|Pilot 1st Lt Phil Doornbos (WIA, survived)
Crew S/Sgt Wilton E. Burris, 20464072 (KIA, BR) MS
Crew TSgt Wallace R. Johnson, 37162408 (MIA / KIA) MN
Ditched June 15, 1943
Built by Consolidated at San Diego during March 8-18, 1943. Constructors Number 1605. Project Number: 96082. First flight on March 20, 1943. Delivered to the U. S. Army on March 22, 1943. Flown to the modification center in Tucson, AZ on March 27, 1943. On April 26, 1943 flown to Hamilton Field and on May 1, 1943 departed on a ferry flight via Hawaii to Australia arriving on May 8, 1943 at Amberly Field.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 380th Bombardment Group, 530th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Dauntless Dabbie" with the nose art of a reclining woman. Assigned to crew number 26 with crew chief MSgt William V. Clarke. This B-24 flew at least five combat missions before being lost. Flown to Port Moresby for the group's "New Guinea Deployment". Officially, written off on October 31, 1944.
On June 15, 1943 took off from Port Moresby piloted by 1st Lt Phil Doornbos on a bombing mission against shipping in Simpson Harbor near Rabaul. Returning, this B-24 suffered a mid-air collision with B-24D "Kathy" 42-40517.
Damaged, this B-24 ditched into Teak Bay near Rigo. During the ditching, the pilot Doornbos was injured and two of the crew were killed: Burris and Johnson. The rest of the crew survived unhurt.
Recovery of Remains
Burris' remains were recovered and were temporarily buried in New Guinea. Postwar, his remains were transported to the United States for permanent burial. Johnson went Missing In Action (MIA) and his body was never recovered.
Burris and Johnson were both officially declared dead the day of the mission.
Johnson is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at MAC. Burris is buried at Mars Hill Cemetery in Mars Hill, MS.
380th BG Association - B-24D "Dauntless Dabbie" 42-40528 - Data Sheet
380th BG Association - B-24D "Dauntless Dabbie" 42-40528 - Mission Record
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Wallace R. Johnson
FindAGrave - Wilton Enoch Burris (grave photo)
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June 29, 2019