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  B-24D-165-CO Liberator Serial Number 42-72899  
5th AF
90th BG
321st BS

Pilot  1st Lt. Owen L. Buford, O-801242 (MIA / KIA, BR) GA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt Paul G. Meyer, O-684759 (MIA / KIA) CA
Navigator  2nd Lt Gerald R. Hill, O-683822 (MIA / KIA, BR) IL
Bombardier  2nd Lt Jack W. Rosher, O-679230 (MIA / KIA, BR) CA
Engineer  TSgt Ned Potter, 14051455 (MIA / KIA, BR) Magnolia, NC
Radio  TSgt Robert W. Witt, 37231163 (MIA / KIA, BR) NB
Engineer  SSgt Julian S. Miller, Jr., 34434716 (MIA / KIA, BR) NC
Gunner  SSgt James J. Parks, 36408515 (MIA / KIA, BR) MI
Gunner  SSgt Kenneth W. Rode, 11106337 (MIA / KIA, BR) MA
Gunner  SSgt Willard L. Turner, 35450936
MIA  February 29, 1944
MACR  6304

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Constructors Number 2469. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-165-CO Liberator serial number 42-72899. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 90th Bombardment Group, 312th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On February 29, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. Owen L. Buford on a night bombing mission against Hollanida. Four minutes after take off, this bomber crashed for unknown reasons killing the entire crew on impact. When it failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

This bomber crashed roughly five miles to the east of Nadzab Airfield No. 1.

Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of Meyer, Witt, Miller and Rode were recovered near Yalu in Morobe District.

In 1982, the wreckage was rediscovered and reported. During August 1983, this crash site was visited by a team from US Army Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) that excavated the site, recovered additional remains and took photographs.

The entire crew was officially declared dead on the day of the mission. Buford was officially declared dead April 29, 1944. After the 1944 recovery of remains, two of the crew were buried at Manila American Cemetery. Witt at Plot F Row 9 Grave 25. Rode at Plot F Row 9 Grave 88.

Meyer remains Missing In Action (MIA) and is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. After the 1983 recovery of remains, the remains recovered were interned on April 20, 1996 at Arlington National Cemetery in a group burial at section 34, site 2466.

Parks has a memorial marker at Evergreen Cemetery, Lansing, MI.

Terry Buford (son of Owen L. Buford)

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-165-CO Liberator 42-72899
"72899 (90th BG, 321st BS) crashed Feb 29, 1944. MACR 6304"
Missing Air Crew Report 6304 (MACR 6304) incorrectly refers to this bomber as 42-72889
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Owen L. Buford "remains were recovered"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Paul G. Meyer "remains have been recovered and identified" does not list date of death
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-24D Liberator 42-72899
Bruce Hoy Diary 13 September 1983
FindAGrave - Owen Buford (grave photo, article)
FindAGrave - Paul G. Meyer (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Gerald R. Hill (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Jack W. Rosher (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Ned Potter (photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Robert W. Witt (photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Julian S. Miller, Jr. (photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - James J. Parks (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Kenneth W. Rode (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Willard L. Turner (grave photo)

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Last Updated
February 18, 2020


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