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  B-24D-150-CO "Dropsnoot" Serial Number 42-41246  
USAAF
13th AF
5th BG
31st BS

Click For Enlargement
5th BG c1944

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Fred Olsson Oct 1, 2007

Pilot 2nd Lt. Wills Finks, O-696349 (survived)
Co-Pilot
 2nd Lt. Jack S. Scott, O-765328 (survived)
Navigator   2nd Lt. Harold A. Haugrud, O-707913 (MIA / KIA) Pelican Rapids, MN
Bombardier  2nd Lt. Carl P. Swadley, O-752965 (MIA / KIA) TX
Engineer  SSgt Mangus R. Schuldt, 39558691 (survived)
Asst Engineer  Sgt Charles Tashjian, 31258464 (survived) Middlesex County, MA
Radio  SSgt Anthony A. Marisi, 32797423 (survived) New York, NY
Asst Radio  Sgt Joe P. Carlisle, 20816281 (survived)
Gunner  Cpl James H. Cook, 38511816 (survived)
Gunner  Cpl Forest W. Harris, 37502843 (MIA / KIA) KS
Photographer  Sgt Ralph R. Kincaid, 37476544 (MIA / KIA) Buffalo County, NE
Crashed  June 17, 1944 at 1600
MACR  11968

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Constructors Number 2323. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-150-CO Liberator serial number 42-41246. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field across the Pacific to the South Pacific.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 5th Bombardment Group, 31st Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Dropsnoot". When lost, engines R-1830-43 serial numbers 41-?????. Weapon serial numbers not listed in Missing Air Crew Report 11968 (MACR 11968).

Mission History
On June 17, 1944 took off from Momote Airfield on a bombing mission against against Eten Island at Truk Lagoon. This B-24 was flying in the first element, the no. 3 position. At 10:40am, twenty-five minutes from the target, pilot Finks reported that he was returning to base due to a fuel shortage. Finks called for a bearing at 3:30pm and was given a course of 95 degrees, but was not heard from again. This B-24 was last seen in the Hermit Island (north of New Guinea), roughly 250km northeast of the mouth of the Sepik River.

Fates of the Crew
At approximately 4;00pm, the entire crew bailed out in the span of four minutes over Mingo Island, when the engines began to cut out due to a lack of fuel. All parachutes opened and they landed in an area approximately two miles wide into rough seas with white caps roughly six miles southeast of Jalun Island.

Rescue
Several of the crew could not swim and likely drown at sea: Haugrud, Swadley, Harris and Kincaid. The rest of the crew aided each other and managed to reach Hermet Island. Three days later, they located friendly natives who provide them food and shelter. Together, the crew searched the outer atoll area for the four missing men using a native canoe.

Fourteen days after bailing out, (other sources state 9 days later) the crew was rescued by a PBY Catalina, that sighted them the day before. Afterwards, the Catalina searched the entire atoll for the missing crew members, without success, then returned to base in the Admiralties. The surviving crew were debriefed and returned to duty.

Memorials
Haugrud, Swadley, Harris and Kincaid were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Each earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. All four are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Haugrud also has a memorial marker at Pelican Rapids Veteran's Memorial in Pelican Rapids, MI.
Swadley also has a memorial marker at Southland Cemetery in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Kincaid also has a memorial marker at Kearney Cemetery in Kearney, NB.

Tashjian passed away January 28, 2006. He is buried at Linwood Cemetery in Haverhill, MA.

Wreckage
Unmanned, this B-24 flew southward until it crashed into a hillside south of Wewak at an elevation of 313 metres. On October 1, 2007 Fred Olsson visited the crash site and reported to JPAC during December 2007 but did not receive any response. The tail had yellow painted serial number digits including "240?" [42-40???] and "2412" [42-412??] .

Fred Olsson adds:
"The landing gear and lights wreckage in front of this about ten metres uphill.  The tail is very large and about 150 metres behind.  Wreckage in four main sections oriented nearly NS with front end pointing south. Very little has been scavenged from the wreck because of its remote location. Just a couple of bits of metal for native barbeques. The villagers are ready to assist in any way and they have a chopper pad now cleared about two miles down river."

On July 1, 2008 the crash site was reported again to JPAC by Justin Taylan on behalf of Fred Olsson. A team from JPAC investigated this site and located the serial number, confirming the identity of the bomber.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Charles Tashjian
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Anthony A. Marisi
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Joe P. Carlisle
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-150-CO Liberator 42-41246
"41246 (5th BG, 31st BS, "Droop Snoot") lost Jun 17, 1944. MACR 11968"
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 42-41246
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harold A. Haugrud
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Carl P. Swadley
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Forest W. Harris
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ralph R. Kincaid
FIndAGrave - Harold A Haugrud (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Carl Page Swadley (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Forest W Harris (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Ralph Roland Kincaid (tablets of the missing photo, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Charles Tashjian (photo, grave photo)
Thanks to Fred Olsson for additional information

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Last Updated
October 9, 2018

 

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