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  B-24D-155-CO Liberator Serial Number 42-72794  
USAAF
13th AF
5th BG
23rd BS

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
MACR  725

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego during 1941. Constructors Number 2364. Delivered to the U. S. Army and ferried overseas via Hawaii to the South Pacific.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 5th Bombardment Group, 23rd Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R-1830-43 serial numbers 41-15241, 42-59124, 42-40992 and 42-59189. Weapon serial numbers not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 725 (MACR 725).

Mission History
On October 1, 1943 took off from Bomber 2 on Espirito Santo at 6:30am on a training flight piloted by instructor pilot 1st Lt. Clinton S. Wicker to train student pilot Captain John A. Temple flying as co-pilot. After circling the area, Wicker landed at 8:30am

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 After take off, the landing gear was retracted and climbed to 300' when the manifold pressure was decreased.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
Three of the crew: Wicker, Foster and Homer survived the ditching. Pilot Wicker escaped from underwater using the escape hatch and swam to the surface. Foster also managed to swim to the surface. Meanwhile, Homer managed to deploy one of the life rafts.

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).

Memorials
Temple and Frederick were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Both are memorialized at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at the courts of the missing. Temple at court 5. Frederick at court 7.

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.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Clinton S. Wicker

NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - William R. Homer
Missing Air Crew Report 725 (MACR 725)
FindAGrave - Clinton S Wicker
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John A. Temple
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Francois X. Frederick
FindAGrave - Capt John A Temple (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Francois X Frederick (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - William R. Homer (photo, memorial marker Arlington)
FindAGrave - Sgt William Robert Homer (photos)

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Information
B-24

Map
Map
Oct 1, 1943

MIA
MIA
2 Missing

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