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  B-24J-50-CO Liberator Serial Number 42-73466  
USAAF
13th AF
307th BG
424th BS

Pilot  1st Lt William E. Francis, Jr., O-793754 (MIA / KIA) Jackson, TN
Co-Pilot  1st Lt Joseph J Slater, O-748819 (MIA / KIA) Cohoes, NY
Bombardier  1st Lt Robert W. Bjornholm, O-676339 (MIA / KIA) Quincy, MA
Navigator  1st Lt. John W. Geiger, Jr., O-673142 (MIA / KIA) Flushing, NY
Engineer  TSgt Robert L. Taberski, 35259464 (MIA / KIA) South Ben, IN
Asst Engineer  SSgt William H. Landacre, 16015110 (MIA / KIA) Chicago, IL
Radio  TSgt Richard Krueger, 33447184 (MIA / KIA) Washington, DC
Asst Radio  SSgt Adrian T. McKinney, 35508069 (MIA / KIA) Cogswell, KY
Gunner  SSgt Robert E Brink, 13093672 (MIA / KIA) Eagles Mere, PA
Gunner  SSgt Richard L. Haskins, 14080691 (MIA / KIA) Lake Hamilton, FL

MIA  March 29, 1944 at 14:00
MACR  3738

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field to the South Pacific.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 307th Bombardment Group, 424th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
One of nineteen B-24s that took off from Munda Airfield on New Georgia. This B-24 landed at Torokina Airfield on Bougainville and was armed with bombs before departing for Nissian Airfield (Green) to refueled before taking off on a bombing mission against Etan Airfield at Truk Lagoon.

Over the target, formation was intercepted by aggressive enemy fighters for an hour. Eyewitness accounts reported seeing this bomber's no. 3 engine on fire then flames in the waist compartment.

At least four of the crew were observed to bail out, and a fifth crew member exited the plane either without a parachute or his failed to open. The bomber was observed to make a controlled water landing at roughly 5° 34' N - 152° 11' E, none of the crew were observed exiting the bomber. The parachutist and bomber were strafed by the attacking enemy fighters. The B-24 remained afloat for about 30 seconds then sank into the open sea.

Search
Afterwards, COMAIRSOLS made an intensive search for any surviving members of the crew, but none were found.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Francis is also memorialized on a plaque at the St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Jackson, TN.

Relatives
Andrea Simpkins (great niece of Haskins)
John W. Geiger (nephew of Geiger)

References
Missing Air Crew Report 3738 (MACR 3738)
American Battle Monuments Commission -
American Battle Monuments Commission -
American Battle Monuments Commission -
American Battle Monuments Commission -
American Battle Monuments Commission - Adrian T. McKinney
American Battle Monuments Commission -
American Battle Monuments Commission -
American Battle Monuments Commission -
American Battle Monuments Commission -
American Battle Monuments Commission -
FindAGrave - 1Lt William E Francis, Jr (tablets of the missing)

Contribute Information
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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-24

MIAMIA
10 Missing

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