|Missing In Action (MIA)||Prisoners Of War (POW)||Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)|
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USAAF December 1943
43rd BG c1944
Brian Bennett 2002
|Pilot 2nd Lt Raymond A. Cooley, O-888887 (MIA / KIA) Leary, TX
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Dudley R. Ives, O-687035 (MIA / KIA) Aransas Pass/Ingleside, TX
Navigator 2nd Lt George E. Archer, O-685343 (MIA / KIA) (Cushing, OK
Bombardier 2nd Lt Donald F. Grady, O-685799 (MIA / KIA) Harrisburg, PA
Engineer T/Sgt Richard R. Sargent, 13128550 (MIA / KIA) North Girard, PA
Asst. Engineer S/Sgt Norman L. Nell, 17164634 (MIA / KIA) Tarkio, MO
Radio T/Sgt Steve Zayac, 20322589 (MIA / KIA) Cleveland, OH
Asst. Radio S/Sgt Thomas G. Knight, 16126500 (MIA / KIA) Brookfield, IL
Gunner S/Sgt Blair W. Smith, 33135850 (MIA / KIA) Nu Mine, PA
Tail Gunner S/Sgt Joseph M. King, 36576814 (MIA / KIA) Detroit, MI
MIA April 16, 1944 'Black Sunday'
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 403rd Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Here T'is". When lost engines: R-1830-65 Serial Numbers: 42-91692, 42-9872, 42-36592, 42-89996.
On April 16, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield (No 3) piloted by 2nd Lt Raymond A. Cooley on a bombing mission over Annenburg-Hollandia. Returning from the mission, the formation encoutered severe weather and the formation broke up and began flying on intruments. Pilot Cooley was instructed to take a heading for Saidor and proceed alone. He acknowledged and stated he was gaining altitude. This was the last radio contact. This B-24 was last seen 50 miles north of Faita at an altitud of 2,000' on a 90° bearing in bad weather. Whe this bomber failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
Brian Bennett adds:
Identification of the crew's remains was completed in December 2006 using mDNA and dental records. Remains of the crew were returned to their families in early 2007, resolving this MIA case.
Nancy Donald (niece of Richard R. Sargent):
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