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  B-32-20-CF Dominator Serial Number 42-108528  
USAAF
5th AF
312th BG
386th BS

Pilot  1st Lt. Collins Orton, O-714741 (rescued)
Co-Pilot  F/O John A. Clark, T-62894 (rescued) Lockport, NY
Navigator  Captain Roy C. Cunningham, O-728460 (rescued) Berkeley, CA
Asst Navigator  1st Lt. Robert C. Styles, O-708958 (rescued) Bowmont, ND
Bombardier  2nd Lt. Elmer O. Jones, O-769046 (rescued) Peoria, IL
Photographer  2nd Lt. John L. Boyd, O-2076519 (rescued) Tulsa, OK
Photographer  Sgt Forrest B. Butler, 19182260 (rescued) Los Angeles, CA
Engineer  MSgt Paul E. Fairchild, 15059592 (rescued) Columbia City, IN
Radio  SSgt Wiley D. Pringle, 18155921 (rescued)
Gunner  SSgt Anthony D. Harris, Jr., 34671045 (resued)
Gunner  Sgt John S. Munsell, 15126707 (rescued) Columbus, OH
Gunner  SSgt George A. Murphy, 12095098 (MIA / KIA) Patterson, NJ
Armor-Gunner  Sgt Morris C. Morgan, 35128696 (MIA / KIA) Georgetown, KY

Crashed  August 28, 1945 at 19:07
MACR  14920

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated-Vultee at Fort Worth, Texas. Assigned to the US Army. Without any flight testing, this B-32 was destined to experience mechanical problems and was often grounded.

Wartime History
On May 14, 1945 departed Fort Worth Army Air Field bound for Mather Army Air Field. On arrival, the landing gear failed to lower requiring it to be manually lowered.

On May 17, 1945 departed Mather Army Air Field on a flight to Hickam Field. After minor repairs and servicing, departed alone on May 21, 1945 bound for Kwajalein Airfield where the bomber was grounded due to electrical problems and further repaired. On May 25, 1945 departed for Guam to refueled. The next day departed for Clark Field. joining B-32 42-108529 and B-32 42-108532 that had already arrived.

One of three B-32s initially assigned to the 312th Bombardment Group, 386th Bombardment Squadron for combat tests. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines Wright 3350-23 serial numbers 41-W-46400, DW-201360, W-462423 and DW-204503. Weapon serial numbers unknown.

This B-32's was scheduled to fly their first combat mission on May 29, 1945 piloted by Col. McElroy armed with nine 1,000 lbs bombs along with B-32 "The Lady is Fresh" 42-108529 and B-32 "Hobo Queen II" 42-108532. Prior to takeoff a faulty generator forced this bomber to aboart the mission.

In the Philippines, this B-32 continued to experienced mechanical problems and was often grounded at Clark Field.

On May 31, 1945 transfered to Floridablanca Airfield where it operated until August 13, 1945 when flown northward to Yontan Airfield on Okinawa.

On June 13, 1945 took off on a bombing mission against Koshun Airfield bombing from 12,000'. Over the target, three bombs aboard this aircraft hungup and were salvoed off the southern coast of Formosa instead.

On August 25, 1945 took off from Yontan Airfield with B-32 42-108544 on a photographic mission over Tokyo On the way to the target the two other bombers in the formation B-32 "Hobo Queen II" 42-108532 and B-32 "Harriet's Chariot" 42-108543 aborted the mission due to mechanical problems. Over the target, there was no opposition and both bombers returned safely.

Mission History
On August 28, 1945 took off from Yontan Airfield on a photographic mission over Tokyo to observe if the terms of surrender were being observed, and propellers removed from Japanese aircraft at Atsugi Airfield. The mission was led by B-32 "The Lady is Fresh" 42-108529 with B-32 42-108544 (crashed on take off) and B-32 42-108578. Each bomber was flying with a bomb bay fuel tank for extra range. Weather was scattered cumulus nimbus .1 high and cirrus clouds .1 with an undercast at 1,200'. Over the target, only forty photos were taken, none over the assigned targets due to cloud cover.

Departing the target area at 14:30 at an altitude of 4,500' this bomber began transfering fuel from the bomb bay tank into the main tanks when the No. 2 engine lost power and was sucessfully feathered.

At 18:45 the No. 4 engine also lost power and was feathered at 3,000'. Spotting a friendly US Navy destroyer, the bomber circled and jettisoned all equipment. At 18:50 the crew radioed they were going to bail out, the last radio messages were at 19:03 when the crew bailed out and left the radio key down to transmit a signal until impact with the sea at 19:07 east of Amami-O-Shima and north of Kikai Jima. Possibly, this was the last American operationally lost on a combat mission during World War II.

Rescue
After bailing out, Murphy and Morgan were never seen again. The eleven survivng crew were rescued by a US Navy destroyer and returned to duty.

Memorials
The two missing crew members were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Both are listed on the courts of the missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).

References
Missing Air Crew Report 14920 lists Murphy's body recovered, in contradiction to MIA status
Rampage of the Roarin' 20's mentions this loss
Dominator pages 44, 46, 49
Echoes of the Dominator pages 64-65, 128

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

Tech Information
B-32

MIA
Map

MIA
MIA
2 Missing

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  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
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