|Pilot 1st Lt. Robert Geatches, O-670520 (KIA, BR)
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Robert D. Moss, O-812642 (survived)
Navigator 2nd Lt. Richard R. Chapman, O-695876 (KIA, BR)
Bombardier 2nd Lt. James S. Lawrence, O-678372 (KIA, BR)
Passenger 1st Lt. William J. Grace, O-855602 (minor injuries, survived)
Engineer SSgt Martin Woogen, 12218427 (minor injuries, survived)
Radio SSgt Lyle G. Strathman, 37658790 (KIA, BR)
Asst Engineer Sgt John A. Eubanks, 14097147 (KIA, BR)
Gunner Sgt Llewellyn G. Thien, 32751204 (survived)
Asst Engineer SSgt Robert W. Smith, 15335007 (survived)
Radar SSgt Oscar W. Windham, 33374571 (survived)
Photographer TSgt Roy W. Both, 36033872 (MIA / KIA, BR) Chicago, IL
Crashed September 3, 1944
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Constructors Number 768. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-15-CO Liberator serial number 41-23973.
Assigned to the 11th Air Force, 28th Bombardment Group (28th Composite Group), 404th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On September 3, 1944 at 1:22pm took off from Elmendorf Field piloted by 1st Lt. Robert Geatches on a flight bound for Adak Airfield. While flying northeast of Iliamna, this bomber suffered an explosion in the air that caused a fire in the no. 2 engine. When it failed to arrive it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Fates of the Crew
Six of the crew survived the crash: Moss, Grace, Woogen, Thien, Smith and Windham. On September 13, 1944 the survivors were rescued and transported to Iliamna then back to Elmendorf Field where they were briefly hospitalized then returned to duty with the exception of Woogen who had foot problems.
On September 15, 1944 the crash site was located at roughly Lat 59.59N Long 154.08W and the bodies of the five crew members located and recovered.
Recovery of Remains
On September 18, 1944 the remains of five of the crew were recovered and later identified as
Geatches, Lawrence, Chapman, Strathman and Eubanks and were transported back to Elmendorf Field by September 22, 1944 and afterwards, buried at Fort Richardson Post Cemetery.
Both remained listed as Missing In Action (MIA) until his body was located and recovered on September 29, 1944 and was later transported to back to to Elmendorf Field. Afterwards, buried at Fort Richardson Post Cemetery until permanently buried in Sika National Cemetery.
Both is buried at
Sika National Cemetery at section AA, site 10.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-15-CO Liberator 41-23973
Missing Air Crew Report 15767 (MACR 15767) created September 6, 1944
Benton Harbor News "Tech. Sgt. Roy Both Killed in Alaska" October 11, 1944
Thanks to David Schurhammer for additional information
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February 14, 2020