|Pilot 2nd Lt. George A. Singletary, O-682909 13th Bomber Command, HQ (MIA / KIA) OK
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Thomas P. Frank, O-692959 13th Bomber Command, HQ (KIA, BR) VA
Navigator 2nd Lt. Charles F. Bishop, O-814227 (MIA / KIA) CA
Engineer SSgt Floyd R. Frazier, 37381558 (KIA, BR) MO
Gunner Pvt Gene Seaton, 37651407 13th Bomber Command, HQ (MIA / KIA) IA
SSgt Edwin O. Rudolph, 17161555 (KIA, BR)
Gunner Sgt John R. Murray, 13125163 13th Bomber Command, HQ (MIA / KIA) PA
Gunner Sgt Lester K. Ellingson, 37660982 (MIA / KIA) IA
Gunner Sgt Benjamin E. Pulliam, 37226423 KS (WIA, died March 27, 1944)
Crashed March 1, 1944 at 10:30am
Built by Consolidated in San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-110-CO Liberator serial number 42-40877. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field. Modified at the Hawaiian Air Depot (HAD) with four ASV radar antennas installed on the left side of the nose and a turret modification. Afterwards, ferried across the Pacific to Guadalcanal. This bomber was painted with olive drab upper surfaces and gray lower surfaces and equipped with radar.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 307th Bombardment Group, 372nd Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Pregnant Polecat" in yellow block letters on the left side of the nose. Later "877" in yellow on the left side of the nose (last three digits of the serial number).
On March 1, 1944 took off from Carney Field (Bomber 2) on Guadalcanal piloted by 2nd Lt. George A. Singletary on a training mission. Four of the crew: Singletary, Frank, Seaton and Murray were assigned to Headquarters, XIII Bomber Command. This bomber spun into the sea 1.5 km north of Longava on Buena Vista Island in the Florida Island Group at roughly Lat 8° 55' S Long 160° 5' E. The entire crew, with the exception of Pulliam was killed in the crash.
Fates of the Crew
Gunner Pulliam was wounded during the crash
and later rescued. He was transported to U. S. Navy Advance Navy Base No. 152 and died of his wounds on March 27, 1944 and attended to by Chaplain Philip Nicholas.
The wreckage of this bomber remains in situ north of Longava on Buena Vista Island in the Florida Island Group. The wings, landing gear and fuselage center section are all that remains today. In the 1980s when the wreckage was rediscovered, a parachute, partially opened is inside the fuselage portion when discovered.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of some of the crew were recovered.
The missing crew members: Singletary,
Bishop, Seaton, Murray and Ellingson
were officially declared dead the day of the mission. All five are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Singletary also has a memorial marker at Oak Grove Cemetery in Graham, TX.
Ellingson also has a memorial marker at Big Canoe Lutheran Cemetery in Winneshiek County, IA.
After the wartime recovery of remains, three of the crew Frank, Frazier and Rudolph were recovered
and transported to the United States for permanent burial.
Frank is buried at Arlington National Cemetery at section 12, site 4569.
Frazier is buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at plot D, grave 49.
Pulliam is buried at Fort Scott National Cemetery at plot 2, grave 1814. Pulliam also has a memorial marker on his parents grave at
Oak Grove Cemetery at Fort Scott, KS.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-110-CO Liberator 42-40877
Missing Air Crew Report 15675 (MACR 15675) created October 7, 1947
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George A. Singletary
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles F. Bishop
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Gene Seaton
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John R. Murray
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lester K. Ellingson
FindAGrave - 2Lt George Allen Singletary (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 2LT George Allen Singletary (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT Thomas Phillip Frank (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Floyd Ralph Frazier (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Pvt Gene Seaton (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Sgt John R Murray (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Sgt Lester K Ellingson (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Lester K Ellingson (memorial marker photo) a
FindAGrave - Sgt Benjamin Earl Pulliam (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Benjamin Earl Pulliam (grave photo)
Thanks to Pete Johnston, Robert Livingstone and Ewan Stevenson for additional information
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March 2, 2019