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  B-24J-170-CO "Miss Jones" Serial Number 44-40611  
13th AF
307th BG
371st BS

Pilot  1st Lt. Edward "Eddie" J. Rice, O-683585 (MIA / KIA) Des Moines, Iowa
Co-Pilot  1st Lt. Kenneth D. Smith "Smitty", O-691003 (MIA / KIA) Albuquerque, NM
Navigator  1st Lt Marcel J. "Max" Bilder, O-743560 (MIA / KIA) Winona, MN
Bombardier  1st Lt. Lester P. Brown, Jr. "Brownie", O-751880 (MIA / KIA) Pittsfield, MA
Engineer  SSgt Benjamin T. Tampio "Benny", 16022254 (MIA / KIA) MI
Assistant Engineer  SSgt Sol Stein "Sy", 12181798 (MIA / KIA) Brooklyn, NY
Radio Operator  SSgt Thomas B. Silko "Buck", 13038652 (MIA / KIA) Monongahela, PA
Photographer  TSgt Tommy W. Griggs, 38228054 (MIA / KIA) Abilene, TX
Waist Gunner ¬†Sgt Donald E. Reed "Don", 35740776 (MIA / KIA) Buchannon, WV
Waist Gunner  SSgt Earle W. "Junior" Painter, 13119229 (MIA / KIA) Staunton, VA
Tail Gunner  Sgt Sam M. Manfredi "Sam", 36615401 (MIA / KIA) Chicago, Illinois

Crashed  July 5, 1944
MACR  6526

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated in San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24J-170-CO Liberator serial number 44-40611. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field to the South Pacific.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 307th Bombardment Group, 371st Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Miss Jones".

Mission History
On July 5, 1944 took off from Mokerang Airfield on Los Negros Island on a bombing mission over Yap. 24 B-24s from the 307th "Long Rangers" departed at different times to try to catch enemy fighters and other personnel on the ground. Each bomber was armed with fragmentary cluster bombs. This was one of the longest missions the 307th Bombardment Group flew requiring two extra fuel tanks in the bomb bays to fly the round trip of 1,300 miles.

Over the target, this B-24 was shot down. There were reports of several chutes opening and other planes in the group dropped life rafts to them and reports of the men deploying the life rafts. When this bomber failed to return, the entire crew was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

The entire crew were declared dead the day of the mission. The entire crew earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. Bilder earned the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters. Rice earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters.

The entire crew is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Bilder also has a memorial marker at Saint Marys Cemetery in Winona, MN.
Reed also has a memorial marker at Reed Cemetery in Tallmansville, WV.
Painter also has a memorial marker at Thornrose Cemetery in Staunton, VA.

John Painter (nephew of SSgt Earle W. Painter)
"When the rescue flight got there no trace was found of them. probably lost to strafing or sharks. none of this is confirmed as the sources have been forgotten. Waiting on MACR and other official documents. also, not sure if the crew of rum dum was the same plane they went down in and that is what the crew called themselves or if it was another a/c that they flew missions in. also, my aunt tells me that after the war on of the planes ground crew came to visit my grandmother and said they sat up by the runway far hours waiting for them to return because they were a very popular crew and no one wanted to admit that they weren't coming back. once i can confirm the stories i would be honored to give you the details to post on the site. part of the reason i`m posting is to possibly help relatives of the other crew members who might be looking for information."

B-24 Nose Art Name Directory listed this B-24 as "Miss Jones", with a picture of the nose art and several men standing beside it.
Missing Air Crew Report 6526 (MACR 6526)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edward J. Rice
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Kenneth D. Smith
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Marcel J. Bilder
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lester P. Brown, Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Benjamin T. Tampio
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Sol Stein
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Thomas B. Silko

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Tommy W. Griggs
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Donald E. Reed
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Earle W. Painter
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Sam M. Manfredi
FindAGrave - 1Lt Edward J Rice (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Kenneth D Smith (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Marcel J Bilder (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1LT Marcel J Bilder (memorial marker photos)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Lester P Brown, Jr (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt Benjamin T Tampio (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Sol Stein (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt Thomas B Silko (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt Tommy W Griggs (news, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt Donald E Reed (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Donald E Reed (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Earle W Painter (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Sgt Earle W. Painter (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Sam M Manfredi (photo, tablets of the missing)

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


Tech Information

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