360th Service Group
|Pilot 2nd Lt Warren G. MacDonald, O-835231 (MIA / KIA) Detroit, MI
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Elbert E. Goodman, O-2059390 (MIA / KIA) Chrisney, IN
Navigator F/O James R. Wilson Jr., T-135026 (MIA / KIA) Santa Cruz, CA
Engineer Cpl William B. Gregg, 18190714 (MIA / KIA) Houston, TX
Bombardier 2nd Lt William M. Evezichm, O-1581693 (MIA / KIA) Kenserer, WY
Radio Cpl James C. Irvine, 37345858 (MIA / KIA, BR) Edgewater, CO
Gunner Cpl Martin Wagner Jr., 38421236 (MIA / KIA) Port Neches, TX
Gunner Cpl Stephen J. Gibson, 38654059 (MIA / KIA, BR) New Orleans, LA
Gunner Cpl William Wohlgenuth, 19179902 (MIA / KIA) Hollydale, CA
Gunner Cpl George J. Chatlenor, 11151850 (MIA / KIA) Yonkers, NY
Gunner Cpl Richard L. Hamric, 35915938 (MIA / KIA, BR) Akron, OH
Crashed February 28, 1945
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 360th Service Group, CRTC School (Far East Air Force - Combat Replacement Training Center) based at Nadzab Airfield. No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engines: R-1830-65 Serial Numbers BP-433062, BP-433157, 42-44211, BP-432769. MACR does not record the machine gun serial numbers.
On February 28, 1945 took off from Nadzab Airfield at 8:00 on a training mission to bomb But Airfield flying in the first squadron, sixth position. Last sighted near Gusap at 9:00am, seen to turn left into a cloud bank where mountain peaks were impossible to fly over at his altitude of 5,500', and failed to rejoin the bomber formation.
At noon, a B-25 and B-24 #544 piloted by Lt Palmer flew a search mission for this bomber, but found nothing. The next day, six B-25s also searched the Markham Valley, but found nothing.
This B-24 crashed near the Kassam Pass, roughly 2-3 km in the jungle on the northern side (Goroka side) of the nearest road.
During April 1979, this crash site was visited by US Army CILHI and remains recovered. During early October 1980, a second CILHI recovery team visited the crash site and recovered human remains.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery are Wilson, Hamric and Gibson and Irvine.
After the recovery of remains, Irvine was buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery at S, 0, 1126. Wagner was buried at Oak Bluff Memorial Park at section A, new. Wilson remains Missing In Action (MIA).
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 42-109981
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) lists Irvine, Gibson and Hamric as "remains recovered".
FindAGrave - James C. Irvine (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Martin Wagner, Jr.
Bruce Hoy Diary 4 October, 1980
"The CIL‑HI team having returned to Port Moresby was issued with a permit today covering the remains collected at the crash site of B‑24J 42‑109981."
Thanks to Bruce Hoy for additional information
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January 5, 2018