|Pilot 2nd Lt Howard F. Carlson, O-661920 (MIA / KIA) Chesterton, IN
2nd Lt Walter L. Jacobson, O-791443 (MIA / KIA) New York, NY
Bombardier 2nd Lt Kennard W. Keys, O-729449 (MIA / KIA) San Antonio, TX
Navigator 2nd Lt John S. Walker, O-729680 (MIA / KIA) Ocala, FL
Engineer T/Sgt Robert L. Carr, 11032546 (MIA / KIA) Cambridge, MA
Tail Gunner S/Sgt Herbert R. Fasnacht, 13068313 (MIA / KIA) Ephrata, PA
Engineer/Gunner S/Sgt Gerald F. Gaul, 16064685 (MIA / KIA) Punxsutawney, PA
Gunner S/Sgt Robert M. Jenkins, 17045114 (MIA / KIA) Kansas City, MS
Photographer Sgt Walter Bondarik, 32181128 (MIA / KIA) Bronx, NY
Radio Cpl Archer L. Harper, 34263370 (MIA / KIA) Milledgeville, GA
Gunner Cpl Franklin M. Weaver, 36109405 (MIA / KIA) Shipshowana, IN
MIA February 19, 1943
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-CO Liberator serial number 41-11901. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.
On November 17, 1942 assigned to the 5th Air Force, 90th Bombardment Group, 321st Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Lady Lucy".
On February 19, 1943 took off from 5-Mile Drome (Wards) near Port Moresby at 5:35pm piloted by 2nd Lt Howard F. Carlson on a solo reconnaissance mission over the southern coast of New Britain. The last radio contact was made one hour later when a report was received stating the bomber was entering a weather front over the Cape Ward Hunt area.
Wiley Woods recalls:
"There were two messages received, one about weather and later another about a small four ship convoy with a Zero escort near Gasmata."
When this B-24 failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA) and officially written off as missing on February 22, 1943.
According to the Japanese side, nine A6M Zeros from the 253 Kokutai took off from Gasmata Airfield on an afternoon patrol mission and claimed a single B-24 Liberator as shot down southern New Britain This claim was likely for this bomber. A6M Zero piloted by Lt(jg) Yoichi Kenmochi [Kenmotsu] failed to return. The other eight Zeros returned safely.
The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 8, 1946. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
Fasnacht has a memorial marker at Middle Creek Brethren Cemetery in Lititz, PA.
Gaul had a memorial on April 14, 1946. and has a memorial marker at White Church Cemetery in Hamilton, PA.
Harper also has a memorial marker at White Plains Cemetery in White Plains, GA.
Weaver has a memorial marker at Lupold Cemetery in Shipshewana, IN.
Fred Willey (nephew of Gaul)
"Gerald F. Gaul was born September 29, 1920 in Punxsutawney, PA. His home was Sagamore, PA. His B-24 was MIA off southern coast New Britain near Lolobau Island [this island is off the northern coast]"
Randall Zwally (nephew of Fasnacht)
"My uncle was (Tail Gunner) Staff Sergeant Herbert Fasnacht (13068313) lost in February of 1943. I have his medals and memorabilia. I would be interested in contacting any relatives of the other crew members - or finding out any more information about this lost flight. I will add your additional comments about your uncle to the page, thank you for sharing them. Also, his photo."
Note, some sources incorrectly list the date of loss as February 22, 1943 and the nickname as "Lady Luck".
Individual Aircraft Record Card (IARC) B-24D 41-11901 "Missing 22.2.43"
Missing Air Crew Report 15071 (MACR 15071)
Kodochosho, 253 Kōkūtai, February 19, 1943
Legacy of the 90th Bombardment Group page 42
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 41-11901
Zero's Chronicle in the Solomons Campaign Volume 1 mentions this loss and incorrectly states this B-24 took off at 5:35am and attributes the loss to the 253 Kokutai morning interception by ten Zeros rather than the afternoon interception by nine Zeros.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Howard F. Carlson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Walter L. Jacobson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Kennard W. Keys
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John S. Walker
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert L. Carr
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Herbert R. Fasnacht
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Gerald F. Gaul
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert M. Jenkins
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Walter Bondarik
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Archer L. Harper
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Franklin M. Weaver
1Lt Howard F Carlson (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Walter L Jacobson (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Kennard W Keys (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 1Lt John S Walker (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt Robert L Carr (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Herbert R Fasnacht (photo)
FindAGrave - Herbert R Fasnacht (memorial marker photo, photo)
FIndAGrave - SSgt Gerald F Gaul (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Gerald Franklin Gaul (memorial marker photo, obituary)
FindAGrave - SSgt Robert M Jenkins (tablets of the missing photo)
Sgt Walter Bondarik (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Archer L Harper (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Archer Lee Harper (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Franklin M Weaver (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Franklin M Weaver (photo, memorial marker photo)
Thanks to Richard Dunn, Minoru Kamada, Bob Livingstone and Pete Johnston for additional information
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May 13, 2020