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  B-24D-155-CO Liberator Serial Number 42-72804  
5th AF
90th BG
319th BS

Pilot  1st Lt Gordon E. Friedline, O-799748 (MIA / KIA) Johnstown, PA
Co-Pilot  1st Lt Laddie W. Taylor, O-792554 (MIA / KIA) Rocky Mount, NC
Navigator  2ndLt Alvin N. Etzel, O-670721 (MIA / KIA) Milwaukee, WI
Bombardier  1stLt Cleve R. Molloy, O-669373 (MIA / KIA) Kalamazoo, MI
Weather Observer  2nd Lt Bronislaus W. Prusak, O-804869 (MIA / KIA) Lansaster, NY
Engineer  T/Sgt Lloyd O. Hixson, 18084576 (MIA / KIA) Dunlap, TN
Radio  T/Sgt Melvin A. Block, 32517918 (MIA / KIA) Brooklyn, NY
Gunner  S/Sgt John C. Nason Jr., 13145405 (MIA / KIA) Philipsburg, PA
Gunner  S/Sgt Percy M. Metcalf, 31146780 (MIA / KIA) Labec, ME
Gunner  S/Sgt Leslie R. Hazelbaker, 15337962 (MIA / KIA) Bueua Vista, OH
Gunner  S/SgtJohn T. Heckwolf, 32455504 (MIA / KIA) Baltimore, MD
Radar  Cp.l Carl A. Butler, 38121242 (MIA / KIA) Trent, TX
Photographer  SSgt Joseph Beirach, 12007348 (MIA / KIA) Kingston, NY

MIA  January 16, 1944 at 10:03am
MACR  2084

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Constructors Number 2374. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-155-CO Liberator serial number 42-72804. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 90th Bombardment Group, 319th Bombardment Squadron. No nose art or nickname is known. When lost, engines R-1830-65 serial numbers 42-90258, 42-90056, 42-90071, 42-90700. Weapon serial numbers note in MACR.

Wartime History
On January 16, 1944 took off from Dobodura No. 12 Airfield (North Embi Airfield) on a reconnaissance mission north and northwest over the Bismarck Sea. Weather was 8/10 alto stratus with a base of 15,000'. 3/10 cumulus with tops at 6,000' and 30 mile visibility. Last reported position by radio was at Lat 4.00 Long 146.00, roughly 75 miles northeast of Alexishafen over the Bismarck Sea. This B-24 failed to return and was declared Missing In Action (MIA).

The entire crew was officially declared dead on February 9, 1946. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Missing Air Crew Report 2084 (MACR 2084)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 42-72804

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Last Updated
April 24, 2018


Tech Information

13 Missing

Jan 16, 1944

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