|Missing In Action (MIA)||Prisoners Of War (POW)||Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)|
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|Pilot 1st Lt. Lloyd K. Jensen, O-726248 (POW, survived) CA
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Owen J. Baggett, O-791369 (POW, survived) Graham, TX
Navigator 1st Lt. Max A. Davis, O-660462 (MIA / KIA March 31, 1943) CO
Bombardier 2nd Lt. Bert J. Smith, O-727673 (MIA / KIA March 31, 1943) Millfield, OH
Engineer TSgt Kenneth E. Schleicher, 12040427 (MIA / KIA March 31, 1943) Bloomfield, NJ
Radio SSgt Stephen F. Burke, 11021671 (MIA / KIA March 31, 1943) Worcester, MA
Gunner SSgt Samuel A. Crostic, Jr., 20367261 (POW, survived) VA
Gunner SSgt Tadix E. Higginbotham, 18044472 (POW, survived) IL
Gunner SSgt Joseph R. R. Mercier, 6146112 (MIA / KIA March 31, 1943) MA
Crashed March 31, 1943
Before reaching the target, the formation was attacked by a Japanese fighters. During the intense air battle that followed, this B-24 was damaged and crashed.
Five of the crew were killed in the bomber or were strafed as they descended in their parachutes. All five are listed as Missing In Action (MIA) including Davis, Smith, Schleicher, Burke and Mercier. It is unclear if Burke was captured or died on March 31, 1943.
Co-pilot Baggett bailed out and while descending in his parachute claimed to shoot down an enemy fighter by shooting his Colt M1911 .45 caliber pistol at the aircraft and "hit the pilot in the head".
Fates of the Crew
Jensen and Baggett were flown in a Japanese bomber to Singapore. Both were detained at Malaya POW Camp Malay 6-104. Baggett was was liberated September 21, 1945. Jensen was liberated on October 2, 1945.
The other three crew members Burke, Costic and Higginbotham were detained at Burma #5 (Moulmein & Rangoon Jail) Burma 16-97. Burke died March 31, 1943. Costic was liberated on May 1, 1945. Higginbotham was liberated on May 2, 1945.
Higginbotham past away on July 15, 1988. He is buried at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield, CA at block B-69, plot 12.
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