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  PB4Y-1 Liberator Bureau Number 31958  

Pilot  Capt Benjamin C. Yancy Fuller, USMC O-006429 (MIA / KIA) FL
Crew  1st Lt. Harry Melvin Roberts, O-010127 USMC (MIA / KIA) AR
Crew  SSgt Ernest Lee Bailey, 424511 USMC (MIA / KIA) DC
Crew  Cpl Henry Battling Nielsen, 326640 USMC (MIA / KIA) WI
Crew  Cpl Richard Paul Chenard, 377571 USMC (MIA / KIA) ME
Crew  Sgt Herbert Edward Knecht, 356626 USMC (MIA / KIA) WI
Crew  Cpl Alvin Anthony Nowak, 355159 USMC (MIA / KIA) MI
Crew  Pfc Lester Cyril Simkins, 406170 USMC (MIA / KIA) IN
Crew  Pvt James Kenneth Davis, 412257 USMC (MIA / KIA) MO
Crew  Pvt Robert Stephen Edwards, 413293 USMC (MIA / KIA) IA
Crew  Pvt Johnny Fred Tarzi, 390788 USMC (MIA / KIA) MS
Crew  1st Lt. Harold Welch Ervin, O-854304 USAAF (MIA / KIA) MS

MIA  February 7, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Assigned U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-20-CO Liberator serial number 41-24118.

Wartime History
Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as PB4Y-1 Liberator bureau number 31958. Assigned to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) to squadron VMD-145. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On February 7, 1943 crashed shortly after takeoff from Espiritu Santo into 95 fathoms of water. This aircraft was scheduled to refuel on Guadalcanal and rendezvous with PB4Y-1 Liberator 31959. From there, the two-plane reconnaissance team was to photograph Truk Lagoon. No trace of the twelve man crew was ever found.

The entire crew was declared dead the day of the crash. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).

VMD-154 Association / MIA Mishap Memorial

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Last Updated
June 29, 2019


Tech InformationPB4Y-1

12 Missing

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