Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
  B-24J-135-CO "Bums Away" Serial Number 42-110123  
USAAF
5th AF
380th BG
528th BS

Pilot  2nd Lt. John M. Harwood, O-723915 (MIA / KIA) OH
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Edwin A. Jenkins, O-833338 (MIA / KIA) Amenia, NY
Navigator  Captain Lawrence H. Van Den Berg, O-1041467 (MIA / KIA) Ulster County, NY
Bombardier  2nd Lt. George J. Faulkner, 2065375 (MIA / KIA)
Radio  TSgt Joseph J. Ruszczyk, 31350643 (MIA / KIA) MA
Engineer  TSgt Francis L. Shalala, 15322469 (MIA / KIA) OH
Gunner  SSgt Earnest D. Holley, 18160841 (MIA / KIA) OK
Gunner  SSgt John F. Bolta, 39927900 (MIA / KIA) MN
Gunner  SSgt George W. Ethridge, 38602964 (MIA / KIA) AR
Gunner  SSgt Estal W. Conaway, 35701634 (KIA, BR)

Crashed  May 17, 1945
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego completed by February 1, 1944. On February 10, 1944 delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24J-135-CO Liberator serial number 42-110123. On April 23, 1944 ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific before arriving at Townsville on April 26, 1944.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 380th Bombardment Group (380th BG), 528th Bombardment Squadron (528th BS). Nicknamed "Bums Away" with nose art depicting hobo figures jumping from a rail car door. Aircraft number 125.

First combat mission was May 8, 1944 on photographic reconnaissance mission over Jefman Island. In total, this bomber flew 80 combat missions with various air crews.

Mission History
On May 17, 1945 took off from San Jose Airfield on Mindoro Island on a bombing mission against Matsuyama Airfield on Formosa. This bomber crashed shortly after take off.

Recovery of Remains
The remains of two of the crew were recovered: Van Den Berg and Conaway.

Memorials
Officially declared dead the day of the mission. The missing crew members are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Conaway is buried in private cemetery in Indiana.
Bolta has a memorial marker at Calvary Cemetery in Havre, MT
Ruszczyk has a memorial marker at Mater Dolorosa Cemetery, South Hadley, MA
Jenkins has a memorial marker at Amenia Island Cemetery in Amenia, NY

References
380th Bomb Group Association - Data Sheet B-24J 42-110123 (lists crash as Murtha Strip)
380th Bomb Group Association - Mission Record 1-40
380th Bomb Group Association - Mission Record 41-81
FindA Grave - Lawrence H. Vandenberg
FindAGrave - John Francis Bolta (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Joseph John Ruszczyk
FindAGrave - Lieut Edwin Alton Jenkins (grave photo)
Thanks to Ted Darcy for additional information
ABMC list Vandenberg "Van Den Berg" other wartime documents list him as "Vandenberg"

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
May 16, 2020

 

Tech Info
B-24

MIA
MIA
1 Recoverd
9 Missing
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram