|Pilot 2nd Lt. R. T. Neal (KIA)
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. W. E. Scanlan (KIA)
Navigator 2nd Lt. W. J. Ward (KIA)
Bombardier 2nd Lt. R. W. Walsh (KIA)
Mechanic Sgt. F. Gaballero (KIA)
Radio Sgt. G. Sacre (KIA)
Crashed January 17, 1945
Built by Consolidated in San Diego, CA between September 3-10, 1943. Constructors Number 2704. First flight September 14, 1943. Accepted by the US Army on September 16, 1943. On September 21, 1943 flown to the Tucson, Arizona modificiation center. On September 29, 1943 staged to Topeka, Kansas and on October 29, 1943 to Fairfield, CA. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia arriving at Garbutt Field on November 3, 1943.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 380th Bombardment Group, 531st Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Milady" with the nose art of a nude woman sitting on a bomb and holding a pen and paper pad. Crew chief MSgt William B. Camp. This bomber was painted in olive drab and flew at least 12 combat missions. Afterwards, stripped to bare aluminum finish. Operated from Long Airfield near Darwin.
This B-24's first combat mission FEN III-39 on December 17, 1943 piloted by Baptist on a first reconnaissance mission over Selaru and Utoram. In total, this B-24 flew a total of fify-six combat missions prior to crashing.
On January 17, 1944 took off from Long Strip on a practice bombing mission over Quail Island. Crashed onto the Cox Peninsula to the west
of Darwin, killing the entire crew in the crash. Officially written off on January 17, 1944. On April 3, 1945 striken from charge.
The crash site remains in situ. Over the years, many parts have been souvenired by visitors. This aircraft wreck was placed on the NT Heritage Register. A memorial plaque was placed at the site by the Northern Territory Government
to commemorate the crash.
Bob Alford adds:
"It was rapidly falling victim to the souvenir hunters until we had it put on the NT Heritage Register and thus legislatively protected. The local government offices took it's presentation and maintenance up as a project and the NT Government had the site interpreted with assistance of the 380th Bomb. Group Association in the USA. Items previously taken from the site were returned and many people visit the site annually. The very real potential for these sites now is the ever increasing interest in visiting the WWII heritage the Territory offers."
John Sauer adds:
"As of May 23, 2013 The access road is in bad condition and requires a good 4WD to access. There is a gate with no lock stating this is private property."
The graves of the crew are unknown, presumed to be buried in private cemeteries in the United States.
The Flying Circus page 163, 167
King of the Heavies page 156
Under the Southern Cross page 83-84 (photos), 130
Best in the Southwest pages 78, 234, 253, 260, 302, 475 (profile #12, photo #134)
380th.org - B-24D 42-73134
380th.org - B-24D 42-73134 - Mission Record
NT Heritage Register - B-24J "Milady" 42-73134
380th BG Association - B-24J "Milady" 42-73134 aircraft card
380th BG Association - B24J "Milady" 42-73134 mission record
Darwin's Air War (Revised Edition) page 140-141
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August 10, 2019