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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-9218  
13th AF
11th BG
26th BS

Tech Info
USAAF 1942
Pilot  1st Lt. Rush E. McDonald, O-417028 (MIA / KIA) TN
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. John J. Heard, Jr., O-433843 (MIA / KIA) TX
Bombardier  Cpl Joseph H. Wood, 6932097 (MIA / KIA) Fillmore County, MN
Navigator  2nd Lt. Homer W. Vail, O-433013 (MIA / KIA) MN
Engineer  Sgt William L. Hammack, 6983892 (MIA / KIA) IN
Asst Engineer  Sgt Richard C. Inman, 6933768 (MIA / KIA) NB
Radio  Cpl Leroy Payne, 6923702 (MIA / KIA) AL
Gunner  SSgt James E. Briggs, 6151603 (MIA / KIA) MA
Gunner  SSgt Daniel L. Cross, 6977309 (MIA / KIA) Bombay, NY
Crashed  August 4, 1942
MACR  16119

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2690. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-9218. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the South Pacific (SOPAC).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force (13th AF), 11th Bombardment Group (11th BG), 26th Bombardment Squadron (26th BS). No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On August 4, 1942 took off from Bomber 1 on Espiritu Santo piloted by 1st Lt. Rush E. McDonald on a bombing mission against Tulagi. Over the target, attacked by seven A6M2-N Rufe of the Yokohama Kōkūtai. B-17 gunners claimed one shot down another damaged and on fire collided with this bomber over the Sealark Channel. Both aircraft crashed into the sea with no survivors. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). This B-17 was the first aerial combat casualty of the Guadalcanal campaign.

The entire crew were officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

McDonald earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Wood also has a memorial marker at Highland Cemetery in Iola, Kansas.

Hammack also has a memorial marker at Deer Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, Tell City, IN.

Cross also has a memorial marker at Hillside Rest Cemetery in Franklin County NY.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-9218
"9218 (26th BS) lost Aug 4, 1942 in raid on Guadalcanal. All crew killed."
Missing Air Crew Report 16119 (MACR 16119) created retroactively circa 1945–1946
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Rush E. McDonald
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John J. Heard Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph H. Wood
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Homer W. Vail
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William L. Hammack
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Richard C. Inman
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Leroy Payne
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James E. Briggs
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Daniel L. Cross
FindAGrave -1Lt Rush E McDonald (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt John J Heard, Jr (photos, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Joseph Henry Wood (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Joseph Henry Wood (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Homer W Vail (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Sgt William L Hammack (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt William L Hammack (news, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Richard C Inman (news, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Leroy Payne (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt James E Briggs (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Daniel L Cross (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Daniel L. Cross (photo, memorial marker photo)
Fortress Against The Sun (2001) pages 231-232, 390, 426

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Last Updated
February 5, 2024


Tech Info

Tech Info
9 Missing
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