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  B-24L-1-CO Liberator Serial Number 44-41421  
13th AF
307th BG
371st BS
November 8, 1944

Pilot  1st Lt. Walter A. Scalese, O-697377 (MIA / KIA / BR) Windber, PA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Stephen Fuda, O-764278 (MIA / KIA / BR) Stamford, CT
Navigator  F/O Joseph E. Novakovits, T-124379 (MIA / KIA) Bethlehem, PA
Bombardier  2nd Lt. Paul H. Phillips, O-703067 (MIA / KIA) Logan, WV
Engineer  TSgt Charles H. Neville, 15020222 (MIA / KIA / BR) Evansville, IN
Asst Engineer  SSgt George J. Kacoyannakis, 12025464 (MIA / KIA / BR) Tyrone, NY
Radio  TSgt Chester E. Matz, 13081336 (MIA / KIA / BR) Wilkes Barre, PA
Asst Radio  SSgt John T. Stough, 33669803 (MIA / KIA / BR) Jeanette, PA
Gunner  SSgt Robert L. Dyson, 15171268 (MIA / KIA / BR) Dennison, OH
Gunner  SSgt Michael P. Falcone, 33829746 (MIA / KIA / BR) Ranger, PA

Crashed  November 8, 1944 at 10:10am
MACR  10456

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated. Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 307th Bombardment Group, 371st Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. This bomber had a natural aluminium finish with the unit's circular "Lone Rangers" unit insignia painted on the tail.

When lost, engines R-1830-65A serial numbers BP-444463, BP-444523, BP-444142 and BP-444109. Weapon serial numbers not noted in MACR.

Mission History
Took off from Kornasoren Airfield on Noemfoor Island on a bombing mission Alicante Airfield on Negros. Over the target, the bombers were intercepted by enemy aircraft. This B-24 was hit by cannon fire that caused the right wing to buckle upward and left side of the tail to break away. A photograph captured the moment when the bomber was hit. Afterwards, the tail fell and the bomber crash onto the northern tip of Negros killing the entire crew. The crash was observed by Sgt Marvin M. Kottke aboard another bomber.

The photograph of the damaged bomber was released by the Associated Press (AP) on December 11, 1944 with the caption: "OVER THE PHILIPPINES - This picture was made at the moment of impact when a Japanese Zero crashed into a Liberator Bomber of the 13th AF over the Philippines. The bombers were intercepted by enemy planes en route to a Negros Island airstrip. Both planes exploded and fell to the ground. Note wing broken off and tilting upward revealing US star insignia. (AP Wire photo from USAAF)"

Afterwards, no search was conducted over the area due to intense enemy interception, but all crews on subsequent missions were instructed to be on the alert for any indication or sign from the downed crew.

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the liberation of Negros, the remains of the crew were located and recovered. The entire crew is buried at Winchester National Cemetery in a group burial at section 88, site 4105C.

The Long Rangers page 165
Thanks to Jim McCabe / 307th Bomb Group Association for additional information
FindAGrave - Stephen Fuda (grave photo)

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Last Updated
August 27, 2014


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