360th Service Group
380th BG c1943
via Gerald Johnson c1943
via Teri Knudsen c1943
|Pilot 2nd Lt. Hugh L. Johnson, Jr., O-828444 (MIA / KIA) Montgomery, AL
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Byron L. Stenen, O-776106 (MIA / KIA) Northridge, CA
Navigator 2nd Lt. John F. Green, O-20544568 (MIA / KIA) Watertown, NY
Bombardier 2nd Lt. John M. Meisner, O-777903 (MIA / KIA) Pembroke, MA
Engineer Cpl Michael J. Pushkar, 3387420 (MIA / KIA) Mahanoy City, PA
Gunner S/Sgt Walter Knudsen, 17029283 (MIA / KIA) Sioux City, IA
Asst Radio Cpl John A. De Carlo, 12206062 (MIA / KIA) Newark, NJ
Radio Cpl Robert E. Raney, 35147448 (MIA / KIA) Monon, IN
Gunner Cpl William G. Mohr, 33874202 (MIA / KIA) Mt. Wolf, PA
Crashed October 9, 1944
Built by Consolidated at San Diego between March 2-13, 1943. Constructors Number 1582. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-65-CO Liberator serial number 42-40505. Test flown March 16, 1943 and received modifications at Tucson on the March 21, 1943. Flown to Topeka, KS on April 16, 1943. Ferried overseas from Hamilton Field departing on May 1, 1943 via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia arriving at Amberley Field.
Assigned to 5th Air Force, 380th Bombardment Group, 531st Bombardment Squadron based at Manbulloo Airfield. Nicknamed "Mr. Five By Five" with nose art of two dice and a figure in a suit. By early December 1943, this B-24 flew 26 combat missions in the New Guinea theater.
On December 11, 1943 transferred to the 90th Bombardment Group. Later, nose turret was installed at the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field near Townsville. Afterwards, transferred to the 43rd Bombardment Group.
Lastly, assigned to the 360th Service Squadron, Far East Air Force - Combat Replacement Training Center (FEAF-CRTC) based at Nadzab Airfield. When lost, engines R-1830-43 serial numbers 42-59440, 42-38736, 42-62072, 42-38816.
On October 9, 1944 took off at 6:46am from Nadzab
Airfield (No. 1) on a local training
flight bound for Port Moresby. The weather was overcast at 10,000' with low scattered clouds at 2,500'. This B-24 encountered a thunderstorm
and went missing in the Nadzab area.
During early 2002, the crash site was discovered by two New Guinea villagers, eleven miles southwest of Lae at an elevation of 7,500' near Buang
village and Bugiau village. They located remains and recovered two dog tags in the wreckage and brought them to the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby.
Recovery of Remains
Later during 2002, US Army CILHI interviewed the villagers who turned over the dog tags and made a survey visit to the crash site.
During January 2003 to February 2003 a US Army CILHI team led by Captain Tipton excavated the crash site and recovered the remains of nine crew men. The remains were transported to the CILHI laboratory in Hawaii and identified using mDNA and other forensic tools.
On June 27, 2006
DPMO officially announced the crew had been identified in a news release.
Captain Paul Madrid, US Army (Repatriation & Family Affairs) adds:
"Between 11 December 2005 to 25 March 2006, representatives from Army Casualty traveled to the homes of representatives of the nine families to present the final identification report. Once each of the families accepted the report - coordination for the interment were made which took place yesterday." [June 27, 2006].
The entire crew
was officially declared dead the day of the mission and all were memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
After the recovery of remains, nine of the crew are buried in a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery including DeCarlo, Johnson, Meisner, Pushkar, Green, Knudsen, Mohr, Raney, and Stenen at section 60 site 8334.
Three of the crew also have individual burials at Arlington National Cemetery Green at section 60 site 8338. Pushkar at section 60 site 8335. Mohr at section 60 site 8336.
Johnson also has a memorial marker at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Geneva, AL.
Raney also has a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery section 60 site 8334.
Knudsen also has a memorial marker at Memorial Park Cemetery in Sioux City, IA near his parents grave.
Raney also has a memorial marker at Monon Cemetery in Monon, IN.
Terri Knudsen (niece of Knudsen)
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-65-CO Liberator 42-40505
"40505 (360th BG, later 90th BG, then CRTC Nadzab) missing Oct 9, 1944. MACR 10020. Found Nov 2002."
Missing Air Crew Report 10020 (MACR 10020)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 42-40505
CILHI site numbers PP01-003 and PP-00254
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Hugh L. Johnson Jr. "recovered and identified"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Byron L. Stenen "recovered and identified"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John F. Green "recovered and identified"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John M. Meisner "recovered and identified"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Michael J. Pushkar "recovered and identified"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Walter Knudsen "recovered and identified"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John A. De Carlo "remains were recovered"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert E. Raney "recovered and identified"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William G. Mohr
FindAGrave - 2Lt Hugh L Johnson, Jr (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Hugh L Johnson, Jr (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Hugh L Johnson, Jr (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Byron L. Stenen (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Byron L Stenen (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Lieut John F Green (group burial photo, grave photo)
2Lt John F Green (group burial photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut John M. Meisner (group burial photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt John M Meisner (group burial photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Michael J. Pushkar (group burial photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Michael J Pushkar (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Walter Knudsen (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Walter Knudsen (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Sgt Walter Knudsen (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - Corp John A DeCarlo (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Robert E Raney (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Robert E. Raney (memorial marker Arlington photo)
Corp Robert E. Raney (memorial marker Monon photo)
FindAGrave - Corp William G Mohr (grave photo, group burial photo)
Corp William G. Mohr (grave photo)
DPMO "Nine airmen missing in action identified and are being returned to their families" June 27, 2006
380th BG Association - B-24D 42-40505 Data Sheet
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February 14, 2020