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  B-24J-120-CO Liberator Serial Number 42-109981  
USAAF
5th AF
360th Service Group
CRTC School

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
MACR  13315

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, 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.

Mission History
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.

Search
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.

Wreckage
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.

Memorials
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).

References
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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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Information
B-24

MIA
MIA
Partially
Resolved
1 Missing

Map
6.13 146.01

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