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  B-24D-20-CO "Temptation" Serial Number 41-24129  
USAAF
14th AF
308th BG
373rd BS

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Click For Enlargement
373rd BS c1943
Pilot  1st Lt. William A. Rutledge, O-373011 (KIA, BR) Sharpsburg, IA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Don Boyd Smith, O-793188 (POW, survived)
Navigator  2nd Lt. Robert F. Powers (POW, survived) OK
Bombardier  2nd Lt. Richard G. Warren, O-728525 (MIA / KIA) NJ
Engineer  S/Sgt Robert L. Corbin, 35112852 (MIA / KIA) IN
Radio  Sgt Donald M. Slemmons, 36331069 (KIA, BR) SD
Asst Radio  S/Sgt Arvid J. Stomberg, 36324975 (MIA / KIA) Cook County, IL
Asst Engineer  S/Sgt Wilbur H. Willis, 6392822 (KIA, BR) Gaston County, NC
Tail Gunner  S/Sgt Jay N. Hawe (POW, survived)
Observer  2nd Lt. Cheng C. Wang, Chinese Air Force (fate unknown)
Crashed  September 15, 1943
MACR  12001

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Constructor Number 1864. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24-20-CO Liberator serial number 41-24129. Ferried overseas to China-Burma India (CBI).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 14th Air Force, 308th Bombardment Group, 373rd Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Temptation" with the nose art of a reclining nude woman with her hands behind her hair and one leg bent on both sides of the nose. Below the bombardier nose window on the left side was "Warren" in block letters indicating the position of bombardier 2nd Lt. Richard G. Warren.

When lost, engines R-1830-43 serial numbers 42-41851, 42-42218, 42-43960 and 42-43013. Armed with .50 caliber machine guns serial numbers not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 12001 (MACR 12001).

Mission History
On September 15, 1943 at 1:05pm took off from Yangkai Airfield in China piloted by 1st Lt. William A. Rutledge as one of five B-24s on a bombing mission against a cement plant north of Haiphong near Hanoi in French Indochina (Vietnam). Aboard was a Chinese Air Force (CAF) observer, 2nd Lt. Cheng C. Wang.

Over the target the formation bombed from an altitude of 12,000' and was intercepted by 50+ enemy fighters. This B-24 was hit by gunfire damaging an engine that was feathered and remained with the formation for a few minutes then turned to the north. Most of the crew were observed to bail out and were seen to be strafed in their parachutes by the same fighters and some were never seen again. When this bomber failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost was B-24D "Mohawk" 41-24129 (POW/MIA) and B-24D "Daisy Mae" 41-24218 (MIA).

Fates of the Crew
Pilot Rutledge bailed out, but is believed to have been killed in his parachute by strafing fighters, his body was found by the Japanese shot in the head. Stomberg bailed out and broke his ankle on landing, picked up by the French and taken to the hospital at Hanoi, along with Quarant and Manella crew members from B-24D "Mohawk" 41-24129.

Powers bailed out and landed near Slemmons, who died of internal injuries from an improperly fitted parachute and died of his wounded at 22:00. Warren was wounded in the leg and bailed out and was slightly wounded, but was not seen again. Corbin was wounded and unconscious, but alive. Smith bailed out and was picked up by the French. Smith pulled his chute and dropped him out the bomb bay, this was the last time he was seen. Eillis parachuted out apparently unhurt, but was never seen again.

The surviving crew were held as POWs and Powers, Hawe and Smith were liberated at the end of the war from Malaya POW Camp Malay 6-104 and returned to the United States.

Recovery of Remains
Postwar, the remains of Slemmons and Willis were recovered and transported to the United States for permanently burial.

Memorials
Three of the crew remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA): Stomberg, Warren and Corbin. All three are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Stomberg was officially declared dead on May 14, 1946. He earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Warren were officially declared dead on January 12, 1946. He earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Corbin were officially declared dead on January 12, 1946. He earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Slemmons was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is buried at Canistota Cemetery in Canistota, SD.

Willis was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at Plot O Row 0 Grave 125.

Rutledge was buried on August 26, 1949 at Lexington Cemetery in Bedford, Iowa.

Relatives
"Dane Scarff (niece of Richard G. Warren)
"Richard G. Warren is my Mom’s brother. Only recently contacted for DNA sample of Lois Warren Scarff (my Mom) and two other remaining sisters by the Past Conflicts Repatriations Branch Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Division."

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Richard G. Warren
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Robert L. Corbin
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Donald M. Slemmons
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -Arvid Stomberg
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Wilbur H. Willis
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-20-CO Liberator 41-24129
"24129 (308th BG, "Temptation") lost Sep 15, 1943 on raid to Haiphong. MACR 12001"
Missing Air Crew Report 12001 (MACR 12001) created February 13, 1945
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Don Boyd Smith
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Robert F. Powers
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Jay N. Hawe
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Arvid Stomberg
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Richard G. Warren
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert L. Corbin
FindAGrave - Lieut William Allen Rutledge (news, obituary, photos, grave photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Richard G Warren (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Robert L Corbin (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - TSGT Donald M Slemmons (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Arvid Stomberg (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Wibur Hartwell Willis (news, obituary, courts of the missing)

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020

 

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B-24

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