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  B-24D-150-CO "Sunshine I" Serial Number 42-41225  
USAAF
5th AF
380th BG
531st BS

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380th c1944

Pilot  1st Lt Leo M. Jennings, O-742582 (MIA / KIA) Berkeley, CA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt Robert Walls, O-684582 (MIA /KIA) Callahan County, TX
Navigator  1st Lt Douglas W. Head, O-685605 (MIA / KIA) NM
Bombardier  1st Lt John D. Ennis, O-679615 (MIA / KIA) Buffalo, NY
Engineer  T/Sgt John M. Laster, 6390425 (MIA / KIA) Memphis, TN
Radio  T/Sgt Philip L. Mercier, 20106915 (MIA / KIA) Chicopee, MA
Assist. Engineer  S/Sgt Robert R. Lansing, 15331198 (MIA / KIA) Byer, IN
Assist. Radio  S/Sgt Horace J. Cooper, 13091380 (MIA / KIA) New Freedom, PA
Gunner  S/Sgt Howard W. Gross, 39311686 (MIA / KIA) North Bend, OR
Gunner  S/Sgt Clarence H. Bieber, 37433517
(MIA / KIA) Lakefield, MN
Crashed  March 8, 1944 at 12:25
MACR  3309

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Constructors Number 2302. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24D-150-CO Liberator serial number 42-41225. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 380th Bombardment Group, 531st Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Sunshine I" with artwork of a devil holding a pitch fork, reclining on a bomb. When lost, engines R-1830-65 serial numbers: A) 42-90028 8) 42-9043 C) 42-07912 0) 42-39888. Aboard were .50 caliber machine guns with serial number listed in Missing Air Crew Report 3309 (MACR 3309).

Mission History
On March 8, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield pilot 1st Lt Leo M. Jennings on a bomb mission against Dagua Airfield near Wewak. The entire crew were members of the 529th Bombardment Squadron. This bomber was last sighted at approximately Lat 3.30 Long 143.30 with the engines on fire over the Wewak area. Three of the crew were seen to parachute from the aircraft but their landing was obscured by clouds.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 25, 1946. The entire crew is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Walls also has a memorial marker at Ross Cemetery in Baird, TX at S-H-8-25-6.
Head also has a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery at memorial section F.
Cooper also has a memorial marker at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in Shrewsbury, PA.

Matt Parson adds:
"In 2014, I volunteered for the South Park High School (SPHS) 100th Anniversary Celebration committee and had an opportunity to research the accomplishments of former students. While doing this, I became more aware of and interested in former students who had lost their lives in service, from World War I through the Iraq War. I’m researching former students from South Park High School in Buffalo, NY who lost their lives in service including John D. Ennis."

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Leo M. Jennings
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Robert Wall
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - John D. Ennis
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - John M. Laster
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Philip L. Mercier
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Robert R. Lansing
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Howard W. Gross
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-150-CO Liberator 42-41225
"41225 (480th BG) lost Mar 8, 1944, SW Pacific. MACR 3309"
Missing Air Crew Report 3309 (MACR 3309)
RAAF Casualty Card - Liberator B-24D 42-41225
"ENGINES: TYPE R-1830-65 AAF Serial Nos (a) 42-90028 (b) 42-9043 (c) 42-07912 (d) 42-39888. Departed NADZAB on bomb strike to DAGUA. Last sighted at 03.30S, 143.30E. Three members were seen to parachute from aircraft but their landing was obscured by cloud."
NAA "Liberator Missing" page 17
RAAF Searcher Brief - no record exist for this aircraft
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 42-41225
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Leo M. Jennings
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert Walls
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Douglas W. Head
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John D. Ennis
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John M. Laster
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Philip L. Mercier
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert R. Lansing
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Horace J. Cooper
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Howard W. Gross
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Clarence H. Bieber
FindAGrave - 1Lt Leo M Jennings (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Robert Walls (memorial photo)
FindAGrave - Robert Walls (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Douglas W Head (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Douglas W. Head (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt John D Ennis (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt John M Laster (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Philip L Mercier (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt Horace J Cooper (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Horace J Cooper (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Howard W Gross (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt Clarence H Bieber (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Douglas W. Head (memorial photo)
FindAGrave - Horace J Cooper (memorial photo)

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Last Updated
January 30, 2018

 

Tech Information
B-24

Photos
Photo Archive

Map
Map
March 8, 1944

MIA
MIA
10 Missing

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