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  B-24D-145-CO Liberator Serial Number 42-41178  
20th AF

Pilot  Lt. Col. James H. York, 1699563 XX Bomber Command, HQ (MIA / KIA) OK
Co-Pilot  Col. Howard H. Couch, O-016009 XX Bomber Command, HQ (MIA / KIA) CA
Navigator  2nd Lt. Warren L. Caron, O-800199 555th AAFBU (MIA / KIA) Chicago, IL
Radio  TSgt Malcolm E. McLean, 14025654 16th Squadron, 5th Ferry Group (MIA / KIA) Bowling Green, FL
Engineer  Pvt John H. Baggett, 34708232 82nd Squadron, 3rd Air Depot Group (MIA / KIA) Enterprise, AL
Photographer  Captain Edward C. Collins, O-922716 10th AAF Combat Camera Unit (MIA / KIA) CA
Photographer  Cpl Ralph E. Mallery, 39404461 (MIA / KIA) Placer County, CA
Passenger  Col. Russell H. Cooper, O-011607 Headquarters, 47th Air Depot Group (MIA / KIA) WV
MIA  March 15, 1944
MACR  14949

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-145-CO Liberator serial number 42-41178. Ferried overseas to India.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 20th Air Force, Headquarters Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engine and weapon serial numbers unknown.

Mission History
On March 15, 1944 took off from Tezpur Airfield in India piloted by Lt. Col. James H. York on a reconnaissance mission bound for Cheng Tu Airfield in China. Weather was overcast skies with ceiling and visibility unknown. When this aircraft failed to arrive it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

No search was conducted due to heavy snow until approximately July 1945 or August 1945.

Possibly late in 1944, Chinese traders located the crash site of a "large airplane crash" and recovered four damaged pistols from the dead bodies at the site. When Chinese troops from Shung Ho Hein in Szechwan Province were sent to locate them, they fled and were never interviewed.

During 1947, American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) designated this loss "Case No. 20". AGRS-CZ Headquarters, Search & Recovery Team 2, Search Part No. 1 under the command C. O. 1st Lt. Glen B. Hunt based in Cheng Tu collected information from Chinese magistrates, military, missionaries and bandits operating in the area. The team investigated the crash site of a B-29 "Case No. 107" and rumors about another site, possibly this B-24 nearby.  In view of the extensive search completed in the area and the absence of confirmed information, AGRS recommended this crew be listed as an isolated burial, non-recoverable.

The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 25, 1946. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Mallery also has a memorial marker at Old Auburn Cemetery in Auburn, CA at 615A-6.
Caron also has a memorial marker at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas, TX.

Ralph Sword (cousin of Ralph E. Mallery)
"My cousins name was Ralph Edward Mallery, 39404461. Note that the reports have his name spelled with an 'o' instead of the English version with an 'e'. I'm in the process of finalizing my plans for travel to China in mid September. If the location of No. 107 is the best clue I have I would like to make arrangements to examine it."

NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Ralph E. Mallery
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D 42-41178
"41178 lost Mar 15, 1944, Asia. MACR 14949"
Missing Air Crew Report 14949 (MACR 14949) created June 10, 1945
AGRS "Intel No. 1 to AGRS-CZ Case No. 20" November 29, 1947
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James H. York
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Howard H. Couch
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Warren L. Caron
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Malcolm E. McLean
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John H. Baggett
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edward C. Collins
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ralph E. Mallery
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Russell H. Cooper
FindAGrave - LtCol James H York (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Col Howard H Couch (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Warren L Caron (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Lt Warren L Caron (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt Malcolm E McLean (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Pvt John H Baggett (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Capt Edward C Collins (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Ralph E Mallery (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Corp Ralph E. Mallery (memorial marker photos)
FindAGrave - Corp Ralph E. Mallery (body non-recoverable due to plane crash in a remote location)
FindAGrave - Col Russell H Cooper (tablets of the missing)
The Aluminum Trail page 113
Thanks to Ralph Sword for additional information

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


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