Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
  A-24 Dive Bomber Serial Number 41-15798  
USAAF
5th AF
3rd BG
8th BS

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Larronde March 1942
Pilot  2nd Lt. Henry G. Swartz, O-430040 (MIA / KIA) Terry, MO
Gunner  Sgt. John J. Stephenson, 19019475 (MIA / KIA) Forsyth, MO
MIA  April 7, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Constructors Number 931. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-24 Dive Bomber serial number 41-15798. On October 21, 1941 at Savannah, GA. On January 2, 1942 assigned to Project "X". On January 7, 1942 at McCellan Airfield. On January 8, 1942 disassembled disassembled then shipped overseas to "Sumac" Australia and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 3rd Bombardment Group (3rd BG), 8th Bombardment Squadron (8th BS). This aircraft had an unknown tail code (two digits). No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
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 led by 1st Lt. Robert G. Ruegg on a bombing mission against Lae. This was 2nd Lt. Swartz's first combat mission. Inbound to the target, the A-24's were escorted by six Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) No. 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 crash. It seems almost certain that Swartz was shot down by intercepting A6M2 Zeros. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
Both crew are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Swartz was officially declared dead on December 17, 1945. He earned the Silver Star and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Custer County Cemetery in Miles City, MT.

Stephenson was officially declared dead on November 19, 1945. He earned the Silver Star and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Forsyth Cemetery in Forsyth, MT.

Relatives
Are you a relative of Swartz or Stephenson? Contact Us.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Henry G. Swartz
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-24-DE Dauntless 41-15798
"USAAF version of SBD-3 / 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)
FindAGrave - 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 additional information

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
April 7, 2021

 

Tech Info
A-24

MIA
MIA
2 Missing
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram