|Pilot 1st Lt. Harold Rudolph Tuck, O-023078 (MIA / KIA) VA
Gunner Pfc Paul F. Mc Cleaf, 486913 (POW, died March 5, 1944, BR)
Crashed January 14, 1944
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) as SBD-5 Dauntless bureau number 36230. Assigned to squadron VMSB-341. No known nickname or nose art.
On January 14, 1944 took off from Munda Airfield on New Georgia on a bombing mission against Rabaul. When this aircraft failed to return, it was declared Missing In Action (MIA).
Fates of the Crew
Mc Cleaf survived and was captured by the Japanese. He became a Prisoner Of War (POW) at Tunnel Hill POW Camp. On March 3/4, 1944 Mc Cleaf was one of thirty-one Allied prisoners removed and executed at Talili Bay killing that later became known as the "Tunnel Hill Massacre" or "Tunnel Hill Incident" or "Talili Bay Massacre". Erroneously, The Japanese claimed that approximately forty Allied prisoners were killed during an air raid while at Talili Bay. This was a lie to cover up their murder. Postwar, their remains were located and exhumed.
Tuck was declared dead on November 12, 1944 and is memorialized on the tablets of the mission at Manila American Cemetery.
Postwar, Mc Cleaf's remains were recovered and transported to the United States for permanent burial.
He was was buried on March 21, 1950 in a group burial section 78, sites 930-934 at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. Mc Cleaf also has a memorial marker at Harbaugh Church Cemetery in Rouzerville, PA.
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Paul F Mc Cleaf
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harold Rudolph Tuck
FindAGrave - PFC Paul F McCleaf (group burial photo)
PFC Paul F. McCleaf (memorial marker photo)
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May 22, 2017