|Pilot 2nd Lt. Henry G. Swartz, O-430040 (MIA / KIA) MO
Gunner Sgt. John J. Stephenson, 19019475 (MIA / KIA) MO
MIA April 7, 1942
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army at Savannah, GA on October 21, 1941. Assigned to Project "X" on January 2, 1942, Disassembled on January 8, 1942 transported overseas to "Sumac", the code-name for Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 8th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
On April 7, 1942 took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by 2nd Lt. Henry G. Swartz as one of nine A-24 Dive Bombers on a bombing mission against Lae. The A-24s were led by 1st Lt. Robert G. Ruegg (C. O. Floyd "Buck" Rogers was unable to fly due to dengue fever). This mission was 2nd Lt. Swartz's first combat mission. The A-24's were escorted by six Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) 75 Squadron P-40E Kittyhawks.
Over Lae, this A-24 was last seen diving on an anti-aircraft gun position. None of the formation saw this aircraft going down or crashed. It seems almost certain that Swartz was shot down by intercepting A6M2 Zeros.
Swartz was officially declared dead on December 17, 1945 and earned the Silver Star.
Stephenson was officially declared dead on November 19, 1945.
Both are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Swartz also has a memorial marker at
Custer County Cemetery in Miles City, MT.
Stephenson also has a memorial marker at Forsyth Cemetery in Forsyth, MT.
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USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-24-DE Dauntless 41-15798
"15798 (3rd BG, 8th BS) shot down 20 mi N of Buna Jul 29, 1942. Pilot KIA"
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - A-24 Dauntless piloted by Swartz
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Henry G. Swartz
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John J. Stephenson
FindAGrave - Henry George “Heinie” Swartz, Jr (tablets of the missing photo)
Henry George “Heinie” Swartz, Jr (photo, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt John J Stephenson (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - John J Stephenson (memorial marker photo)
Thanks to Edward Rogers for
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February 14, 2020