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  B-26B "Liberty Bell" Serial Number 41-17584  
5th AF
38th BG
70th BS

Pilot  Lt Fred W. Durbin (WIA)
Co-Pilot  Lt Richard S. Evans (WIA)
Navigator  Lt Winemuller (KIA)
Radio  Sgt Arnold (KIA)

Crashed  July 3, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Martin. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 38th Bombardment Group, 70th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Liberty Bell". Flown from the United States to Hickam Field on Oahu.

Mission History
On July 3, 1942 took off from Hickam Field on Oahu as part of of "A" Flight departed on a flight bound for Christmas Island Airfield with a reduced crew and two 250 gallon auxiliary fuel tanks in the bomb bay. Shortly after take off the right engine caught fire and pilot Durbin attempted to ditch offshore, but struck a camouflaged observation tower on the beach shearing off the left wing causing the bomber to disintegrate. During the crash, Durbin and Evans were tossed from the plane severely injuring both men. Winemuller and Arnold were trapped in the burning wreckage and killed.

Winemuller and Arnold were killed the day of the mission. Their burial details are unknown but presumed to be buried in their hometowns in the United States.

Bombs Away! A History of the 70th Bombardment Squadron (M) in Early World War II, Harold V. Larson, SeaCliff Press, Manzanita, OR, 1998
Thanks to Gregory Boeser for additional information

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018


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