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  B-24D-130-CO "Who's Next?" Serial Number 42-41049  
5th AF
43rd BG
63rd BS

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USAAF c1943

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Click For Enlargement
USAAF c1944
Pilot  2nd Lt. Thomas D. Savage, O-689366 (KIA) New York, NY
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. James "Jim" E. O'Brien, O-69904 (KIA) La Grange, IL
Navigator  2nd Lt. Searle C. G. Snyder, O-814151 (KIA) Slatington, PA
Bombardier  Robert Schmidt, O-7411756 (KIA) Milwaukee, WI
Engineer  TSgt James F. Acker, 32370755 (KIA) Glens Falls, NY
Asst Engineer  SSgt Albert J. Williams, 11089707 (KIA) Swapscottt, MA
Radio  TSgt George T. Harrison, 33279305 (KIA) Brownsville, PA
Radio  TSgt George B. McKee, 38099089 (KIA) Archer City, TX
Gunner  SSgt George A. Long, 39381546 (KIA) Roslyn, WA
Gunner  SSgt George A. Bowling, 13119189 (KIA) Norton, VA
Gunner  SSgt William J. Desmond, 39028399 (KIA) San Francisco, CA
Gunner  SSgt William S. Mathis, 34402317 (KIA) Nicevile, FL

Crashed  December 7, 1944 at 23:40
MACR  11700

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated in San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24D-130-CO Liberator serial number 42-41049. Ferried overseas across the Pacific to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 43rd Bombardment Group, 63rd Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Who's Next?" with the nose art of a reclining woman wearing a cocktail dress both sides of the nose. When lost, engines R-1820-43 serial numbers: a) 42-41049 b) CP-301016 c) 42-39320 d) 42-36817. Weapon serial numbers not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 11700.

Mission History
On December 7, 1944 took off from Tacloban Airfield on Leyte on a night bombing mission against Manila. Last seen off the south-west corner of Bataan Peninsula at 23:30 at roughly 14° 36' N - 120°  36' E (roughly 27 miles north of Corregidor). At this time, the bomber was maintaining radio contact with the ground. In fact, this bomber crashed into Mount Malisimbo near Puerto Galera on Mindoro Island.

Postwar, the wreckage of the bomber was located and the remains of the crew were recovered and transported to the United States.

The entire crew was declared dead on the day of the mission. On November 15, 1949 the crew were buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in group burial at section 79 site 498-500.

McKee has a memorial marker at Archer City Cemetery in Archer City, Texas.

Al O'Brien (brother of James O'Brien)
"According to the copy I have of the details of this mission, (the history of which were written during December of 1944) it was a night mission to Clark Field not to Manila. This is born out as probably correct since the last report from the plane was West of Corregidor."

Don Petty (nephew George McKee)
"I am the nephew of George McKee."

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-130-CO Liberator 42-41049
"41049 (43rd BG, 63rd BS) lost Dec 7, 1944, Philippines. MACR 11700"
Missing Air Crew Report 11700 (MACR 11700)
Who's Next by Al O'Brien for his brother co-pilot Jim O'Brien, KIA
News "Roslyn youth listed missing in Philippines" January 10, 1945
FindAGrave - Thomas D Savage (grave photo)
FindAGrave - James Edward O'Brien (grave photo, photo)
FindAGrave - Searle C G Snyder (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Robert Schmidt (grave photo)
FindAGrave - James F. Acker (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Albert J Williams (grave photo)
FindAGrave - George T Harrison (grave photo)
FindAGrave - George A McKee (grave photo)
FindAGrave - George A McKee (memorial photo)
FindAGrave - George A Long (grave photo, news)
FindAGrave - George A Bowling (grave photo)
FindAGrave - William J Desmond (grave photo)
FindAGrave - William S Mathis (grave photo)
Thanks to Al O'Brien, Spike Nasmyth and Kevin Hamdorf for additional information

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Last Updated
February 18, 2020


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