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  B-24D-1-CO "Yanks From Hell" Serial Number 41-23716  
USAAF
5th AF
90th BG
321th BS

Tech Information
Tech Information
90th BG c1943
Pilot  2nd Lt Joseph M. Casale, O-519484 (MIA / KIA) South Orange, NJ
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt Richard T. Dodson, O-675180 (MIA / KIA) San Francisco, CA
Navigator  2nd Lt Jason V. George Jr., O-673536 (MIA / KIA) Aiken County, SC
Bombardier  2nd Lt Valentine B. Kane Jr., O-738927 (MIA / KIA) Newark, NJ
Engineer  T/Sgt Oscar R. Jordan, 34393704 (MIA / KIA) Cumberland County, NC
Gunner  S/Sgt Edward S. Meding, 35307461 (MIA / KIA) Cleveland, OH
Radio  T/Sgt Raymond L. St Jeor, 39830743 (MIA / KIA) Portland, OR
Gunner  S/Sgt Jack W. Eaton, 39454651 (MIA / KIA) Spokane, WA
Gunner  S/Sgt Alfred A. Podesta, 32357566 (MIA / KIA) Brooklyn, NY
Gunner  S/Sgt Harry M. Manson, 6265899 (MIA / KIA) Essex County, MA
Passenger  M/Sgt Rupert W. Adams, 13034565 (MIA / KIA) Tuscaloosa, AL
Crashed  August 17, 1943 at 3:00am
MACR  4906

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated in San Diego. Constructors Number 511. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-1-CO Liberator serial number 41-23716. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 90th Bombardment Group, 321st Bombardment Squadron. Assigned to 1st Lt James J. Crawford. Nicknamed "Yanks From Hell" (with quotations around the nickname with YANKS and HELL capitalized) was painted on both sides of the nose. No nose art.

On both sides of the nose was a scoreboard with bomb markings indicating bombing missions flown including three silhouettes of ships claimed as sunk. On the right side of the nose at the base of the greenhouse was "Charlene". Below the right fuselage window behind the cockpit was "Maxine".

This B-24 operated from 5-Mile Drome (Wards) near Port Moresby flying bombing missions over New Guinea. During March 1943, comedian Joe E. Brown visited the 90th Bomb Group area and was photographed with B-24 "Yanks From Hell" an painted a message to Tojo on one of the bombs being loaded for a mission.

Robert Livingstone adds:
"This B-24 was one of two precursor/prototype aircraft in the 90th with the under-nose yagi as well as the "FUC" (Found Under Clothes) aerials under the cockpit as seen on most subsequent 5th Air Force and 13th Air Force B-24s. Also had rear fuselage side arrays. The other aircraft was B-24D "Dinky" 42-40325."

When lost, engines R-1830-43 serial number 42-36525, 42-37059, 42-36757 and 42-36479. Weapon serial number are not noted in the Missing Air Crew Report 4906 (MACR 4906).

Mission History
On August 16, 1944 at 11:44pm took off from 5-Mile Drome (Wards) near Port Moresby piloted by 2nd Lt Joseph M. Casale as one of twenty-four B-24s flying individual bombing missions against Boram Airfield near Wewak at an altitude of 6,500'. The weather was 6/10 cloud cover with cumulus clouds.

Over the target, on August 17, 1943 at 2:26am, the formation was targeted by intense anti-aircraft fire and searchlights. This B-24 suffered a direct hit, causing it to catch fire and crash at Cape Boram. After being hit, it is possible this bomber might have collided with B-24D "Twin Niftys" 42-40348 causing it to also crash. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Wreckage
Postwar, the wreckage of this B-24 was located by a RAAF Searcher Team at Cape Boram at roughly 3.34 143.38. At one time, US Army CILHI coded this crash site "PNG #5".

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. The entire crew (with the exception of Adams) earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. Adams earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Eaton also has a memorial marker at Fairmount Memorial Park in Spokane, WA.

Relatives
Beverly Rose (sister of Jack W. Eaton)

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24J-20-CO Liberator 41-23716
"23716 (90th BG, 321st BS) lost Aug 17, 1943, South Pacific. MACR 4906"
Missing Air Crew Report 4906 (MACR 4906)
Legacy of the 90th Bombardment Group page 196
"Joe E Brown, the movie comedian, who was in Port Moresby at the end of March [1943] visited the 90th area. As he posed in front of "Yanks From Hell", Joe painted a message to Tojo on one of the bombs
MacArthur's Eagles (2005) by Lex McAulay page 39
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 41-23716 (lists nickname as "Yanks From Hell II")
American Battle Monuments Commission, (ABMC) - Joseph M. Casale
American Battle Monuments Commission, (ABMC) - Richard T. Dodson
American Battle Monuments Commission, (ABMC) - Jason V. George Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission, (ABMC) - Valentine B. Kane Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission, (ABMC) - Oscar R. Jordan
American Battle Monuments Commission, (ABMC) - Edward S. Meding
American Battle Monuments Commission, (ABMC) - Raymond L. St Jeor
American Battle Monuments Commission, (ABMC) - Jack W. Eaton
American Battle Monuments Commission, (ABMC) - Alfred A. Podesta
American Battle Monuments Commission, (ABMC) - Harry M. Manson
American Battle Monuments Commission, (ABMC) - Rupert W. Adams
FindAGrave - Joseph M Casale (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Richard T. Dodson (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Jason V George, Jr (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Valentine B Kane (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Oscar Randolph Jordan (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Edward S Meding (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt Raymond Lewis St Jeor (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Jack W Eaton (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Jack William Eaton (photo, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Alfred A Podesta (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Harry M Manson (photo, obituary, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Rupert W Adams (tablets of the missing photo)

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020

 

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