|Pilot 2nd Lt Carl F. Carpenter, O-742680
(MIA / KIA) MN
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt William R. McCandless, O-683037
(MIA / KIA) IA
Navigator 1st Lt Grant W. Erwin, Jr., O-558862 (POW, survived) WI
Bombardier 2ndLT Clarence H. Clyborne (POW, died December 31, 1943)
Engineer SSgt Robert McCarty, 12126491
(MIA / KIA) NY
Radio SSgt William C. Fetterman, 13155731
(MIA / KIA) PA
Gunner Eugene L. Moyers, 14160896 (MIA / KIA) TN
Gunner Sgt Alfred L. Busby, 18193907
(MIA / KIA) OK
Gunner Sgt Malcolm W. Carter, 31151547
(MIA / KIA) ME
Armorer Gunner Sgt Paul L. Elyea, 36179569
(MIA / KIA) MI
Crashed December 1,
1943 at 12:13
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas to India.
Assigned to the 10th Air Force, 7th Bomber Group, 9th Bomber Squadron. Nicknamed "Bugs Bunny". When lost, engines R-1820-65 serial numbers RP425134, 42-93165, BP425217 and 42-92812. Weapon serial numbers noted in Missing Air Crew Report
1226 (MACR 1226).
The entire crew had just arrived
in India and were on their first combat mission. Regular navigator Kaufman was ill and did not fly the mission. He was replaced by Grant W. Erwin who was an experienced navigator.
On December 1,
1943 one of fifty B-24s that took off from Pandaveswar Airfield in India on a bombing mission against against Insein railway marshalling yards located to the north of Rangoon in Burma. The B-24s were escorted by P-51 Mustangs that rendevoused late. Over the target, intercepted by enemy fighters roughly fifty miles southwest of Insein. This B-24 was set on fire and engulfed in flames. Only two of the crew (Erwin and Clyborne) were able to bail out from roughly 200'. The bomber crashed near Bassein, exploding when it hit the ground.
Fates of the Crew
Erwin and Clyborne survived and were captured by the Japanese and transported to Rangoon POW Camp. Clyborn died in captivity on December 31, 1943. Erwin survived and was liberated at the end of the war.
Recovery of Remains
Postwar, US Army AGRS recovered five sets of remains were recovered from a
banana groove near thre crash site where they were buried by the Japanese or locals. On May 17, 1946, these remains were transported aboard C-47 43-48308 on a flight from Rangoon to Calcutta and crashed.
The eight members of the crew who died aboard the bomber were officially declared dead on the day of the mission. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Ruth Garmong (widow of Fetterman) adds:
"My husband, Bill
Fetterman, was the radio operater was on his third mission. I was also told that the plane was hit, and two bailed out, but only one
survived. I would sure like to
talk to anyone who may have known any of these men. I know it has been many years, but I was
hoping maybe Kaufman was still around and could maybe tell me something
about the crew. I would sure like to talk to anyone who may have known
any of these men."
Missing Air Crew Report
1226 (MACR 1226) pages 1-24 relates to this bomber. Pages 25-33 related to B-24D piloted by Kavanagh.
NARA Prisoners of War
- Grant W. Erwin
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August 10, 2019