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  B-24J-35-CO "Super" Serial Number 42-73338  
USAAF
5th AF
43rd BG
65th BS

Pilot  1st Lt John W. Taylor, O-797637 (MIA / KIA) TN
Co-Pilot  1st Lt Earle P. Smith Jr., O-748821 (MIA / KIA) MA
Navigator  1st Lt Harold G. Schlesier, O-733471 (MIA / KIA) IL
Bombardier  2nd Lt James C. Brown, O-676418 (MIA / KIA) SC
Engineer  S/Sgt Patrick P. Steffanelli, 12132191 (MIA / KIA) NJ
Asst. Engineer  Sgt Joseph C. Keen Jr., 35467991 (MIA / KIA) OH
Radio  S/Sgt Robert E. Fitzgerald, 31163118 (MIA / KIA) MA
Asst. Radio  Sgt Joseph G. Bialy, 32452236 (MIA / KIA) NJ
Gunner  Sgt Harry F. Huntington, 19087985 (MIA / KIA) CA
Gunner  Sgt Louis D. Ball, 35342063 (MIA / KIA) IL

Crashed  April 9, 1944
MACR  none

Crew History
This crew (with the exception of Lt. Smith and Schlesier) previously survived bailing out of B-24D 42-41088 on October 18, 1943 and had returned to duty by November 2, 1943.

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

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 43rd Bombardment Group, 65th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Super" with the nose art of a mouse. When lost, engines R-1830-43 AAF Serial Numbers: 42-88841, 42-88846, 42-87685, 42-88844.

Mission History
On April 9, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield on a bombing mission against Hansa Bay. Over the target, this B-24 was hit by anti-aircraft fire in the No. 3 engine and one wing was observed to break off. The aircraft exploded when it crashed into the sea. No parachutes were sighted.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Two of the crew, Brown and Ball were officially declared dead on October 9, 1944. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Schlesier has a memorial marker at Saint Johns Lutheran Cemetery in Decatur, IL.

Ball has a memorial marker at Rochester IOOF Cemetery in Rochester, IN at plot 40 Section 3, Row 5 at 04.323 -86 13.467

References
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 42-73338
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John W. Taylor
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Earle P. Smith Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harold G. Schlesier
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James C. Brown
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Patrick P. Steffanelli
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph C. Keen Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert E. Fitzgerald
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph G. Bialy death date incorrectly listed as Oct. 9, 1944
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harry F. Huntington
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Louis D. Ball death date incorrectly listed as Oct. 9, 1944
FindAGrave - 1Lt John W Taylor (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Earle P Smith, Jr
FindAGrave - 1Lt Harold G Schlesier
FindAGrave - Harold George Schlesier (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - TSgt Patrick P Steffanelli
FindAGrave - SSgt Joseph C Keen, Jr
FindAGrave - TSgt Robert E Fitzgerald
FindAGrave - SSgt Joseph G Bialy (death date incorrectly listed as Oct. 9, 1944)
FindAGrave - SSgt Harry F Huntington
FindAGrave - Sgt Louis D. Ball (tablets of the missing photo, death date incorrectly listed as Oct. 9, 1944)
FindAGrave - Sgt Louis D. Ball (memorial marker photo, letter home, obituary)

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Information
B-24

MIA
MIA
10 Missing

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