Pilot 1st Lt John H. Werner, O-437628 (MIA / KIA) WI
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Edward J. Devine, O-726682 (MIA / KIA)
Crew 1st Lt Edward J. Walpole, O-434621 (MIA / KIA) IL
Crew 2nd Lt Walter C. Seidel, O-727928 (WIA, survived)
Crew S/Sgt Albert L. Butterfield, 39166921 (WIA, survived)
Crew S/Sgt William B. Gregory, 6576588 (MIA / KIA) CA
Crew Cpl John J. Glenn, 34301678 (KIA)
Crew Cpl Harold L. Williams, 14058711 (MIA / KIA) NB
Crew Cpl Raymond J. Slazas, 12012081 (MIA / KIA) PA
Crew Pvt Claude J. Semler, 37113199 (MIA / KIA) IA
Ditched November 15, 1942 at 8:00am
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-5-CO Liberator serial number 41-23760. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 90th Bombardment Group, 319th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Lady Beverly". This B-24 was lost on its first combat mission, and was the first combat loss for the 319th Bombardment Squadron.
On November 15, 1942 took off on a bombing mission against Buin-Faisi area. Over the target, hit by anti-aircraft fire and returned from the mission damaged. Ditched at approximately Lat 10.22 Long 149.35 near Baibara Island off the southern coast of New Guinea. Afterwards, two survivors were observed in the sea by B-17C 40-2072.
Ray ? adds:
"Took off on its first combat mission to Buin-Faisi. The crew of which I was a member, Major Eckert's crew, was on that first mission. One of my radio buddies, William B. Gregory, was radio operator on Lt. Werner's crew. While on its bombing run over the target Werner's plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire and struggled for home with damaged engines. Ultimately, this crew also had to ditch, and eight of its ten member crew were killed in the crash. Two of the crew made it to shore alive, and ultimately, as I recall, two others were washed ashore dead the next day. I don't believe the bodies of the remaining six were ever recovered."
The missing crew members were officially decleared dead on November 15, 1942. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
In 2005, Pacific Helicopter pilot Manu Stack visited this area, and was informed of this crash site and reported it to Brian Bennett who reported it to JPAC.
Missing Air Crew Report 16076 (MACR 16076)
Lt F. W. Carroll navigator log sheet
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 41-23760
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February 14, 2020