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|Pilot 1st Lt. Ralph M. Jennings, O-759460 (MIA / KIA) Ballinger, TX
Gunner SSgt Seymour Weinberg, 19173661 (survived) Los Angeles, CA
Ditched March 19, 1945 at 12:00pm
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-45-DO Havoc serial number 43-22155. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 417th Bombardment Group "Sky Lancers" (417th BG), 673rd Bombardment Squadron (673rd BS). When lost engines Wright R-2600-23 serial numbers 43-84585 and 42-154185. Weapon serial numbers not listed in MACR. No known nose art or nickname.
On March 19, 1945 took off from Elmore Airfield on Mindoro Island piloted by 1st Lt. Ralph M. Jennings on a low strike mission against Bacold on Negros Island. Returning, Jennings radioed that he was having engine trouble and was observed to ditch into the Sulu Sea off the northwest coast of Panay Island into heavy seas at noon.
Fates of the Crew
During the ditching, pilot Jennings was knocked unconscious on impact. Afterwards, gunner Weinberg who was slightly injured himself tried to free revive and free him but he went down with the aircraft when it sank and likely died aboard the aircraft.
Immediately after the crash, A-20's from the same formation circled the ditching location and observed one survivor, Weinberg. An hour after the crash, an OA-10 Catalina escorted by two A-20s that observed the ditching reached the crash site, but observed nothing.
On March 20, 1945 in the morning, eight A-20s searched the area again without sighting anything. Filipino Guerrilla forces in the area were notified to watch for survivors. On March 21, 1945 Weinberg was rescued and returned to duty. He stated their aircraft was hit in one engine by anti-aircraft fire and the other engine failed forcing them to ditch.
Jennings was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. Jennings is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. He also has a memorial marker at Norton Cemetery in Norton, TX.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Ralph M. Jennings
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Seymour Weinberg
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-20G-45-DO Havoc 43-22155
"22155 (417th BG) lost Mar 19, 1945, SW Pacific. MACR 13610"
Missing Air Crew Report 13610 (MACR 13610) created March 19, 1945
The Abilene Reporter-News "Ballinger Flier Missing In Action" April 20, 1945 page 1
"Ballinger, April 20---Lt. Ralph Jennings, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Jennings of Ballinger, has been missing in action since March 19, his parents have been informed. Pilot of a Mitchell B-25 bomber, Lieutenant Jennings has been in the Southwest Pacific since July and has completed over 50 missions. He recently received his promotion to first lieutenant. His wife, the former Juanita Hilliard of San Angelo, has been making her home in Houston while the lieutenant was overseas. He was a former player on the San Angelo junior college football team."
The Abilene Reporter-News "Missing Flier Reported Killed" May 3, 1945 page 10
"Ballinger, May 3--Mrs. Ralph Jennings has received a letter written by a gunner on the plane piloted by her husband, 1st Lt. Ralph Jennings, who has been reported missing. The letter stated that Lieutenant Jennings went down with his ship when it crashed in the ocean with one motor gone and the second one shot out. The gunner said he tried to extricate Jennings, but could not and that the officer was knocked unconscious when the plane hit the water. Other crew members were able to get out in rubber rafts. Based on Luzon, Lieutenant Jennings had completed more than 50 missions in a B-25 in the Pacific theatre. The wife of the flyer is here with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Jennings. The message has not been confirmed by the War department. The letter was written to a friend in the States who forwarded it to Mrs. Jennings."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ralph M. Jennings
FindAGrave - 1Lt Ralph M Jennings (photo, obituary, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Ralph M Jennings (photo, obituary, memorial marker photo)
March 19, 1945
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