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USAAF July 29, 1943
|Pilot Captain William Chenowith (KIA, BR) NJ
Co-Pilot Major Edward G. Schultz (KIA, BR) MO
Observer 1st Lt. Hsu Tung Chow, CAF (KIA, BR)
Navigator Lt Clune J. Clifford (survived)
Bombardier Lt Donald B. Duffey (survived)
Engineer TSgt Charles P. Yelton (survived)
Radio TSgt Russell A. Giles (survived)
Assistant Engineer SSgt Edward Pawlick (survived)
Assistant Radio SSgt Milton A. McGee (survived)
Armorer SSgt Max C. Elder (survived)
Armorer SSgt Francis J. Meaney (survived)
Crashed July 29, 1943 at 4:30pm
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Constructors Number 1925. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-105-CO Liberator serial number 42-40848. Ferried overseas to China-India-Burma (CBI).
Assigned to the 14th Air Force (14th AF), 308th Bombardment Group (308th BG), 373rd Bombardment Squadron (373rd BS). Nicknamed "Flamingo". When lost, engines and weapon serial numbers unknown. No Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) was created for this loss.
On July 29, 1943 took off from Yangkai Airfield piloted by Captain William Chenowith on a bombing mission against the dockyards at Hong Kong. Aboard was Chinese Air Force (CAF) observer 1st Lt. Hsu Tung Chow. Over the target, the formation encountered anti-aircraft fire but no enemy fighters. This B-24 made three bomb runs before releasing their bombs. During the mission, this bomber was testing a new retractable ball turret that was extended and caused excess drag and contributed to the bomber running low on fuel.
Over Yangkai roughly 25 miles from Luliang Airfield, ran out of fuel and pilot Chenowith ordered the crew to bail out. Inside th cockpit, 1st Lt. Chow accidentally opened his parachute and was trapped inside. In an effort to save him, the two pilots attempted to force land in a rice paddy, but landed too fast and the nose section impacted an earthen berm causing a fire that killed the pilot, co-pilot and observer inside.
Fates of the Crew
The other seven crew members bailed out and landed safely. While bailing out, Giles struck his head on the back edge of the escape hatch and suffered a severe gash. On the ground, the surviving crew found each other by 10:00pm and returned to base.
After the crash, the remains of all three were recovered and transported to Kunming. After the crash, 373rd Bombardment Squadron personnel were sent to locate the crash site and crew aboard two trucks. A Chinese farmer directed them to the site.
Glenn Roberts via 308th Bomb Group's Stories "The Fate of Flamingo' and Friendlin' recalls:
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