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  PB4Y-1 "Whata-Honey" Bureau Number 32079 Squadron Number 79
USN
VB-104

Click For Enlargement
VB-104 c1943

Pilot  Lt(jg) Waymon D. Searls, O-114683 (MIA / KIA) TX
Crew  Lt(jg) Harper S. Joslyn, O-156319 (MIA / KIA) IA
Crew  ACMM Ernest O. Emery, 2659378 (MIA / KIA) VA
Crew  ARM1c Robert J. Plank, 3285710 (MIA / KIA) MN
Crew  AMM1c Frank P. Browning, Jr., 6030692 (MIA / KIA) VA
Crew  ARM2c Donald E. Nelson, 3289664 (MIA / KIA) MN
Crew  AMM2c John E. Page, Jr., 3815964 (MIA / KIA) CA
Crew  AOM2c Lionel J. Verret, 6448163 (MIA / KIA) LA
Crew  AMM1C Robert J. Roller, 2690304 (MIA / KIA) FL
MIA  March 7, 1944


Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as a B-24D-90-CO Liberator 42-40709. On April 29, 1943 assigned to the U. S. Navy (USN) as PB4Y-1 Liberator bureau number 32069.

Wartime History
Assigned to squadron VB-104. Nicknamed "Whata-Honey" with the nose art of a female American Indian with a headdress and bow and arrow drawn pointing forward. A row of bomb marks on the right side of the nose indicating bombing missions flown. Squadron number 79 was painted in black on the nose. This PB4Y-1 first operated from Carney Field on Guadalcanal then from Munda Airfield on New Georgia.

Mission History
On March 7, 1944 took off from Munda Airfield on New Georgia piloted by Lt(jg) Waymon D. Searls on a bombing mission against Kapingamarangi Lagoon. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Search
On March 9, 1944 a search aircraft, PB4Y "The Schooner" 32069 piloted by Lt(jg) Anton E. Anderson took off on a mission to patrol the same area and to search for this bomber and the crew. It failed to locate this bomber and also went Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 16, 1946. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-90-CO Liberator 42-40709
Navy Serial Number Search Results - PB4Y-1 Liberator 32069
VB-104 Album page 49 crew 15, crew 18
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Waymon D. Searls
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harper S. Joslyn
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ernest O. Emery
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert J. Plank
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frank P. Browning Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Donald E. Nelson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John E. Page Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lionel J. Verret
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert J. Roller

FindAGrave - LtJG Waymon D Searls (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - LtJG Harper S Joslyn (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Ernest O. Emery (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - ARM1 Robert J Plank (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AMM1 Frank P Browning, Jr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - ARM2 Donald E Nelson (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AMM2 John E Page, Jr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AOM2 Lionel J Verret (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AMM1 Robert J Roller (tablets of the missing)

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Last Updated
February 26, 2019

 

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PB4Y-1

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