|Pilot Norman R. Spearman, O-742793 (MIA / KIA) OK
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Thomas M. Anderson, O-806601 (survived)
Navigator 2nd Lt William A. Walker, O-791009 (MIA / KIA) Rochester, NY
Engineer SSgt George Boucouvales, 31150129 (KIA, BR) ME
Radio SSgt Anthony Salvaggio, 31179089 (MIA / KIA) RI
Passenger MSgt Dolphia F. Riddle, 307074193 (survived)
Passenger SSgt Ray W. Barnes, 39167408 (MIA / KIA) UT
Passenger SSgt Stephen Simons, 12045287 (survived)
Passenger MSgt Albert Szatmary, 32182727 (survived)
Passenger TSgt Loraine W. Swisher, 6917662 (survived)
Passenger SSgt William H. Greasley, Jr., 31122526 (survived)
Passenger SSgt Charles M. Hilton, 18057607 (survived)
Passenger SSgt Raymond W. Kreimeyer, 17052382 (MIA / KIA) AR
Passenger SSgt Robert Moberg, 19075009 (survived)
Passenger Captain William D. Bell, O-854094 (survived)
Crashed December 7, 1943 at 9:12am
Built by Consolidated. Constructors Number 1295.
Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-40-CO Liberator serial number 42-40221.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 307th Bombardment Group, 424th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Mammy Yokum", with the nose art of the character from the Li'l Abner cartoon. When lost, this B-24 had engines R-1830-43 serial numbers 42-38560, 42-59043, 42-39136 and 42-38593. Machine Gun serial numbers are not listed in Missing Air Crew Report 1291 (MACR 1291).
On December 7, 1943 took off from Bomber 2 Airfield on Espiritu Santo at 8:15am with a crew of five plus ten passengers and their baggage on a a ferry flight bound for Guadalcanal. The weather was reported as good. Shortly after takeoff, the No. 1 engine was observed to be smoking or throwing oil or both. Roughly 50 miles out, the engine began to smoke and oil pressure dropped to zero, and the crew attempted to feather the engine and return to Bomber 2 Airfield, and aborted a landing, then flew over the bay to make another attempt, but continued to loose altitude and oil pressure.
The pilot ordered the passengers to the rear of the B-17, but not to jettison baggage, as he believed he could make the landing. The landing gear was retracted, then suddenly, engine no 2 sputtered and cut out and crashed into the sea, the tail impacting first roughly 1.5 miles off the northwest tip of Tutuba Island in Scorff Pass 9:12am. The B-17 broke in two and sank in about 30 seconds. Nearby, the crash was observed by two sailors: F1C Ralph C. Ray and S1C William S. Tracy.
Fates of the Crew
Six were killed in the crash:
Boucouvales, Salvaggio, Barnes and Kreimeyer.
The rest of the crew and passengers survived and were rescued.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of
Boucouvales were recovered. Postwar, his remains were transported to the United States for permanent burial.
Officially, the entire crew was declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at the Courts of the Missing. Spearman on court 7. Boucouvales was buried at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Cemetery in Biddeford, ME.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-40-CO Liberator 42-40221
Missing Air Crew Report 1291 (MACR 1291)
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Norman R. Spearman
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - William A. Walker
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Anthony Salvaggio
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Ray W. Barnes
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Raymond W. Kreimeyer
FindAGrave - 2Lt Norman R Spearman (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt William A Walker (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt George Boucouvalas
FindAGrave - SSgt Anthony Salvaggio (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Ray W Barnes (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Raymond W Kreimeyer (courts of the missing photo)
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
February 14, 2020