|Pilot 1st Lt. Edward C. Pedersen, O-747313 (MIA / KIA) Kearny, NJ
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. James R. Barber, O-690034 (MIA / KIA) Hawkins, TX
Navigator 2nd Lt. William Bischoff, O-695863 (POW, executed August 6, 1944) Cincinnati, OH
Bombardier 2nd Lt. Randolph H. Gibson, O-682104 (MIA / KIA) Sherman, TX
Engineer Cpl Bernard J. Pena, 18225911 (MIA / KIA) Nacogdoches, TX
Radio TSgt Henry A. Kutz, 31164888 (MIA / KIA) Medford, MA
Asst Engineer SSgt Rudolph R. Preciado, 39259673 (MIA / KIA) San Pedro, CA
Asst Radio Sgt Edward A. Sabat, 13127735 (MIA / KIA) Wilkes-Barre, PA
Gunner Sgt Bernard R. Fraser, 39558702 (MIA / KIA) Saint Louis, MS
Gunner SSgt Edmund J. Fay, 31244774 (MIA / KIA) Cranston, RI
Photographer SSgt Richard D. English, 13016610 (MIA / KIA) Boonton, NJ
MIA August 5, 1944 at 11:40am
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 43rd Bombardment Group, 64th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Blondes Away" with the nose art of a wolf wearing a suit holding a bouquet of flowers and a cane on the street corner of Vine and Hollywood outside the It Cafe in Los Angeles, CA.
When lost, equipped with engines no. 1, no. 2 and no.3 R-1830-65 serial numbers BP-433144, BP-433184 and BP-432899. No.4 engine R-1830-43 serial number 41-43458. Aboard were .50 caliber machine guns serial numbers: Savage Arms 954897, 955002, 382411, 932543, 935024 and 898756.
On August 5, 1944 took off from Mokmer Airfield (APO 920) on Biak for a bombing mission against Boela on Ceram (Seram). Weather over the target was 6/10 strata cumulus at 8,000' with 4/10 to 6/10 low cumulus at 4,000'. This B-24 was flying the right wing of the first element.
Over the target at 11:40am flying at at 10,000', during the bomb run, this bomber suffered an explosion of an undetermined origin in the bomb bay. Immediately, the No. 1 and No. 3 engines caught fire and were feathered and a few seconds later the entire bomber was engulfed in flames then exploded into five pieces: nose section, left wing, right wing, tail section and command deck and the wreckage landed in Boela Bay roughly 2,000' to 1,000' north of jetties.
One crew member was observed to have bailed out of the camera hatch and landed at the mouth of little Lola River (Bobe River). When this B-24 failed to return, the entire crew was listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Fates of the Crew
Bischoff successfully bailed out and was captured
by the Japanese and became a Prisoner Of War (POW). He was executed during the night. On August 6, 1944 and a native Andrienus Pattiseland found the body of a white man with two bullet wounds
with a dog tag around his neck that read "William Bischoff" and buried the body on the beach. Bischoff remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Recovery of Remains
Postwar, while Australian authorities were investigating crash sites in the area, they located native Andrienus Pattiseland who buried Bischoff's body. Another native reported seeing a white man captured and held for a day. When the burial site on the river was investigated, Bischoff's body was
not found and was deemed to have been washed out to sea.
The crew was officially declared dead on August 5, 1944. Bischoff was officially declared dead August 6, 1944.
All are memorialized at the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Pena also has a memorial marker at Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Nacogdoches, TX at plot F4.
Fraser also has a memorial marker at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, OR at plot COL-2, 87, C.
English also has a memorial marker at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at plot MA 28.
Marian Hill (wife of William Bischoff)
Missing Air Crew Report 14288 (MACR 14288)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) Edward C. Pedersen
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James R. Barber
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Randolph H. Gibson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Bernard J. Pena
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Henry A. Kutz
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Rudolph R. Preciado
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edward A. Sabat
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Bernard R. Fraser
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edmund J. Fay
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Richard D. English
FindAGrave - 1Lt Edward C Pedersen (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 2Lt James R Barber (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt William Bischoff (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Randolph H Gibson (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Bernard J Pena (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Bernard J Pena (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt Henry A Kutz (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt Rudolph R Preciado (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Sgt Edward A Sabat (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SGT Bernard R Fraser (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Bernard R Fraser (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Edmund J Fay (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Richard D English (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Richard D English (memorial marker photo)
National WWII Memorial - WWII Honoree - William F. Bischoff
NAA Liberator - Missing U.S Aircraft [Part 4] (NAA: A9845, 292)
"Liberator B24 42-110006.
Andrienus Pattiseland, native of Waroe, Ceram, stated that one day in August '44 he saw the body of a white man on the bank of the river Bobe. It had two bullet wounds. Previous night he had heard shots. He saw a square tag around the neck of the body and read the name WIlliam Bischoff. He buried the body in the soft sand on the river bank. Since then the river has been in flood many times and the body washed away. Another native stated that he saw a white man wade ashore at Silghan near the river Bobe. He was captured y the Japs, kept for one day, and then taken to the river Bobe. The native did not see the airman again but had seen the grave." 7/6/48 [7 June 1948]"
Thanks to Edward Rogers for research and analysis
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January 5, 2018