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  B-24D-50-CO "Frenisi" Serial Number 42-40323 Nose 323
USAAF
13th AF
307th BG
371st BS

Former Assignments
424th BS

Click For Enlargement
USAF c1943

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego on February 10, 1943. Constructors number 1400. Delivered to the US Army on February 13 at Tucson Air Base, and on April 1 was assigned to the 6th Ferrying Group at Long Beach, CA for delivery overseas.

Departed San Francisco on April 4, and arrived at Hickam Field, where the bomber had nose modifications and installation of a ball turret, the first B-24D with a ball turret added. Flown overseas via Christmas, American Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia before arriving at at Carney Field (Bomber 2) on Guadalcanal.

Assigned to the 307th Bombardment Group on May 6, 1943 and initially assigned to the 424th Bombardment Squadron. Assigned to crew chief M/Sgt Green, who nicknamed the bomber "Frenisi" (pronounced "free and easy", after a popular song. The nose art was a nude woman wearing a sombrero, scarf and high heels. On the nose was '323'. Initially assigned to Major H. G. McNeese. Later assigned to Captain C. W. Byrd and Lt. Battenfield.

Mission #1: May 31, 1943, a search mission off the coast of Bougainville, and strafed a coastal steamer off Tinputs, leaving it on fire and abandoned.

On June 7, 1943 bombed Japanese convoy. Next, June 14, 1943 bombed Kahili. On July 18, 1943 bombed transport of the Shigure class off Nauru piloted by Lt. M. L. Nelson was the bombardier. On July 25, 1943 bombed Munda. On July 26, 1943 bombed Ballale

August 30, 1943 bombed Kahili, and was attacked by forty Zeros, while piloted by C. W. Byrd, the bomber returned with 48 bullet holes, and repaired over nine days.

On October 14, the bomber was transferred to the 371st BS then based at New Hebrides with Lt. W. P. Moeller as the pilot, flying search missions. Afterwards, had all four engines changed, and checked out on November 16.

Returned to Carney Field (Bomber 2) on November 24 and continued flying combat, targets included: Rabaul, Kavieng, Kahili, Kara, Poporang, Shortlands, Buka, Bonis, Sohano, Ballale, Vila and Munda.

Arrived at Munda on November 25 flown by Col. Birrhard and Col. Jurkens. The bomber was then assigned to Lt. B. B. Miller (Byrd's co-pilot previously, when he returned to USA).

August 6, 1944 flown to Green Island Airfield (Nissian), and then assigned to Lt. Kates, and on April 13, 1944 on a bombing mission against Truk, and afterwards flown to Piva afterwards. On April 16 again bombed Truk via Green Island piloted by Lt. Hamilton.

On May 3, 1944 departed Munda for Mokerang on Los Negros. Flown by a variety of crews on missions against Truk, Satawan, Woleai and Biak on D-Day: May 27, 1944.

One June 29, 1944 (mission 92) piloted by Lt. O. L. Adaik lost two engines on a return flight, and afterwards all four engines were replaced after nine days work, and was test flown by Lt. Rice.

During June 1944 flown against Truk by Lt. Aoair (mission 95), and claimed a Zero shot down.

June 29, 1944 Lt. Anthony piloting, landed with a flat tire (mission 98), and was repaired and test flown by Lt. O'Conner.

Mission #100: July 10, 1944 bombing mission against Truk by Lt. Adair, and claimed a Zero by ball turret gunner, Sgt Marshall. On return, this bombr buzzed the strip and photographers documented the arrival. This B-24 was the first 307th BG bomber to fly 100 combat missions.

Flew a total of 104 combat missions, then was retired on July 4, 1944. No crew member was lost aboard this bomber. Later, nose art of "104 Seabees" was added, and the names of crew who flew the bomber.

Afterwards, sent back to the United States for war bond drives. This B-24 was officially condemned October 31, 1944 and likely scrapped or converted to components.

References
"Frenisi" 307th Bomb Group (H) 371st Bomb Squadron (H)

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

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B-24

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