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  A-24 Dive Bomber Serial Number 41-15???  
5th AF
3rd BG
8th BS
James P. Larronde 1942
Pilot  1st Lt Robert E. Cassels, O-421609 (MIA / KIA) IL
 Sgt Loree L. Le Boeuf, 6971026 (MIA / KIA) LA

Crashed  July 29, 1942
MARC  none

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army, serial number unknown 41-15??? at Savannah, GA on October 21, 1941. Next to McCellan Airfield on January 7, 1942. Assigned to Project "X" on January 2, 1942, Disassembled on January 8, 1942 transported overseas to Sumac (Australia) and reassembled.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 3rd Bombardment Group, 8th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On July 29, 1942 one of eight A-24s that took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by Cassels on a mission to dive bomb Japanese ships off Gona. They were escorted by P-39 Airacobras from the 41st Fighter Squadron flying top cover, and 8th Fighter Group, 80th Fighter Squadron P-39s flying close escort.

Inbound to the target, one A-24 aborted the mission, and seven remaining A-24s proceeded to bomb Japanese transports 20 miles north of Gona, 1 1/4 miles form shore. The convoy was protected by A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kōkūtai which intercepted the A-24s as they started their dives.

The A-24s dive-bombed in two waves. The first wave: A-24 41-15797 (shot down), A-24 piloted by Hill (heavily damaged and force lands at Fall River) and A-24 piloted by Raymond Wilkins (the only aircraft to return to 7-Mile). The second wave: A-24 41-15819, A-24 41-15766, A-24 piloted by Cassels (this aircraft) and A-24 piloted by Parker all four were shot down. The Kotoku Maru, was hit once at the No. 5 hatch by the second wave, forcing its troops to unload and leave its cargo undelivered. The Japanese ships all return to Lae.

Both crew were officially declared dead on December 1, 1945. Both are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Cassels has a memorial marker at Catholic Cemetery of La Crosse in La Crosse, WI.

Are you a relative of Cassels or Le Boeuf? Contact Us
Richard Hagman (nephew of Cassels)

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert E. Cassels
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Loree L. Le Boeuf
FindAGrave - 1Lt Robert E Cassels (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Robert Cassels (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - Sgt Loree L Le Boeuf (tablets of the missing)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - A-24 Dauntless piloted by Cassels (incorrectly lists serial number as 41-15798)
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information.

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Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


Tech Info

2 Missing

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