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  B-24J-5-CO Liberator Serial Number 42-73055  
USAAF
10th AF
7th BG
9th BS

Pilot  Captain William "Bill" Wright, O-725565 (POW / MIA) Commerce, TX
Co-Pilot  1st Lt. Merrill R. Parker, O-720160 ( (POW / MIA) MS
Navigator  1st Lt. Roy A. Wentz, Jr., O-659938 (POW, survived) IL
Bombardier  1st Lt. Raymond A. Maloney, O-726056 (POW, survived)
Engineer  SSgt Clifford H. Bockman, 19075514 (POW, survived)
Radio  SSgt Francis C. Winderl, 19019299 (POW / MIA) MN
Asst Engineer  SSgt Frank Rodriguez, 6578491 (POW, died August 27, 1944, BRN / MIA) CA
Asst Radio  SSgt Edward J. Girman, 35258994 (POW, MIA) IN
Gunner  SSgt Alvin L. Hastings, 35357272 (POW, survived) IN
Gunner  SSgt Joseph B. Wells, 6934111 (POW, survived) IA

Crashed  December 1, 1943
MACR  1227

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas to India.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group, 9th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engines R-1830-65 serial number 42-91183, 41-43411, 42-91628, 42-90944. Weapon serial numbers noted in MACR.

Mission History
On December 1, 1943 took off from Pandaveswar Airfield in India on a bombing mission against Insein north of Rangoon in Burma (Myanmar). Over the target, this B-24 was shot down by enemy fighters 30km west of Ma-ubin in Burma.

Fates of the Crew
The entire crew was captured by the Japanese and became Prisoners Of War (POW). All were imprisoned at Rangoon Central Prison at Rangoon.

Rodriguez died on August 27, 1944, but his remains were never recovered and listed as MIA.

At the end of the war, four of the crew were liberated from Moulmein and Rangoon Prison: Hastings, Wells, Wentz, Bockman. Girman, Parker and Winderl were officially declared dead on February 4, 1946.

On May 17, 1946, the remains of Wright were transported aboard C-47B Dakota 43-48308 on a flight from Rangoon to Calcutta and crashed.

Memorials
Rodriguez, Wentz, Bockman. Girman, Parker and Winderl are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Relatives
Rob Donaldson (nephew of Wright)
"Our Uncle, Capt William "Bill" Wright from Commerce Texas, was a B-24 pilot with 7th BG 9th BS, operating out of the CBI Theater when they were shot down in December 1942. They became POW's at the Rangoon Jail, where he was killed in captivity. Supposedly his remains were recovered after the war, and in the process of being transported via C-47 43-48308 back to the US the plane crashed in the Burmese jungle."

References
Missing Air Crew Report 1227 (MACR 1227)
NARA Prisoners of War Data File - Roy A. Wentz
NARA Prisoner of War Data File - Clifford H. Bockman
NARA Prisoner of War Data File - Alvin L. Hastings
NARA Prisoner of War Data File - Joseph Wells
The Daily Chronicle (De Kalb, Illinois) "Yanks Held In Rangoon Free" May 7, 1945
Pictorial History of the 7th Bombardment Group/Wing page 286 (Wells photo)

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Information
B-24

POW
POW / MIA
10 Prisoner
1 Missing

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