Justin Taylan 2003
|Pilot 1st Lt. Robert W. Laurie, O-795410 (KIA, BR) Hingham, MA
Co-Pilot F/O Percy Donack, T-60908 (KIA, BR) Roselle Park, NJ
Navigator 2nd Lt. George R. Brinker, O-691710 (KIA, BR) KY
Engineer Sgt Harold H. Santarelli, 31166334 (KIA, BR) Haverhill, MA
Radio S/Sgt Joseph A. Piszczek, 6980430 (KIA, BR) Jefferson County, WA
Passenger S/Sgt Armand D. Cingranelli, 6980430 (KIA, BR) Rome, NY
Passenger Sgt Carl F. Tomlinson, 18020142 (KIA, BR) OK
Crashed March 12, 1944 at 9:00pm
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-2D-80-CO Liberator serial number 42-100205. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 22nd Bombardment Group, 408th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On March 12, 1944 at 2:30pm took off from Garbutt Airfield at Townsville piloted by 1st Lt. Robert W. Laurie on a flight bound for Port
Moresby. This B-24 arrived over the Port
Moresby area in darkness and a blinding rainstorm around 8:00pm and began circling looking for
an opening in the clouds. Pilot Laurie was in touch with the control tower and made two approaches, but was too high each time. Over the radio, he was last heard
to said "I see the runway" but crashed at 9:00pm into a valley at
Burns Peak near Port
Moresby, killing everyone aboard on impact.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of the crew were recovered and buried in Port Moresby. Postwar, these remains were transported to the United States for permanent burial.
This B-24 crashed into a small valley near Burns Peak. Since the late 1980s until the early 2000s the wreckage was largely scrapped by squatters living in the area. During late 2018 while excavating to build a school classroom, a buried engine and other wreckage was dug up. Afterwards, the wreckage was removed with the . By March 20, 2019 only the engine remains at the site.
Bruce Hoy recalls:
a small valley to the right that can be seen from the road leading
up to Burns Peak, is the remains of this B-24, but I think nothing
now remains of that. I took some 5th AF veterans to the site (I seem to recall them as being from the 22nd BG – the same group that 42-100205 was assigned) during which I managed to identify the wreck as being 42-100205. The serial number was on a bomb shackle which I brought back to the museum. It was raining when I took the veterans there and it was only through the shackle being wet that the numbers were visible. When the shackle dried out, the numbers disappeared."
During the late 1
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Postwar, their remains were transported to Hawaii and the United States for permanent burial.
Laurie is buried at Hingham Center Cemetery in Hingham, MA.
Donack is buried at Saint Gertrudes Cemetery in Colonia, NJ at Blk-15 Gr-426A 1B.
Brinker is buried at Ashland Cemetery in Ashland, KY.
Santarelli has an unknown burial likely in his hometown in the United States.
Piszczek is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at section E site 418.
Cingranelli is buried at Saint Johns Cemetery in Rome, NY.
Tomlinson is buried at Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose, CA.
Piszczek (son of Joseph Piszczek)
"My father, SSgt Joseph Piszczek, was the radio operator on the flight. He is not listed in the [MACR] because he was a last-minute substitution for someone else. The bodies of the entire crew, including my father's, were recovered from the wreckage within a couple of days of the crash, but I understand the plane itself was simply abandoned."
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Robert W. Laurie
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Percy Donack
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - George R. Brinker
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Harold H. Santarelli
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Joseph A. Piszczek
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Carl F. Tomlinson
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24J-80-CO Liberator 42-100205
Missing Air Crew Report 15323 (MACR 15323) created retroactively circa 1945-1946
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 42-100205
FindAGrave - Robert W Laurie (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Percy Donack (grave photo)
FindAGrave - George R Brinker (grave photo)
Joseph A Piszczek (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Armand Cingranelli (grave photo)
Carl F Tomlinson (grave photo)
Thanks to Bruce Hoy for additional information
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February 14, 2020