|Pilot 2nd Lt Francis D. Brechak, O-888720 (KIA, BR) OH
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Ambrose F. Broughton Jr, O-799725 (KIA, BR) MA
Navigator 2nd It Lawrence B. Studley, O-804896 (KIA, BR) NY
Bombardier 2nd Lt Philmore H. Green Jr., O-734894 (KIA, BR) MI
Engineer T/Sgt Robert H. Shaw, 39309364 (KIA, BR) OR
Assist. Engineer S/Sgt Gerald B. Brown, 35368089 (KIA, BR) IN
Radio S/Sgt Ralph G. Reed, 15375853 (KIA, BR) IL
Assist. Radio S/Sgt Thomas S. Freeman, 37231081 (KIA, BR) KS
Gunner S/Sgt Henry J. Kaufmann, 19145917 (KIA, BR) SD
Gunner S/Sgt Floyd I. Wise, 37259917 (KIA, BR) IA
Crashed November 22, 1943
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-130-CO Liberator serial number 42-41075. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 43rd Bombardment Group, 65th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R1830-43 serial numbers: 4288748, 4288750, 4288718 and 4288857.
On November 22, 1943 took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by Brechak on a bombing mission against Gasmata. Returning from the mission, this B-24 left the formation due to cloud, and was not seen again, although it radioed its position at 12:45/L that he was over Morobe Harbor and that it was trying to rejoin the formation. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
On December 8, 1943, the crash site was located in the Owen Stanley Mountains by Father Wendling, from the Catholic Mission at Kerau.
Recovery of Remains
Father Wendling and locals recovered the remains of the crew and located the identification tag of Lawrence Studley. After the recovery of remains, the crew was given a Christian burial at the Catholic Mission at Kerau.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Postwar, the crew was exhumed and transported to the United States for permanent burial.
Six of the crew are buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). Brown at plot A row 0 grave 942. Reed at plot A row 0 grave 37. Shaw at plot B row 0 grave 1090. Shaw at plot B row 0 grave 1090. Broughton at plot A row 0 grave 72. Freeman at plot A row 0 grave 275.
Freeman is also memorialized on a plaque at the Kansas Supreme Court in the Topeka State Capitol.
Brechak is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Kettering, OH at section 5, lot 424.
Lawrence B Studley is buried at Long Island National Cemetery at plot H, grave 9534.
Green is buried at Maple Lawn Cemetery in Boyne City, MI.
Brechak's burial is unknown, presumed to be in a private cemetery in the United States.
Kaufmann is buried at Saint Michaels Cemetery in Sioux Falls, SD at section 3.
Wise is buried at Oto Cemetery in Oto, IA.
Missing Air Crew Report 1221 (MACR 1221)
Missing Air Crew Report 1015 (MACR 1015) page 3:
"Jaunary 16, 1944 I received a letter from
the Catholic Priest, Fr. A. Wendling, Kerau Mission to Yule Island, Port Moresby New Guinea which stated:
'Dec 8th 1943 I recieved wrd another B-24 had crashed close to the same locality you [crew of B-24D "Sky Lady" 41-24043] crashed. I invetigated & found the wreckage & the bodies - all killed. The only identification I could find was the identification tag - Lawrence Studley which I forwarded to your headquarters.'
Father Wendling also wrote that he buried the bodies and Christian services were held for them the morning of the burial."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 42-41075
FindAGrave - Lt Francis D Brechak
FindAGrave - Lieut Ambrose F Broughton, Jr (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Lawrence B Studley (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Philmore Hutchison Green, Jr (grave photo)
Sgt Robert H Shaw (grave photo)
Gerald B Brown (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Ralph G Reed (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Thomas S Freeman (grave photo, memorial photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Henry J. Kaufmann, Jr (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Floyd I. Wise (grave photo)
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
February 14, 2020