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|Pilot 1st Lt Charles R. Freas, O-735560 (MIA / KIA, BNR) Philadelphia, PA
Co-Pilot 1st Lt Dean P. Hope, O-726239 (MIA / KIA, BR) Glendale, CA
Navigator 2nd Lt Clifford G. Oskamp, O-673617 (MIA / KIA, BR) Canandaigua, NY
Bombardier 2nd Lt Joseph Paw, O-734974 (MIA / KIA, BR) Hamilton, OH
Engineer T/Sgt Leo D. Faulk, 19102376 (MIA / KIA, BR) Bremerton, WA
Radio T/Sgt James A. Bush, 12095328 (MIA / KIA, BR) Wind Gap, PA
Asst Engineer S/Sgt Kenneth E. Heck, 15077297 (MIA / KIA, BR) Hastings, WV
Asst. Radio S/Sgt Roland N. Peterson, 31083620 (MIA / KIA, BR) Campello, MA
Waist Gunner S/Sgt Glynn R. Early, 17068632 (MIA / KIA, BR) Davenport, IA
Tail Gunner S/Sgt John M. Blessing, 13092648 (MIA / KIA, BR) Mount Carmel, PA
Crashed August 17, 1943
B-24D "Yanks From Hell" 41-23716 was hit by anti-aircraft fire and is believed to have collided with this bomber and damaging it. This B-24 continued to fly for another 20 minutes or so, before crashing in a swamp near the Sepik River, approximately 100 kilometers southwest of Wewak.
The RAAF team interviewed villagers at Angoram who stated that the aircraft had crashed and exploded at night. The villagers said they had retrieved and buried three bodies near Angoram mission. They claimed one body had floated away, were uncertain If a survivor had been captured by the Japanese or not. Others claimed one enlisted man from the crew (Heck?) had parachuted out and was captured by the Japanese and taken to Wewak.
During 1948, the crash site was visited by American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) who exhumed the graves buried by the locals and visited the crash site. They noted that the wreckage was mostly submerged in swamp. They elaborated that, if re-visited in the dry season, more human remains would certainly be recovered from the wreckage.
During the 1980s, this B-24 was revisited by US Army CILHI, but no remains were recovered, coded "PNG #3".
During 2000, this B-24 was again visited by US Army CILHI.
During early June 2003, this B-24 was rediscovered by by Robert Jarrett / Classic Jets Museum in a swamp during his salvage of P-38H 42-66534. He reportedly discovery of substantial human remains with the help of villagers due to the exceptionally dry season.
Oskamp also has a memorial marker at Woodlawn Cemetery in Canandaigua, NY.
Bush also has a memorial marker at Wind Gap Cemetery in Wind Gap in Northampton County, PA at section I.
Freas remains Missing In Action (MIA) and was officially declared dead on January 21, 1946. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
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