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  PB4Y-1 Liberator Bureau Number 32144  
USMC
VMD-254

Pilot  Lt. Col Edwin P. Pennebaker (survived)
Crew  Sgt William A. Lowe, Jr. 436533 (KIA, BR) NY
Crew  Sgt John Vincent Fryslie, 331583 (KIA, BR) ND

Crashed  November 28, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-130-CO Liberator serial number 42-41052. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as PB4Y-1 Liberator bureau number 32144.

Wartime History
Assigned to U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) to Marine Photographic Squadron 254 (VMD-254). No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On November 28, 1943 took off piloted by Lt. Col Edwin P. Pennebaker crashed while landing at Palmyra Airfield. Aboard, two were killed: Lowe and Frystle.

Memorials
The two crew killed in the crash were buried on Palmyra Island. Postwar, both were permanently buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). Lowe is buried at Plot A Row 0 Grave 707. Fryslie is buried at Plot B Row 0 Grave 406.

In honor of the deceased crew members, Palmyra Airfield was named "Lowe Field". VMD-254's camp area near Piva North Airfield (Piva Uncle) on Bougainville was named "Camp Fryslie".

Relatives
Arnel Gonce (granddaughter of Fryslie)
"John Fryslie was my maternal grandfather. My grandfather was an identical twin, and apparently one of the survivors after being released from the hospital saw my grandfather's twin across the street and had a nervous breakdown (he didn't know he had an identical twin), because he had seen that John Fryslie was dead. John Fryslie's twin, was Norman Fryslie, and he was also in the service, though I am unsure about the branch. I would assume he was a Marine also." Telegraph reporting his death December 4, 1943.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results B-24D Liberator 42-41052
Navy Serial Number Search Results PB4Y-1 Liberator 32144
FindAGrave - John Fryslie (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt William Adams Lowe, Jr (grave photo)

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Last Updated
October 20, 2019

 

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