Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
  B-24D-145-CO "St. Quentin Quail" Serial Number 42-41205  
7th AF
11th BG
98th BS

Click For Enlargement
11th BG January 2, 1944

Click For Enlargement

11th BG January 28, 1944

Click For Enlargement

DR Spennemann 1996
Pilot  1st Lt. Roger Willis Morse, O-661537 (MIA / KIA) CA
 1st Lt. Herbert Stanley Evans, O-727706 (MIA / KIA) OR
 2nd Lt. Robert H. Wirostek, 2045310 (MIA / KIA) OR
Bombardier  2nd Lt. William Fredric Carpen, O-661590 (MIA / KIA) PA
Engineer  Sgt Marion Lewis Farmer, 15082302 (KIA, BR) IN
Asst Engineer  S/Sgt I. L. Stowe, 18009618 (MIA / KIA) TX
Radio  T/Sgt John William Horman, 39178564 (MIA / KIA) WA
Asst Radio  Pvt Robert Paul McTwigan, 19083867 (MIA / KIA) CA
Gunner  S/Sgt Paul Howard Van Buskirk, 11117149 (MIA / KIA) MA
Gunner  S/Sgt Henry R. Wyka, Jr., 12155281 (KIA, BR) NY

Ditched  January 2, 1944 at 12:05am
MACR  1629

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated in San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-145-CO Liberator serial number 42-41205. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field to the Central Pacific.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 7th Air Force, 11th Bombardment Group, 98th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "St. Quentin Quail". When lost, engines R-1830-65 serial numbers a) 42-87653 b) 42-88110 c) 42-88288 d) 42-87653. Armed with ten .50 caliber machine guns, serial numbers unknown. Also two .30 caliber machine guns serial numbers unknown.

Mission History
On January 2, 1944 one of seven B-24s that took off from Tarawa Airfield (Hawkins Field) piloted by Morse on a bombing mission against Taroa Airfield at Maloelap Atoll. The weather was rain with low clouds. After the bombing run, the formation was attacked by twenty to thirty Japanese A6M Zero fighters.

Damaged, this B-24 and ditched off Jab'u Island into Arno Atoll near the beach in the south center of the lagoon on January 3, 1944 at 12:05pm.

As the damaged bomber descended, B-24J 42-73153 piloted by 2nd Lt. Alton O. McCleskey, O-662577 escorted them down, dropped emergency rations and observed six or seven crew members hauling equipment out of the bomber onto the beach and officers aboard B-24J "Homesick Angel" 42-73153 took photographs of the crash site.

On January 3, 1944 a PBY Catalina escorted by F6F Hellcats were sent to the crash site to search for the crew. Over the crash site, they circled the wreckage for two hours but saw no sign of life, other than many footsteps across the beach. It was believed the crew were taken prisoner as Japanese occupied Majuro Atoll was approximately ten miles to the west.

On January 4, 1944 an aircraft was sent to destroy the ditched bomber, but was unsuccessful. On January 5, 1944 another aircraft attempted to destroy the bomber, but again failed. Later another B-25G Mitchell was again scheduled to attempt to destroy the bomber, but is unclear if it performed its mission or was successful.

Fates of the Crew
Eight of the crew members survived and were housed and fed by the Marshallese during January 3-16, 1944 on Arno Island. Two of the crew: Farmer and Wyka died during the interception or as a result of the ditching and were buried on Arno Island by the survivors.

On January 16, 1944 a Japanese patrol boat arrived from Taroa Island and captured the eight survivors. All eight airmen were transported to Maloelap Atoll where they were detained until January 20, 1944.

This bomber ditched in the tidal zone off off Jab'u Island near a rock spur. The B-24 was partially submerged in 1 meter to 1.5 meters of water at low tide, roughly 30-40 meters from the present day high tide mark.

Since 1944, small pieces of aluminum have been utilized by the Arno people as a resource for aluminum to manufacture coconut-grater blades, husking-stick points and other artifacts for daily use.

In the late 1990s, the left wing, part of the right wing and center fuselage section plus the four engines remain at the crash site. Only one propeller was seen, although the others may well rest buried in the sand, somewhere to the rear of the plane, ripped off during the crash landing. The tip section of the port wing from the port No.2 engine onwards is snapped off and twisted backwards. The bottom of the lagoon shows a few isolated pieces of aluminum, among them the ring of the central Martin turret. No pieces of the pilots cockpit or the entire rear fuselage including rear ailerons could be located.

Recovery of Remains
Postwar, the remains of Farmer and Wyka were recovered and were transported to the United States for permanent burial.

Farmer and Wyka were officially declared dead on January 3, 1944. The other eight crew members were officially declared dead on February 3, 1944.

The eight Missing In Action (MIA) crew members are memorialized at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) on the courts of the missing. Morse, Evans, Horman, McTwigan and Carpen on court 7. Wirostek, Stowe and Van Buskirk on court 5.

Wyka is buried at Long Island National Cemetery at plot J, grave 14180.
Farmer's burial is unknown, presumed to be in a private cemetery in the United States.

NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Marion L. Farmer
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-145-CO Liberator 42-41205
"41205 (11th BG, 98th BS) shot down by Japanese fighter and crashed at Arno Atoll, Marshall Islands Jan 3, 1944. MACR 1629. Some crew survived and became POW, but all 10 listed as KIA. 41209 (90th BG, 319th BS, "Pistol Packin' Mama") hit by AAA and ditched 20 mi NE of Finschafen, New Guinea Dec 1, 1943. MACR 13824. 4 KIA, 6 rescued"
Missing Air Crew Report 1629 (MACR 1629)
None of the crew appear in NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Roger W. Morse
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Herbert S. Evans
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert H. Wirostek
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William F. Carpen
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - I. L. Stowe
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John W. Horman
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert P. McTwigan
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Paul H. Van Buskirk
FindAGrave - 1Lt Roger W Morse (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Herbert S Evans (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Robert H Wirostek (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt William F Carpen (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt I L Stowe (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt John W Horman (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Pvt Robert P McTwigan (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Paul H Van Buskirk (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Henry R Wyka, Jr (photo, grave photo)
Marshalls digital micronesia "Wreckage of a Consolidated B-24D "Liberator" off Jab'u, Arno Atoll" by Dirk H. R. Spennemann

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
February 14, 2020


Tech Information

8 Missing

Photo Archive

Map 1996

  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram