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  B-24E-25-DT Liberator Serial Number 41-28525  
1st AF
302nd BG

Pilot  2nd Lt. Richard E. Kelly, O-813390 (KIA, BR) MA
Co-Pilot  Lt. Basil R. Huntress (survived) Fort Fairfield, ME
Crew  2nd Lt. Thomas L. Godown (KIA, BR) NJ
Crew  2nd Lt. James D. Campbell (WIA, died) Mankato, MN
Crew  Sgt Theodore F. Karirzak (WIA, died)
Crew  Sgt. Royall M. Barbour (KIA, BR)
Crew  Sgt. William V. Hanchett (KIA, BR) CA
Crew  Sgt. Robert J. McCabe (KIA, BR)
Crew  Pfc Paul F. Graham (KIA, BR) Rock Island County, IL
Crew  Pfc Archie L. McCormick (KIA, BR) IA
Crew  Pfc Melvin E. Rosenberg, 31307233 (KIA, BR) Suffolk County, MA
Crashed  March 26, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas-Tulsa. Constructors Number 117. Douglas Constructors Number 15640. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24E-25-DT Liberator serial number 41-28525.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 1st Air Force (1st AF), 302nd Bombardment Group (302nd BG), 356th Bombardment Squadron (356th BS) a B-24 Liberator replacement training unit (RTU) based at Chatham Field near Savannah, Georgia. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On March 26, 1944 took off from Chatham Field near near Savannah, Georgia on a flight bound for Miami, Florida. During the flight, this bomber requested permission to make an emergency landing at NAS Melbourne. While on finals to land, one engine quit and an soon afterwards, two more engines failed causing it to rapidly loose altitude. On impact, the bomber broke into pieces and caught fire killing nine aboard.

Crashed one mile north of NAS Melbourne at Eau Gallie Boulevard, to the west of the rail road tracks near the airfield boundary, just missing U. S. Navy (USN) housing area known as Suntree Terrace. After the crash, the civilian fire department and and USN fire and crash crews went to the crash site and extinguished the fire.

Fates of the Crew
During the crash, Lt. B. R. Huntress survived the crash because he was thrown out of the cockpit and landed in a tree and was burned. Afterwards, Huntress recovered from his burns in Melbourne hospital and later returned to duty. Two other crew members 2nd Lt. James D. Campbell and Sgt T. F. Karirzak also survived the crash but died later that day due to their injuries.

Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of the crew were recovered. Afterwards, the remains of each crew member were transported to their hometowns for permanent burial.

Fates of the Crew
One of the crew, co-pilot Huntress was burned but thrown clear of the cockpit on impact. Afterwards, he was taken to Melbourne Hospital to recover from his injuries and later returned to duty. Two other crew survived with injuries: Campbell and Karirzak but both died later that day from their wounds.

The nine killed in the crash were officially declared dead the day of the mission.

Godown is buried at buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Clinton, NJ.

Katirzak is buried at Saints Cyril and Methodius Cemetery in Nesquehoning, PA.

Campbell is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Caledonia, WI at block 1, grave 308.

Barbour is buried at Ocean View Cemetery in Beaufort, NC.

Hanchett is buried at Madronia Cemetery in Saratoga, CA at plot 16 3, south side, center

McCabe is buried at Saint Augustine National Cemetery in Saint Augustine, FL at plot B, grave 647.

Graham is buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rantoul, IL.

Rosenberg is buried at Rabbi Isaac Elchonon Cemetery in Everett, MA.

Huntress passed away on May 19, 2010. He has two burials: Riverside Cemetery in Fort Fairfield, ME. He also has memorial marker at Saint Augustine's Episcopal Church Cemetery in Augusta, GA at plot ash garden.

NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Richard E. Kelly
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Thomas L. Godown
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - James D. Campbell
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Theodore F. Karirzak
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Royall M. Barbourr
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - William V. Hanchett
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Robert J. McCabe
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Paul F. Graham

NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Archie L. Mc Cormick
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Melvin E. Rosenberg

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24E-25-DT Liberator 41-28525
AAIR March 1944 USAAF Stateside Accident Reports - B-24E Liberator 41-28525
FindAGrave - 2LT Richard Edward Kelly
FindAGrave - Basil Robert Huntress (grave photo Riverside Cemetery)
FindAGrave - Basil Robert Huntress (photos, grave photo Saint Augustine's)
FindAGrave - Lieut Thomas Leo Godown (grave photos)
FindAGrave - Lieut James D Campbell (grave photo)
FindAGrave - TSGT Theodore F Katirzak
FindAGrave - Sgt Royall M Barbour (grave marker photo)
FindAGrave - SGT William Verne Hanchett (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Robert J McCabe (grave photo)
FindAGrave - PFC Paul Francis Graham (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Archie L McCormick (grave photo)
FindAGrave - PFC Melvin E Rosenberg (grave photos)
US Naval Air Station Melbourne, Florida Fighter Pilot Training Base Word War II (2001) pages 123-124
"One of the most spectacular, tragic and memorial crashes took place on the night of March 26, 1944."

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Last Updated
June 11, 2020


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