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  B-24D-105-CO "Flamingo" Serial Number 42-40848  
USAAF
14h AF
308th BG
373rd BS




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
MACR  none

Aircraft History
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).

Wartime History
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.

Mission History
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.

Wreckage
This B-24 crash landed in a rice paddy with the nose impacted into a berm that crushed the nose and center section. The tail section survived intact. Afterwards, the crashed Liberator was photographed outside and inside the rear fuselage.

Glenn Roberts via 308th Bomb Group's Stories "The Fate of Flamingo' and Friendlin' recalls:
"Our flight engineer, T/Sgt. "A.T." Hill and I (Glenn) volunteered to go along and jumped onto the first truck. A Chinese farmer directed us to the crash site. The plane was a mess. When the plane struck the dike, the nose of the plane had been driven back so hard that there was absolutely nothing left, forward of the wing. The inertial effect of the impact had cause things to break loose throughout the fuselage and fly forward. The bodies of Captain Chenoweth, Major Shultz and the Chinese pilot were removed and taken to Kunming. Hill and I were directed to remove the two waist guns, load them onto the truck, then remain at the site that night and stand guard, for fear that the local people might start taking things from the ship. When it got dark, it was an eerie feeling to be there. We were nervous and all night long, jumped at any little sound. We hadn't eaten since noon and were hungry but wouldn't go inside the plane to search for any K rations. Hill had half a pack of cigarettes which we had smoked by around 9:00 PM. It was a very long night. The next morning we thought they would never send a truck to bring us back to Yangkai."

Recovery of Remains
After the recovery of remains, the two killed were transported to the United States for permanent burial.

Memorials
Chenowith has an unknown burial, likely in a private cemetery in his hometown in the United States.

Schultz was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on March 12, 1948 at Section 12 site 3126.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-105-CO Liberator 42-40848
"40848 (308th BG, 373rd BS) crashed near Yangkai, China Jul 29, 1943 during return from combat mission. Ran out of fuel and seven crew bailed out safely, Pilot, copilot, and observer killed in crash."
308th Bomb Group's Stories "The Fate of Flamingo' and Friendlin' by Midge Meaney
EarlyAviators.com - Edward Fraf Schultz

FindAGrave - Edward G Schultz (Arlington grave photo)
Arlington National Cemtery (ANC Explorer) - Edward G Schultz

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Last Updated
July 28, 2020

 

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