|Pilot 1st Lt. Claude W. Burger (survived)
Co-Pilot Captain Edison K. Walters C. O. 499th BS (WIA, survived)
Navigator 2nd Lt. Louis E. Higgins (WIA, survived)
Crashed July 8, 1943
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried via Hickam Field across the Pacific to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group, 499th Bombardment Squadron during March 1943. Assigned to pilot Claude W. Burger and crew chief Bright. Nicknamed "Blunder Bus".
On July 8, 1943 took off from Durand
Airstrip (17 Mile) near Port Moresby. After take off, the pilot lowered the nose gear incorrectly, believing the co-pilot had already raised the gear. It hit
and ended up in the swamp, and the bomber's fuselage had broken. Three crew members were hospitalized in
the crash. The aircraft was abandoned.
Probably, this aircraft was scrapped sometime in the early 1980s. It
has not been located recently, and the area described
appears to be empty.
Burger retired from the U. S. Air Force (USAF) as a Lieutenant Colonel. He passed away November 1, 1993. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery at columbarium 3 HH-6-4
Walters graduated West Point (class of 1941) and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He passed away May 8, 1956. He is buried at Daytona Memorial Park in Daytona Beach, FL.
Higgins passed away December 16, 1995. He is buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring, MD.
FindAGrave - Claude Wirt Burger, Jr (Arlington grave)
FindAGrave - Edison Kermit Walters (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Louis E. Higgins (grave photo)
Warpath Across The Pacific page 32-33, 386
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January 5, 2018