|Pilot 1st Lt Dewitt P. Johnson
Force Landed December 23, 1943
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 43rd Bombardment Group, 403rd Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Bunny Hop" and later "Flying Wolf". The upper corners of both tails were painted white.
On December 23, 1943 took off from Horanda Airfield near Dobodura on an armed reconnaissance over Wewak. Over the target, this B-24
attacked a freighter off But and was intercepted by two Japanese fighters that shot out the
hydraulics, injured two of the crew and caused other damage. It was unable to return to base and instead force landed at Faita Airfield. Without hydraulics, the B-24 skidded to rest with the nose wheel collapsed or sunken into the runway and the tail pointed skyward.
During the war, it was stripped of usable equipment and later the fuselage cut into two pieces. The rest of the wreckage remained in situ until the late 1990s.
In the late 1990s the
wings of were recovered by the B-24 Liberator Restoration Fund and used in their restoration of B-24M Liberator A72-176 at Werribee Airfield.
Justin Taylan adds:
"I visited this wreck in August 2004, it did not look much like an airplane
anymore. The tail and wings were removed, and the waist section
was cut into two pieces - top and bottom halves and remain. The
cockpit section remains, but had been gutted either during the
war or by the recovery team."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 42-41091
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January 5, 2018