|Pilot 1st Lt. Duncan A. Seffern, O-431539 (KIA, BR) WI
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Robert R. Hatch (KIA, BR) NC
Bombardier 1st Lt. Lee A. Johnson (KIA, BR)
Radio Sgt Robert F. Jordan (KIA, BR)
Passenger 2nd Lt. Charles H. Humble (KIA, BR)
Passenger 2nd Lt. Antonio Morales, Jr. (KIA, BR)
Passenger SSgt Peter P. McGinn (KIA, BR)
Crashed January 10, 1943
Built by Martin. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-26 Marauder serial number 40-1495.
During February 1942, assigned to the 5th Air Force, 22nd Bombardment Group, 19th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Diana's Demon". Assigned to pilot Maiersperger and Craft. Crew chief Clark.
On April 29, 1942 took off from Garbutt Field near Townsville on a ferry flight to Port Moresby arriving in the afternoon to stage for a bombing mission the next morning.
On April 30, 1942 took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby at 5:00am piloted by 2nd Lt. Christian I. Herron armed with 100 pound bombs along with B-26 "Dixie" 40-1496 and B-26 "Lil' Rebel" 40-1388 on a bombing mission against Lae Airfield. Arriving at dawn at 600' altitude, the bombers released their bombs over parked aircraft. Herron reported his bombs fell within 10' of the parked planes setting off explosions and fires. On the ground one bomber and four Zeros sustained shrapnel damaged, one Zeros destroyed and one Zero heavily damaged. Leaving the target, the formation was intercepted by seven A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai but none of the B-26s were damaged and returned safely.
On January 10, 1943 took off from 14 Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by 1st Lt. Duncan A. Seffern with co-pilot 2nd Lt. Robert R. Hatch on a flight bound for Iron Range Airfield. Aboard were two crews: Hatch's crew plus Seffern's crew, whose bomber had been commandeered by a senior officer. During take off, this B-26 crashed near the Laloki River. During the crash, all seven in the front half of the bomber were killed. The eight in the rear survived the crash. This bomber was destroyed in the crash and written off.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of the dead crew members were buried in a mass grave at Bomana War Cemetery. Postwar, the crew were exhumed and transported to the United States for permanent burial.
Three are buried at National Memorial Cemetery (Punchbowl). Johnson at plot B, grave 1126. Jordan plot A, grave 543.
McGinn at plot A, grave 1035. The other four are buried in the United States. Seffern is buried at Little Wolf Cemetery in Manawa, WI. Hatch is buried at Raleigh National Cemetery at plot 24, grave 1311. Humble is buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, CA at plot C, 473. Morales is buried at San Felipe Cemetery in Del Rio, TX.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-26 40-1495
"1495 (22nd BG) crashed on takeoff Jan 10, 1943, Port Moresby, PNG. 7 killed, 8 survived"
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-26 40-1495
Revenge of the Red Raiders pages 82 , 99 (photo), 170, 477, 495, 516, 607 (index)
FindAGrave - Duncan A. Seffern
Robert R Hatch (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Lee A Johnson (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Robert F Jordan (grave photos)
FindAGrave - Charles A Humble (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Antonio Morales, Jr (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Peter P McGinn (grave photo)
Thanks to Bruce Hoy for additional information
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May 11, 2018