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|Pilot 1st Lt. Howard L. Golden, O-799382 (POW, executed April 18, 1944) AL
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. John R. Jennings, O-808847 (MIA / KIA) PA
Crew 2nd Bernard M. Donohue, O-752985 (POW, executed April 18, 1944) CA
Crew 2nd George A. Sparks, O-1550269 (KIA, recovered)
Crew T/Sgt Edward N. Stachowiak, 16147569 (KIA, recovered)
Crew T/Sgt Allen D. Toppert, 36628908 (KIA, recovered)
Crew S/Sgt Eugene A. Ivers, 32571227 (KIA , recovered)
Crew S/Sgt Allen W. Pearson, 36328994 (KIA, recovered)
Crew S/Sgt Fred J. Shroad, 33242452 (KIA, recovered)
Crew S/Sgt Guy A. Buie, 38225344 (KIA, recovered)
Crew William D. Ballou, 34546512 (KIA, recovered)
Crew Sgt David S. Ingerman, 37278739 (KIA, recovered)
Crew SSgt Joseph C. Minnich, 35343616 (KIA, recovered)
Crashed April 12, 1944 at 1148 hours
Over the target, this bomber begin to trail 2,000 yards behind the formation and was hit by anti-aircraft fire from the 66 Anti-aircraft Battalion, 3 Battery. Attacked by three Japanese fighters, and other B-24s saw hits registered and what appeared to be several engines knocked out. The plane went into a flat spin, and two parachutes were observed, before the bomber crashed with a large explosion. The fighters fired at the two descending parachutes and the bomber crashed about a mile from the south-east end of Hollandia Airfield.
An extract from the S-2 form blue, 400th BS dated 12 Apr 44 states:
Fates of the Crew
Golden and Donohue and were captured and handed over to the Japanese 6th Flying Division and beheaded, apparently by Sgt Major Aoyama on April 18, 1944, neither of their bodies were recovered.
Recovery of Remains
The other members of the crew were declared dead the day of the mission and were recovered postwar at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery at Section E, Site 292–293 buried February 20, 1950.
After the war, a recovery team from Graves registration identified his remains and sent them home for private burial. Golden and Donohue were arrested by local Jap sympathizers and then turned over to the Japanese who interrogated then executed both men sometime between April 18 and April 30. I was recently visiting the Jolly Rogers web site and while browsing the message board, came across a fellow who had a very interesting story about that aircraft. For a time the Army could not determine the fate of the copilot, 2nd Lt. John Jennings. His name appeared on a list of fatalities suffered in the a fire in Tokyo at a large prison used to hold Allied airmen. when the Army closed the file on Jennings, they had decided that he would have had no useful information that Tokyo might have wanted to obtain through interrogation that hadn't already been revealed by Golden and Donohue, and therefore the final report says that Jennings dies in the crash.
Hoever the story this gentleman has told me is quite different. He states that when his grandfather was 10 years old, their family lived on the shores of Lake Sentani and witnessed the death of Yankee Doodle Dandy. He also stated that 2 parachutes that were seen to be floating down were strafed by the Jap fighters before they hit the ground. The grandfather also witnessed the crewman falling into the lake. But he states that John Jennings was rescued and stayed in hiding at the family home for approximately 2 days and nights before he was captured. A search for Jennings after the war turned up a report from a man in Australia saying that Jennings body had been identified among the dead at the Tokyo prison fire.
So I am at a place on the trail where i don't know which story to believe. I am still in communication with this fellow and would like to speak to the grandfather somehow. I don't know if you are already familiar with this crash or crash site but maybe there is a possibility of even visiting the wreck site."
Kimberly Donohue Mazzone (great niece of Bernard M. Donohue):
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