|Missing In Action (MIA)||Prisoners Of War (POW)||Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)|
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|Pilot 1st Lt.
John T. Parran, O-793828 (survived)
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Robert A. Miller (survived)
Navigator 2nd Lt. Neul A. Lewallen (survived)
Bombardier 2nd Lt. Robert Morris, O-734486 (MIA / KIA) CT
Engineer T/Sgt Clarence H. Creamer (survived)
Assistant Engineer S/Sgt James E. Robinson, 1303824 (WIA, died, BR) VA
Radio T/Sgt Donald W. Mayer (survived)
Gunner S/Sgt John A. Miles (survived)
Gunner S/Sgt John T. Mooney, 11031399 (MIA / KIA) MA
Gunner S/Sgt Samuel H. Shapiro, 16125426 (MIA / KIA) IL
Ditched August 17, 1943
Around 9am, the B-24 ran low on fuel. Pilot Parran ordered the crew to jettison extra equipment and take up brace positions for a ditching with five in the nose section and the other five in the rear fuselage before ditching into the sea in an inlet off the southern coast of New Guinea into the Torres Straits northwest of Saibai Island. During the landing, the B-24 skidded across the shallow water and the tail section broke off. The B-24 settled in the mud with the top of the wings above the water.
In the rear of the bomber, both waist guns were not jettisoned and came loose and killed two crew members in the rear fuselage. Robinson in the rear was badly injured in the crash. Afterwards, he was removed from the waist section but he died within an hour. His body was recovered by the surviving crew. The third crew member was expelled through a hole ripped into the bottom of the plane during the landing. Two of the crew were badly mangled. Their bodies were never recovered and all three became Missing In Action (MIA).
Fates of the Crew
During 1990, Brian Hall an employee of Hall Contracting Ptv. Ltd. was operating a dredge for the Australian Government near Saibai Island and visited the wreckage of this bomber at low tide. After visiting the wreck, he contacted the U. S. authorities and was told the identity of the plane and that it was still an MIA site and made contact with former pilot Parran and recovered the left control column and sent it to him in the United States. During 1991, he also recovered a propeller blade and a .50 caliber machine gun from the bomber.
The propeller and machine gun recovered were installed in a a memorial with a plaque at Hall Contracting Ptv. Ltd., near Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia.
Mayer died in 1981 and is buried at Lacon Cemetery in Lacon, IL.
Parran remained in the military and joined the U. S. Air Force (USAF) postwar and served in the Korean War and Vietnam War and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and died on May 4, 2005. He is buried at Bay Pines National Cemetery at section G site 189 in Bay Pines, Florida.
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