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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2443  
11th BG
42nd BS

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USAAF December 1941
Pilot  1st Lt. Ward Cox, Jr., O-392806 (KIA, BR) San Francisco, CA
Co-Pilot  1st Lt. Charles O. Allan, Jr., O-367225 (KIA, BR)
Bombardier  2nd Lt. James W. Bushee, O-430910 (KIA, BR)
Crew  SSgt Luther L. Perry, Jr., 6292999 (KIA, BR) TX
Crew  MSgt Jesse L. Schneider ,12025843 (KIA, BR)
Crew  SSgt Mathias E. Donart, 6568848 (KIA, BR)
Crew  SSgt Edward L. Hakes, 6667164 (KIA, BR)
Crew  SSgt Wilbur L. Gravitt, 6296816 (KIA, BR) TX
Crew  Cpl John F. Morris, 6999571 (KIA, BR) PA
Crew  Cpl John E. Muckey, 6981906 (KIA, BR) NY
Crashed  April 5, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors number 2254. Funds F-1 A. C. order number W-535 AC-15677 at a cost of $280,535.00. Constructors Number 2254. On December 3, 1941 delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2443 at Boeing Field. The next day flown to McCord Field. On December 18, 1941 flown to Hickam Field on Oahu.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 11th Bombardment Group (11th BG), 42nd Bombardment Squadron (42nd BS). No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On April 5, 1942 took off at 9:00pm from Hickam Field piloted by 1st Lt. Ward Cox, Jr. on a night patrol looking for a Japanese submarine that was reportedly refueling flying boats that dropped bombs on Mt. Tantalus on March 3, 1942. Returning from the mission with bombs aboard, this B-17 crashed into the cliffs of Mount Keahiakahoe near the Nu'uanu Pali on Oahu. A few hours earlier, PBY-5A Catalina 2487 crashed south of Makapu'u.

On April 7, 1942 the crash site was found and the bodies of four of the crew were recovered, but at the time identification was impossible. In the early 1970s, unexploded 500 pound bombs rolled down the ravine from the crash site after a flash flood. During the middle 1990s, there were unconfirmed reports that some of the wreckage was dragged down from the crash site. Today, other portions remains 'in situ' on the mountainside, including the main landing gear, structural pieces and wreckage.

The entire crew was declared dead the day of the mission. Five of the crew are buried in Honolulu Cemetery (Punchbowl). Cox at Plot B Row 1 Grave 205. Perry at Plot N Row 0 Grave 191. Morris at Plot Q Row 0 Grave 1232. Muckey at Plot C Row 0 Grave 230. Gravitt at Plot D Row 0 Grave 50.

Allan is buried at Callaway Cemetery  in Callaway, FL.

Bushee is buried at Rock Island National Cemetery at section D site 16.

Schneider is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at section G site 213.

Hakes is buried at Sugar Grove Cemetery  in Wilmington, OH.

Perry also has a memorial marker at Lee Cemetery Winnsboro, TX.

On April 1, 2007, the Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society (HAPS) erected a granite memorial plaque at Pali Lookout. The dedication ceremony was performed by USAF personnel from Hickam AFB on the 65th anniversary of the crash on April 5, 2007 at 10:00am.

During February 2007, two nephews of Donart visited the crash site with the help of Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society (HAPS).

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-2443
"2443 delivered to McCord Dec 4, 1941; transferred to 11BG 42BS at Hickam Field, HI Dec 15, 1941. Crashed into cliffs of Mount Keahiakahoe near the Nu'uanu Pali in Hawaii while returning from antisubmarine patrol Apr 5, 1942. All 11 on board killed."
Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society: April 5, 1942
Star Bulletin "65 years after plane's crash, its crew will be remembered" April 4, 2007
KGMB "Hawaii's Military Remembers Fallen WWII Airmen" April 6, 2007
FindAGrave - 1LT Ward Cox Jr. (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Charles Oran Allan, Jr (grave photo)
FindAGrave - James W Bushee (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Luther Lee Perry, Jr (grave photo, memorial photo)
FindAGrave - Luther Lee Perry, Jr (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Jesse L Schneider (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Mathias E Donart (photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Edward L Hakes (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Wilbert Lee Gravitt (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Corp John Francis Morris (grave photo)
FindAGrave - CPL John E Muckey (grave photo)

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Last Updated
September 30, 2021


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