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  B-24D-145-CO "Hot Garters" Serial Number 42-41188  
USAAF
5th AF
90th BG
321st BS

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90th BG c1944

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Justin Taylan 2003

Pilot  1st Lt. Bryant E. Poulsen, O-743204 (MIA / KIA / BR) Fairview, UT
Co-Pilot  1st Lt. Herbert V. Young, Jr., O-737927 (MIA / KIA, BR) Clarkdale, AZ
Navigator  1st Lt. Donald P. Greenman, O-671425 (MIA / POW executed April 17 1944, BR) RI
Bombardier  1st Lt. William D. Bernier, O-670067 (MIA / KIA / BR) Augusta, MT
Engineer  TSgt Hugh F. Moore, 3324872 (MIA / KIA, BR) MD
Radio  TSgt Charles L. Johnston Jr., 13156292 (MIA / KIA, BR) Pittsburgh, PA
Gunner  SSgt John Earl Copeland, 37230355 (MIA / KIA, BR) KS
Gunner  SSgt Donald C. Crotteau, 36292455 (MIA / POW executed April 24, 1944, BR) WI
Gunner  SSgt Charles J. Jones, 14066262 (MIA / KIA, BR) GA
Gunner  SSgt William T. Hyler, 12150690 (MIA / POW, executed April 24, 1944, BR) New York, NY
Passenger  William N. Handleman, 12033724 (MIA / POW executed April 18, 1944, BR) New York, NY
Passenger  Sgt Charles A. Gardner, 39844574 (MIA / KIA, BR) CA

Crashed  April 10, 1944
MACR  4505

Crew History
Co-pilot Herbert V. Young, Jr. was born June 6, 1920 played football at Clarkdale High School and later at Arizona State University. Had one daughter, Diana, now Diana Long of El Cerrito, CA who he never saw, since she was born after he shipped out. Assigned to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) on August 15 1943, he was normally a pilot but he was assigned to fly as co-pilot with another crew on the "Hot Garters" because his plane was not flyable and they were short a pilot. He had flown 43 combat missions for approximately 300 hours prior to his loss, and earned an Air Medal posthumously.

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 90th Bombardment Group, 321st Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Hot Garters" in block letters on the right side of the nose. No known nose art.

Mission History
On April 10, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield on a bombing mission against Hansa Bay. Over the target, hit by anti-aircraft fire, burst into flames and disintegrated in the air before crashing into the ground roughly five miles west of Nubia.

Other B-24s observed what they thought were five of the crew parachuting out and landing within a radius of 300 yards of where the bomber crashed into the ground. When this B-24 failed to return, the entire crew was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Fates of the Crew
After the Australian Army occupied the Hansa Bay area in the middle of June 1944, a captured Japanese document revealed the fate of four crew members that bailed out: Greenman, Crotteau, Hyler and Handleman. All four were captured by the Japanese Army and became Prisoners Of War (POW) and died in captivity or were executed.

Greenman was likely captured on April 10, 1944 by a Japanese Army patrol from the Nkahara unit led by Sgt Sekine with four men that was sent to investigate a report of an enemy aircraft being shot down near Sebent [sic Sepen]. The patrol captured an "American pilot" (likely Greenman) and the next day took him to Diri and later was walked or transported to Hansa Bay.

Crotteau, Hyler, Handleman were possibly injured but managed to evade capture for two days. On April 12, 1944 while attempting to flee from Seben [Sepen] to Birattu when they were captured by Japanese Army Cpl. Acabe and walked or transported to Hansa Bay.

On April 16, 1944 the four POWs were transfered to Leading Private Oshina of the Hansa M. P. unit branch and transported to Bogia. According to the Japanese, two of the prisoners Greenman and Handleman "died on route". Possibly, this was a Japanese euphemism meaning they were executed or otherwise killed.

When Leading Private Oshina returned to Hansa Bay with only two prisoners with him: Crotteau and Hyle. Handleman was executed or died on April 18, 1944. Hyler was executed or died on April 24, 1944.

Wreckage
This B-24 broke up in midair before crashing into an area of rolling hills and bamboo forest near Sepen Number 2 (pronounced 'Seven') inland from Nubia near Hansa Bay.

According to a Japanese document later captured by the Australian Army, the Japanese began investigating the crashed aircraft the day it was shot down. On April 14, 1944 a Japanese Army Sgt Ichiki located the B-24 crash site and presumably investigated the site.

During November 2002, US Army CILHI representative Brian Bennett visited the crash site. During his visit, he located the tail section and reported the site as a potential Missing In Action (MIA) site for further investigation.

During September 2003, Justin Taylan and John Douglas visited the crash site and located the cockpit area and reported it to US Army CILHI. They also interviewed eyewitness from Sepen village who remembered the fate of the crew.

John Douglas adds:
"There is a kiap (patrol officer) report dated September 1944 that mentioned four survivors. The Japanese killed one, who was buried at Akokom."

Justin Taylan reports:
"According the locals, the survivors and the pilot were seriously wounded.  The villagers offered to hide them from the Japanese, but the crew wanted to surrender due to their wounds.  Instead the crew declined their help and began walking away, then were never seen again."

During 2012, the crash site was investigated by JPAC.

Recovery of Remains
Postwar, the remains of Handleman, Hyler and Greenman were located and recovered. Their remains were transported to the Philippines and United States for permanent burial.

After the JPAC recovery of remains from the crash site, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced the identification of seven crew members between July 16, 2014 to February 23, 2015.

Poulsen was officially identified using circumstantial evidence that placed them on the aircraft and accounted for as them as part of the group on July 16, 2014.

Bernier was officially identified using circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including, mitochondrial DNA, which matched Bernier’s cousins on July 18, 2014.

Young was officially identified using circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including, mitochondrial DNA, which matched Young’s sister on August 19, 2014.

Gardner was officially identified using circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including, mitochondrial DNA, which matched Gardner’s maternal niece and nephew on July 31, 2014.

Copeland was officially identified using circumstantial evidence that placed them on the aircraft and accounted for as them as part of the group on Aug. 2, 2014.

Johnston was officially identified using circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including, mitochondrial DNA, which matched Johnston’s maternal cousins on August 21, 2014.

Moore was officially identified using circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including, mitochondrial DNA, which matched Moore’s niece and grand-niece on September 5, 2014.

Jones was officially identified using circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including, mitochondrial DNA, which matched Jones’ maternal niece on February 23, 2015.

To this day, SSgt Donald C. Crotteau remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
Eight of the crew: Poulsen, Young, Moore, Johnston, Copeland, Jones and Gardner were officially dead the day of the mission on April 10, 1944. Greenman was officially declared dead on April 17, 1944. Handleman was officially declared dead on April 18, 1944. Crotteau and Hyler were officially declared dead on April 24, 1944. Bernier was officially declared dead on October 10, 1944.

Poulsen, Young, Bernier, Moore, Johnston, Copeland, Crotteau, Jones and Gardner are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

After the postwar recovery of remains, Greenman was buried at Manila American Cemetery at plot C row 11 grave 70. Greenman also has a memorial marker at Riverside Cemetery in South Kingstown, RI at plot J-2.

Young also has a memorial marker at Prescott National Cemetery at section 7, row d, site 19.
Poulsen also a memorial marker at Memory Grove Memorial in Salt Lake City, UT.
Handleman is buried in a private cemetery, details unknown.
Hyler is buried at Long Island National Cemetery plot N, grave 28758.
Moore has a memorial marker a Cherry Hill United Methodist Church Cemetery in Cherry Hill, MD.

After the 2012 recovery of remains and indentifications during 2014-2015, Bernier, Johnston, Copeland, Gardner, Jones and Moore were buried on March 18, 2015 a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery at section 60, site 10925. Gardner was also individually identified and buried on December 4, 2014 at Arlington National Cemetery at section 60 site 10808. Bernier was individually identified and buried in September 2014 at Augusta Cemetery in Augusta, MT.

Relatives
Ken Young (nephew of Herbert V. Young)
"My uncle, 1st Lt. Herbert V. Young, Jr. was the co-pilot of the plane. I never knew that any wreckage of the plane had been found until I came across Pacific Wreck. In my uncle's last letter, he said that "He only needed 30 more flight hours before rotating back to Frisco." He was trained in fighters and then put into bombers because of a shortage of bomber pilots. He said the B-24 was like flying a boxcar. He flew an A20 on a ferry flight and really liked it. In his last letter he said his plane had one bad engine (didn't pass magneto checks) and he didn't like the idea of taking off with a full bomb load (he had friends who had died in accidents from engine problems). This led to him flying as co-pilot with the other crew, even though he had much more experience than the newer pilot he flew with. I think at the time of the crash he had completed his remaining 30 hours, but his duty was extended. I still have a copy of the telegram that my grandfather sent to my Dad informing him that Uncle Bud was missing in action. My Dad, Herbert's brother, died in 2003 at the age of 91. Herbert's sister, Geraldine, is still living in Cottonwood, Arizona. She is 93."

Cousette Copeland (John Earl Copeland)
"My relation is John Earl Copeland, who was shot down on April 10, 1944. He was listed as MIA and presumed dead."

Jim Byrkit adds:
"Lt. Herbert V. Young. He was born in Jerome and raised in nearby Clarkdale, in central Arizona. Herb Young, Jr., was known here as "Buddy" Young. He graduated from high school in 1937. Buddy's older sister, Geraldine ("Gerry") (Young) Duval, is now about 90 years old and lives in a retirement center here. She doesn't have any clear and detailed knowledge about her brother's death. Shortly before leaving for duty overseas, Buddy married a local woman, her name was Zoeleen McLain. She was very tall and striking in her appearance. She married again and died about three years ago. The Youngs never did learn about the specifics of Buddy's death."

References
Missing Air Crew Report 4505 (MACR 4505)
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Status Card "Liberator, B24D 42-41188"
National Archives Australia (NAA) Missing Liberator "A Report by Squadron Leader K. M. Rundle on Missing American Aircraft B25D 42-41188" [sic, B-24D 42-41188]
"2. Information received from captured enemy documents reveals that on the 10th April 1944 at 0630 hours, Sergeant Sekine, presumably a Japanese [Army], and four men departed to investigate a report of an enemy aircraft (Allied) being shot down near Sebent. On that same date, the 10th April 1944, an American pilot was captured and on the following day was taken to Diri. On the 12th April, 1944, the Japanese received information that three American flyers of the crashed aircraft were fleeing in the Seben-Birattu direction and again these three men were captured by a Japanese by the name of Corporal Acabe. These members (Japanese) were apparently of the Nkahara unit. A Japanese, Sergeant Ichiki, on the 14th April 1944 visited the scene of the crash. It is known that on the 16th April, 1944, Leading Private Oshina arrived from the Hansa M. P. Unit Branch and departed on the 17th April, 1944, to evacuate the four American prisoners to Bogia but only returned with two of the prisoners, stating that the two had died on route. The enemy document further goes to state that the two men who died were First Lieutenant Daniel Greenman and Corporal William N. Handoruman. These two members beyond doubt refer to First Donald P. Greenman and Staff Sergeant William N. Handleman. The two survivors according to the Japanese were Donald C. Kurado and Corporal William G. Hairaru. Undoubtedly these two members refer to Staff Sergeant Donald C. Crotteau and Staff Sergeant William T. Hyler."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 42-41188
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Bryant E. Poulsen
"1LT Poulsen's remains have been recovered and interred at Arlington National Cemetery. His name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Herbert V. Young Jr.
"
1LT Young's name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. His remains have been recovered and interred at Arlington National Cemetery"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Donald P. Greenman buried Plot C Row 11 Grave 70
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William D. Bernier
"1LT Bernier's remains have been recovered and interred at Arlington National Cemetery. His name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Hugh F. Moore
TSGT Moore's name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. His remains have been recovered and interred at Arlington National Cemetery
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles L. Johnston Jr.
"TSGT Johnston's name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. His remains have been recovered and interred at Arlington National Cemetery"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John E. Copeland
SSGT Copeland's name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery, Manila, The Philippines. His remains have been recovered and interred at Arlington National Cemetery"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Donald C. Crotteau Missing In Action
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles J. Jones
"SSGT Jones' name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. His remains have been recovered and identified."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles A. Gardner
"SGT Gardner's name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. His remains have been recovered and interred at Arlington National Cemetery"
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - William T. Hyler
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Donald C. Crotteau
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - William M. [sic] Handleman
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File does not list Donald P. Greenman
FindAGrave - 1LT Bryant Edmond Poulsen (photos, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 1LT Bryant Edmond Poulsen (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - Bryant Edmond Poulsen (Arlington group burial)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Herbert Vernon Young, Jr (photos, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Herbert Vernon Young, Jr (Arlington group burial)
FindAGrave - Herbert Vernon "Buddy" Young, Jr (photos, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Herbert Vernon "Buddy" Young, Jr (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Donald P Greenman (photos, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Donald P. Greenman (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - William Daniel "Laddie" Bernier (memorial marker, burial September 2014)
FindAGrave - TSgt Hugh Francis Moore (photos, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - William M [sic] Handleman (photo)
FindAGrave - Hugh F. Moore (photo, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt Charles L Johnston, Jr (photos, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt John Earl Copeland (photos, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt Donald C Crotteau (photos, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt Charles J Jones (photos, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - William T Hyler (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Charles A Gardner (photo, tablets of the missing)
CNN "U.S troops killed in action have a last ally" January 26, 2012 / Photo 1 of 13 depicts the tail of this B-24
DPAA - Recently Accounted For 2014 [July-September 2014]
"1st Lts. William D. Bernier, Bryant E. Poulsen, Herbert V. Young Jr., Sgt. Charles A. Gardner, Staff Sgt. John E. Copeland, and Tech. Sgts. Charles L. Johnston and Hugh F. Moore, U.S. Army Air Forces, 321st Bombardment Squadron, 90th Bombardment Group, 5th Army Air Forces, were lost April 10, 1944, in Papua New Guinea. They were accounted for July 18, July 16, Aug. 19, July 31, Aug. 2, Aug. 21, and Sept. 5, 2014, respectively. They will be buried with full military honors."
DPAA Airmen Missing From WWII Accounted For (Bernier, Poulsen, Young, Johnston, Moore, Copeland, Jones, Gardner) DoD New Release 15-053 | February 23, 2015
NBC Montana "Remains of WWII airman returned to Montana" September 18, 2014
USA Today "Pacific jungle yields WWII airman's remains" October 17, 2014
DPAA "Airmen Missing From WWII Accounted For (Johnston)" February 23, 2015
Pittsburgh Post Gazette "Lost WWII airman from Pittsburgh to be buried at Arlington" by Torsten Ove Feb 23, 2015

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Last Updated
May 31, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-24

MIA
POW / MIA
4 Prisoners / Executed
Partially Resolved
1 Missing

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