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  C-87A-CF Liberator Express Serial Number 41-24174  
USAAF
ATC
Air Transport Command

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USAAF 1944
Pilot  Major Francis E. Savage, O-725534 USAAF Pacific HQ (MIA / KIA) Sherman, TX
Co-Pilot  1st Lt. Jack M. West, O-671718 86th CMS (MIA / KIA) IL
Navigator  Major Archibald D. Anderson, O-429261 USAAF Pacific HQ (MIA / KIA) CA
Radio  TSgt Steve Geist, 11029853FEAF HQ (MIA / KIA) NY
Engineer  MSgt Douglas O. Anderson, 6931667 FEAF HQ (MIA / KIA) KS
Asst Engineer  Pfc Arthur Ofner Jr., 17076366 USAAF Pacific HQ (MIA / KIA) MS
Passenger  Lt. General Millard F, Harmon, O-003406 HQ, USAAF Pacific HQ (MIA / KIA) San Francisco, CA
Passenger  Brigadier General James R. Andersen, O-016407 USAAF Pacific HQ (MIA / KIA) Racine, WI
Passenger  Col William Bell, O-017876 20th AF deputy commander operations (MIA / KIA) Washington, DC
Passenger  TSgt Charles T. McInerney, 31033584 (HQ USAAF Pacific) (MIA / KIA) MA
MIA  February 26, 1945
MACR  12769

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated Ford. Constructors Number 969. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as C-87A-CF Liberator Express serial number 41-24174.

Wartime History
Assigned to Air Transport Command (ATC) as a transport aircraft under the command of 1535th Army Air Force Base Unit (1535th AAFBU). No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engine serial numbers unknown. No armament was installed on this aircraft.

Mission History
On February 25, 1945 took from Guam piloted by Major Francis E. Savage on a special flight transporting senior officers to Kwajalein Airfield (APO 241) as the first leg of their flight bound for Hickam Field (APO 953) then onward for meetings about the campaign against Japan in Washington, DC. Aboard was Lt. General Millard F. Harmon, Commanding General AAFPOA and Brigadier General James R. Andersen, Deputy Commander of the 20th Air Force (20th AF).

On February 26, 1945 took off from Kwajalein Airfield at 10:45am on the next leg of the flight bound for Hickam Field (APO 953). The weather was reported as broken clouds between 3,000' - 6,000' altitude. Last contact was by radio at 12:15 with Sgt Stanley H. Long, reporting the aircraft's position as 11° 15' north, 174° 15' east. This aircraft went missing over the Pacific Ocean between Kwajalein and Hawaii.

Search
Afterwards, the U. S. Navy (USN) was in charge of the search for this aircraft. Despite intensive searches by aircraft from both U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) and U. S. Navy (USN) aircraft plus surface vessels, no trace of this aircraft or anyone aboard was located.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead on February 26, 1945. Since this aircraft was lost over a non-combat area, none of the crew or passengers earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. All are memorialized at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) on court 7.

Savage earned the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

Archibald D. Anderson earned the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

Steve Geist earned the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.

Douglas O. Anderson earned the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.

Millard F. Harmon earned the Distinguished Service Medal (DSM), Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), British Most Honorable Order of the Bath, French Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star. He also has a memorial marker at the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs, CO. Afterwards, Depot Field on Guam was renamed Andersen Air Force Base (Andersen AFB) in his honor.

James R. Andersen earned the Legion of Merit. Andersen has a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery at memorial section, site 7. He also has a memorial marker at Brunswick Memorial Park in Brunswick, GA. Below the memorial marker is is a brass plaque that reads: "Andersen Air Force Base - Guam Marianas Islands Dedicated 15 April 1950 in memory of Brig General James Roy Andersen 1904-1945 Missing in action 26 February 1945 while serving as Chief of Staff Pacific Ocean Area". Afterwards, North Field on Guam was renamed Andersen Air Force Base (Andersen AFB) in his honor.

Ball earned the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star and Air Medal.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - C-87A-CF Liberator Express 41-24174
"24174 (MSN 969) Lost Feb 26, 1945 South Pacific. MACR 12769"
Missing Air Crew Report 12769 (MACR 12769) created March 4, 1945 does not list engine serial numbers and incorrectly lists passenger McInerney as "McInery" [sic].
The Army Air Forces in World War II - The Pacific Matterhorn to Nagasaki Chapter 20: Urban Area Attacks page 629
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Francis E. Savage
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Jack M. West
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Archibald D. Anderson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Steve Geist
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Douglas O. Anderson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Arthur Ofner Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Millard F. Harmon

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James R. Andersen
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William Bell
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles T. McInerney

FindAGrave - Maj Francis E Savage (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Jack M West (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Maj Archibald Dean Anderson (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Steve Geist (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - MSgt Douglas Otha Anderson (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Arthur Ofner (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - LTG Millard Fillmore “Miff” Harmon, Jr (photo, courts of the missing)
FindAGrave - LTG Millard Fillmore Harmon, Jr (photo, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - BG James Roy Andersen (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - BG James Roy Andersen (Brunswick Memorial Park memorial photo)
FindAGrave - BG James Roy Andersen (Arlington National Cemetery memorial marker photo)
Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) - James R. Andersen (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Charles T. McInerney (courts of the missing photo)

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Last Updated
February 26, 2020

 

Tech Information
C-87

MIA
MIA
10 Missing
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