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  B-26 Marauder Serial Number 40-1417  
USAAF
5th AF
22nd BG
HQ Squadron

Pilot  2nd Lt . Howard A. Hayes
Navigator  2nd Lt. Harold P. Beck
Radio  SSgt Samuel Siegel

Force Landed  April 8, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Martin. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-26 Marauder serial number 40-1417.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 22nd Bombardment Group, Headquarters Squadron during March 1942. Ferried overseas to Australia by 2nd Lt. Howard A. Hayes and his crew. Arrived at Amberley Field near Brisbane on April 2, 1942.

Mission History
On April 8, 1942 took off on a ferry flight from Garbutt Field near Townsville in the afternoon on a ferry flight to 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby. The crew became disoriented and was unsure of position when plane crossed the south coast of New Guinea late in the afternoon.

Lost, the B-26 flew up and down coastline for two hours. As darkness approached, Hayes released his bombs off shore and searched for a place to force land. Unable to find a clear stretch of beach, he found a small clearing while the radio operator issued an SOS. This B-25 force landed wheels up near Vailala a few miles from Kerema approximately 140 miles northwest of Port Moresby.

Rescue
They spent the night sleeping on the wing but suffered from mosquitoes and rain, and moved inside the bomber for the rest of the night. The crew were unhurt and immediately met by a group of villagers armed with knives, but established they were friendly and give fruits and vegetables.

Papua Administrative Unit (PAU) Australian patrol officer (kiap) Lt. Francis "Frank" H. Moy, the district officer for the area arrived the next day and called by radio to Port Moresby. A PBY piloted by F/L C. F. Thompson from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) 20 Squadron attempted to land offshore, but rough seas made it impossible, but dropped food and supplies.

Next, Moy led the crew to another village a mile away and remained there for nine days before the ship MV Matoma arrived, and the B-26 was stripped for usable parts. Afterwards, they departed for Port Moresby arriving on April 22 and caught a ride to 7-Mile Drome, then hitched a ride on a B-26 back to Garbutt Field the next day.

Wreckage
In the crash landing, the B-26 skidded on its fuselage and the belly ripped atop two logs and smashed the nose. Finally, the bomber came to rest near a native hut. When the MV Matoma arrived, the B-26 was stripped for usable parts then abandoned.

Later, another patrol officer F. H. Moy with five Royal Papuan Constabularies visited this wreck again during June 1942, and loaded more wreckage onto the launch Tomu and taken away.

References
Revenge of the Red Raiders page 39, 47, 49, 62 (map) 66-67, 107, 110, 112, 119, 15, 176, 489
Extract from district officer's report Captain W. H. H. Tompson, Kairuku June 1942 via Brian Bennett
WW2 Nominal Roll - Francis Herbert Moy, NX700454
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional research and analysis.

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-26
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