declared dead on February 3, 1946. All four are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Henley has a memorial marker in Phoenix Rural Cemetery in Phoenix, NY.

Relatives
Alan Hedges (relative of Charles O. Hedges)

References
Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 12030 incorrectly lists this bomber's serial number as "41-24183", B-24D 41-24183 was a different aircraft.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Delton D. Shilling
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Charles H. Henley Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles O. Hedges Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William M. Costell
FindAGrave - 1Lt Delton D Shilling
FindAGrave - 1Lt Charles H Henley, Jr
FindAGrave - PFC Charles O Hedges, Jr
FindAGrave - TSgt William M Costell
Thanks to Pete Johnston for additional information

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Information
B-24

MIAMIA
4 Missing

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