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  PB4Y-1 Liberator Bureau Number 31952  
USN
VB-101
(VB-102 on day of loss)

Pilot  Lt(jg) John B. Haskett, O-106015 (USNR) (MIA / KIA) Alhambra, CA
Crew  Lt(jg) Kenneth R. Johnson, O-121454 (USNR) (MIA / KIA) MN
Crew  Ensign Duane L. Beaman, O-156373 (USNR) (MIA / KIA) CA
Crew  AMM2 Clarence C. Dodson, 3603777 (USN) (MIA / KIA) TX
Crew  AMM2 John H. Harr, 6221572 (USNR) (MIA / KIA) MI
Crew  AMM2 Alvin P. Harrow, 2073724 (USN) (MIA / KIA) CT
Crew  AMM2 Merle W. Hinshaw, 3288742 (USN) (MIA / KIA) MN
Crew  AOM3 Henry F. Lohmeier, 6105801 (USNR) (MIA / KIA) IL
Crew  ARM2 Lloyd R. Morgan, 3566308 (USN) (MIA / KIA) OK
Crew  AM2 Norman M. Ostroff, 4050403 (USNR) (MIA / KIA) PA
Crew  ARM2 Eric B. Bolling, 4050403 (USNR) (MIA / KIA) PA

Observer  Lt. Donald H. Shiley, O-083362 (USNR) (MIA / KIA) IL
MIA  July 17, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-15-CO Liberator serial number 41-24084.

Wartime History
Assigned to the U. S. Navy (USN) as PB4Y-1 Liberator bureau number 31952 to squadron VB-101. On July 17, 1943 operated by a crew from VB-102.

Mission History
On July 17, 1943 one of five PB4Y-1s that took off from Carney Field on Guadalcanal at 1:28am piloted by Lt(jg) John B. Haskett on a predawn bombing mission to Kahilli Airfield (Buin) on southern Bougainville. For this mission, temporarily assigned to squadron VB-102. Aboard, observer Shiley volunteered to fly the mission in hopes of experiencing combat even though he had already received orders to be transfer home.

The formation of five included two PB4Ys from VB-102 (including this aircraft) plus three PB4Ys from VB-101. Over Kahilli Airfield (Buin) the bombers dropped cluster bombs from 12,000'. Returning from the mission, both VB-102 PB4Ys were attacked by enemy night fighters. Witnesses aboard another PB4Y reported this bomber as shot down in flames. When this PB4Y-1 failed to return by the estimated time of arrival, it was listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Japanese side of the mission
A pair of J1N1 Irving night fighters from the 251st Kōkūtai took off from Ballale Airfield at 2:25am. One piloted by Okado with observer Satoru Ono sighted a "B-24" flying in the opposite direction and made three attack run against the plane. At 3:47am observed it going down in flames. Both night fighters landed safely after the combat.

Search
Afterwards, searches revealed no sign of this bomber or the crew.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 7, 1946 all earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. Haskett earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).

The entire crew is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Haskett also has a memorial marker at Evergreen Cemetery in Republic, MO at section B, row 1, plot 9.

Relatives
Jim Wright (nephew of Lloyd Morgan)
"The south end of Bougainville was an area of much action in and around 1943 and could, I feel yield a number of MIA finds. My uncle is one of those missing. He was a radioman in a B-24 that was shot down July 17, 1943 while bombing Kahili Airfield. Lloyd Morgan was his name. No trace has ever been found. "

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - PB4Y-1 Liberator 31952
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-15-CO Liberator 41-24084
Kodochosho, 251st Kōkūtai, July 17, 1943
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John B. Haskett
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
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FindAGrave - LtJG John B Haskett (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - John Beverly Haskett (memorial marker)
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We Flew Alone covers this loss
The Search That Never Was: The Untold Truth about the 1948-49 Search for World War II American Personnel Missing in Action in the South Pacific by J.L. Wright
Thanks to Minoru Kamada for Japanese translation and Jim Sawruk for crew details

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Last Updated
April 20, 2018

 

Tech InformationPB4Y-1

MIA
MIA
12 Missing

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