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90th BG c1942
|Pilot 1st Lt. Paul R. Larson, O-023854 (KIA, BR) IL
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Herbert R. Bassman O-0725576 (KIA, BR) MS
Bombardier 2nd Lt. David C. Muething, 726929 (KIA , BR) OH
Navigator William F. Sipple, 791004 (KIA , BR)
Engineer Ernest I. Irving, 6116757 (KIA , BR) MA
Assistant Engineer Lewis A. Diotti, 35376226 (KIA , BR) WV
Radio Alex J. Halgren, 12033336 (KIA , BR)
Assistant Radio William J. Dee, 16067297 (KIA , BR) IL
Tail Gunner Harry L. Patty, 33166690 (KIA , BR) Murrysville, PA
Gunner Lester L. Picker, 35258447 (KIA , BR) IN
Photographer Claude D. Red, 18063101 (KIA , BR) TX
Crashed November 16, 1942 at roughly 12:00am
Dust from prior B-24s taking off dimmed the runway lights that were spaced too far apart. During take off, this B-24 veered off the runway, crashed, caught fire and the bomb load to exploded. The explosion also destroyed B-17F 41-24522, killed eleven personnel and damaged three other bombers including B-24D 41-23765, B-24D 41-23812 and B-24D "Big Emma" 41-23751 (all three were later repaired).
Officially, this B-24 was written off on November 16, 1943. Likely, this was a clerical error and should have been 1942.
Steve Birdsall adds:
Postwar, the crew's remains were exhumed and transported to Hawaii and the United States for permanently burial. Four of the crew are buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). Larson at plot C, row 0, grave 396. Bassman at plot B, grave 8493. Muething at plot A, grave 134 Diotti at plot N, grave 83.
Ernest was originally buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). In 1949, his mother requested he be exhumed and buried in Fern Hill Cemetery in Hanson, MA.
Dee was buried on March 2, 1948 at Mount Emblem Cemetery in Elmhurst, IL at section A , lot 356, grave 3.
Patty was buried on March 3, 1948 at Murrysville Cemetery in Murrysville, PA.
Picker is buried at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Cemetery in Millhousen, IN.
Red is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, TX at section R, site 228-F.
The burials of Halgren and Sipple are unknown, he is presumed to be buried in a private cemetery in the United States.
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