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|Instructor Pilot 1st Lt. Clinton S. Wicker (survived) MN
Student Pilot Captain John A. Temple, O-725225 (MIA / KIA) CA
Student Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Paul E. Foster (survived)
Engineer SSgt William R. Homer, 07025704 (survived) Jeannette, PA
Radio Sgt Francois X. Frederick, 34155054 (MIA / KIA) LA
Crashed October 1, 1943 at 9:05am
On October 1, 1943 took off from Bomber 2 on Espirito Santo at 9:05am on a training flight with Captain John A. Temple with instructor pilot 1st Lt. Clinton S. Wicker flying as co-pilot. After take off, the landing gear was retracted and climbed to 300' when the manifold pressure was decreased. The no. 1 engine did not respond and its rpm ran up and the radio failed. Pilot Wicker immediately cut the power to the engine and attempts were made to decrease the rpms using the propeller governor controls then the engineer Homer attempted to feather the engine unsuccessfully.
The B-24 began to mush and loose altitude, the crew spotted a Patrol Boat YP#420 and flew over it, and increased the throttle to the other engines before ditching roughly 4 miles east of Bomber 1 on Espirito Santo. On impact, the B-24 did not bounce but broke into two pieces at the fuselage around the ball turret, with the tail section sinking immediately. The nose section with the wings attached nosed up nearly vertically, submerging the radio room and cockpit section before sinking roughly three to four minutes afterwards.
Fates of the Crew
Approximately ten minutes after the crash, the three surviving crew were rescued by Patrol Boat YP#420 and returned to duty.
Two of the crew: Temple and Frederick were likely knocked unconscious during the crash landing and went down with the bomber. Their bodies were never recovered. Both remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Wicker remained in the U. S. Army and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He passed away on November 24, 1961 and was buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at section H, site 1523.
Homer remained in the U. S. Air Force (USAF) and achieved the rank of Master Sergeant. During the Korean War, Homer was a crew member aboard a RB-29A Superfortress Serial Number 44-61810 Missing In Action (MIA) June 13, 1952.
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