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Search Chronology Locations Aircraft Vessels Missing In Action (MIA)

Prisoners from B-17F "San Antonio Rose" 41-24458
Research by Justin Taylan

After being hit, at least two members of the crew managed to bail out, and both were taken prisoner by the Japanese. Captain Benton H. Daniel and Major Jack W. Bleasdale.

Captain Daniel
Bailed out on January 5, 1943. Captured at Tol with Bleasdale, then transported to Rabaul. On March 2, 1943 interrogated about technical aspects of the B-17 Flying Fortress. Afterwards taken to Kavieng. Fate unknown, likely executed by the Japanese.

Major Bleasdale
Bailed out on January 5, 1943. Captured at Tol with Daniel, then transported to Rabaul. Interrogated by the Japanese at Rabaul on February 26, 1942. Fate unknown, likely executed by the Japanese. Not present at Rabaul as a prisoner as of middle of July 1943. Nippon Times article mentions him as "Major X X".

References
Nippon Times "U.S. 'Flying Fortress' Is Claimed Mediocre; Unbeatable Bomber Nothing But 'Sitting Bird'" January 19, 1944 0 via R. Dunn - includes reference in the sub-section "played minor role" and "Lost in Jungle" refer to Major X X" [Bleasdale] including a summation of his wartime service and capture.
ATIS Intelligence Report No. 14 - Supplement Interrogation Report on AMERICAN airman, Feb 26 1943 via R, Dunn - describes capture of Major and interrogation
ATIS "The B-17 and Its Armament, March 2, 1943" via R. Dunn - interrogation of a Captain at Rabaul about B-17 technical details.
MACR 15459 memorandum 1949: News of Walker's death (page 4):
"...The same pilot told me that they heard a at the Field [7-mile Port Moresby] a Japanese broadcast announcing that General Walker had been captured. This came about three days after the mission. I have checked to discover that Far East Headquarters announced the loss of one plane in the January 5 mission, but did not give the names of the occupants of the plane. However an announcement [American?] was give on January 11 that Walker was missing."
Lee Van Atta, war correspondent states (page 5):
"We knew the details of the death of Brig. Gen. Kenneth Walker commander of the 5th Bomber Command, too.  We learned them from one of the surviving crew members of his plane."
Finally, It is noted that (page 9)
"Nor has any enemy record been found which would substantiate the death of General Walker or the capture of Beasdale. [Note: Beasdale was indeed captured]"
2nd Lt. Jose Holguin Rabaul Prisoner of War:
Click For Enlargement"I first heard Walker was missing in action as of January 5th, 1943 during a bombing attack on Rabaul.  At this time I was with the 43rd BG, 65th BS flying from Port Moresby, New Guinea. In June of the same year, I was shot down over the same target area [June 26, 1943 as navigator aboard B-17E "Naughty But Nice" 41-2430].  I was finally captured on July 17, 1943 and the Japs attempted to interrogate me. One of the first things they asked me was the name of the commander of the 5th Bomber Command. Not wanting to give them this information, they presented me with a book containing some information on Major Beasdale and General Walker. They said it was no use trying to lie; that they knew General Walker was dead and Major Beasdale captured; therefore they wished to know my New commander's name. From what I could gather, General Walker was killed while still in the air, after his plane was hit by Jap Zero fighters. The plane caught fire and Major Beasdale managed to get out somehow. General Walker being dead aboard the ship had to go down with it."

Last Updated
May 3, 2016

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