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  B-24L-10-FO Liberator Serial Number 44-49607 Tail 28
10th AF
7th BG
9th BS
February 1945 via Webb

Click For Enlargement
Walt Webb May 2005

Pilot  1st Lt. Nathan Margolies, O-806295 (stayed with plane MIA / KIA) NY
Co-Pilot  1st Lt. Arthur R. Chaffee, O-755518 (bailed out, survived) WA
Navigator  1st Lt. Edwin E. Scranton, O-685742 (bailed out, MIA / KIA) OH
Bombardier  1st Lt. James M. Meredith, O-889303 (bailed out survived) KS
Engineer  TSgt Stanley P. Sadloski, 11010475 (stayed with plane survived) CT
Radio Operator  TSgt James F. Nelson, 32086547 (bailed out survived) NY
Asst Engineer  SSgt Edward Reed, 11090457 (stayed with plane KIA, BR) MA
Gunner  SSgt Kenneth W. Herald, 39559281 (bailed out survived) CA
Gunner  SSgt Leo Moriarty, 31285901 (stayed with plane survived) MA
Gunner  SSgt John E. Cunningham, 14147628 (bailed out MIA / KIA) GA

Crashed  March 24, 1945
MACR  13435

Aircraft History
Built by Ford at Willow Run, Michigan. Constructors Number 4462. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24L-10-FO Liberator 44-49607. Ferried overseas to India.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 10th Air Force, 7th Bombardment Group, 9th Bombardment Squadron with tail number 28. No nose art or nickname. When lost, engines R-1830-43 serial numbers CP 317484, CP 317181, CP 317436, CP 31 79???.

Mission History
On March 24, 1945 took off from Pandaveswar Airfield in India on a bombing mission against Bridge Q633 on the Burma-Siam Railway built by Prisoner Of War (POW) forced laborers. Weather was good with a visibility of 8-10 miles.

As the formation was departing India, this B-24 developed an engine oil leak followed by multiple engine malfunctions. Breaking formation, this B-24 reversed course over the Ganges Delta swampland. Even after salvoing the bomb payload, the extra gas tank, and other removable heavy equipment, the B-24 continued losing altitude. The bailout command was issued.

Fates of the Crew
Six of the crew bailed out at less than 1,000 feet, and four others ditched with the plane in the river delta. Lt. Scranton's and S/Sgt. Cunningham's chutes never opened in time; the two men were never found. The pilot Margolies was trapped aboard the plane and sank with it; neither he nor the plane was ever recovered. Assistant engineer S/Sgt. Edward Reed died after reaching the shore; his body was returned. The six survivors were rescued the next day.

Recovery of Remains
The remains of Reed were recovered and transported to the United States for permanent burial.

The missing crew members were officially declared dead on March 25, 1946. Margolies, Scranton, and Cunningham are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

After his remains were recovered, Reed was buried at Long Island National Cemetery at plot H-9054.

Cunningham also has a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery.

Surviving crew member Chaffee passed away on August 1, 1977. He is buried at Holyrood Catholic Cemetery in Shoreline, WA at section M, Row 3119, Grave 3.

Herald passed away on September 22, 1977. He is buried at Fredericksburg West Cemetery in Fredericksburg, OH.

Surviving crew member Sadloski passed away September 3, 1998. He is buried at West Meadow Cemetery in Newington, CT.

On May 26, 2005 the three MIA crew members were given a military honors and a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery. Eighteen guests from all three families attended the ceremony which included some 70 Army personnel, a seven-horse caisson team with flag-draped mock casket, escort platoon, pall bearers, brass band, and color guard. The service was conducted by both an Army chaplain and a civilian rabbi--the latter for the pilot's family. Following a three-volley gun salute and "Taps," three folded flags were presented to the next of kin from the families. Memorial headstones for Lt. Margolies, Lt. Scranton, and S/Sgt. Cunningham had been installed prior to the ceremony. Researcher Walt Webb, cousin of Lt. Scranton, organized the event.

Moriarty passed away on February 15, 2010. He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Danielson, CT at section F, grave 91.

Walt Webb (cousin of Scranton)
"Ed Scranton was my cousin, although I never knew him. I've been researching his brief military career and the accident for 17 years. Using official documents and the eyewitness recollections of several living crew survivors, I've managed to recreate what I believe is the B-24's return leg and the rough locations of both the bailout and ditch sites. I plan to write a book honoring my cousin and his comrades."

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24 44-49607
"49607 (7th BG) lost Mar 24, 1945. MACR 13435."
Missing Air Crew Report 13435 (MACR 13435)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Nathan Margolies
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edwin E. Scranton
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John E. Cunningham
FindAGrave - Arthur Richard Chaffee (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Stanley Sadloski (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Edward "Ted" Reed (photos)
FindAGrave - Kenneth W. Herald (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Leo Moriarty (photos, grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt John E Cunningham (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT John Edward "Jack" Cunningham (photo, memorial marker)
B-24 Liberator - Serial 44-49607
Thanks to Walt Webb for additional information and photos

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Last Updated
May 14, 2018


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