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  F-7A "Under Exposed!" Serial Number 42-73052  
USAAF
5th AF
6th PRG
20th CMS

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20th CMS c1944

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Chris Breuer 2002
Pilot  1st Lt Loren G. Barstow, O-675387 (KIA, BR) MI
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt Jack S. Connor, O-729317 (KIA, BR) King County, WA
Navigator  2nd Lt Douglas H. Puck, O-734599 (KIA, BR) MN
Engineer  S/Sgt Edwin R. Maillie, 17071379 (KIA, BR) Oelwein, IA
Radio  S/Sgt Harold M. Valentine, 34029885 (KIA, BR) Bossier Parish, LA
Photographer  S/Sgt Leonard Diamond, 11073297 (KIA, BR) Bronx, NY
Gunner  Sgt John W. Schmitt, 14085521 (KIA, BR) Franklin County, WA
Gunner  Sgt George M. Harvey, 13088758 (KIA, BR) Westmoreland County, PA
Gunner  Sgt Stephen J. Boudreaux, 38380560 (KIA, BR) Orleans Parish, LA
Gunner  S/Sgt Luis Degollado, 18057572 (KIA, BR) Webb County, TX
Gunner  S/Sgt George Dick, 33245475 (KIA, BR) East Freedom, PA
Crashed  May 22, 1944 at 4:00am
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. On March 11, 1944 delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24J-5-CO Liberator serial number 42-73052 and converted to a F-7A photographic reconnaissance version. Painted in a blue color scheme. Flown via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia. On March 25, 1944 arrived at Garbutt Field near Townsville.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group (6th PRG), 20th Combat Mapping Squadron (20th CMS). Nicknamed "Under Exposed!" with the nose art of a blonde woman removing her bra atop a circular background.

On April 2, 1944 took off from Garbutt Field at 7:45am on a flight northward to Port Moresby. On April 3, 1944 departed Port Moresby at 8:30am on a flight to Nadzab Airfield arriving at 10:00am. This aircraft flew photographic reconnaissance missions photographing enemy targets in New Guinea and the Netherlands East Indies (NEI). In late May 1944, the paint was stripped to a bare aluminum finish.

Mission History
On May 22, 1944 during the early morning took off from Nadzab Airfield piloted by 1st Lt Loren G. Barstow as one of three F-7s on a photographic mapping mission over Padaidori Island. This was pilot Barstow's second combat mapping mission. Ten minutes after take off, this B-24 observed circling to the northwest of Nadzab over the Markham Valley at an altitude of about 5,000'. At approximately 4:00am, this F-7 crashed into Mount Wilhelm at an altitude of 13,000' killing the entire crew. When this aircraft failed to return it was listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Wreckage
The crash site of this B-24 remains on Mount Wilhelm in the vicinity of Keglsugl.

Chris Breuer reports:
"The terrain is very rocky so the plane has been destroyed along with all the things that have been stolen from it in the past years."

Recovery of Remains
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the crash, Ralph Bowley, 20th CMS intelligence officer trekked to the crash site and recovered the remains of the crew to Nadzab for burial at Nadzab Cemetery.

Lt. Col. David W. Ecoff Sr. (pilot of the 20th CMS) recalls:
"The remains of the crew were recovered by Ralph Bowley, our Intelligence Officer and buried at the Nadzab Cemetery with honors."

Postwar, the remains were transported to the Philippines and United States for permanent burial.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Each of the crew earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

Barstow is buried at Ceder River Cemetery in Stephenson, MI.

Conner is buried at Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park in Seattle. WA.

Puck is buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at section 9, site 8972.

Maillie is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Oelwein, IA at block 11 lot 14. The grave reads: "In memory of S/Sgt Edwin R. Maillie born Dec. 19, 1923 killed over New Guinea May 22, 1944." Possibly, this was a memorial marker placed before his remains were recovered.

Valentine is buried at Arlington National Cemetery at section 34, site 4176.

Diamond is buried at Manila American Cemetery at Plot N Row 12 Grave 50

Schmitt is buried at Manila American Cemetery at Plot D Row 12 Grave 174.

Harvey is buried at Manila American Cemetery at Plot L Row 2 Grave 131.

Boudreaux has an unknown burial, presumed to be in his hometown of Orleans Parish, LA.

Degollado is buried at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Laredo, TX.

Dick is buried at Alto Reste Burial Park in Altoona, PA at plot D row 262.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24J-5-CO Liberator 42-73052
"73052 converted to F-7A. Crashed near peak of Mt Wilhelm on way to mission May 22, 1944. 11 on board killed."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - F-7A Liberator 42-73052
FindAGrave - 1LT Loren G Barstow (grave photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT Jack S Connor (grave)
FindAGrave - 2LT Douglas H Puck (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Edwin Roy Maillie (obituary, grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Harold M Valentine (grave photos)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Leonard Diamond
FindAGrave - Sgt Leonard Diamond (grave photos, draft registration card)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John W. Schmitt
FindAGrave - Sgt John W Schmitt (grave)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George M. Harvey
FindAGrave - Sgt George M Harvey (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SGT Stephen J Boudreaux, Jr
(grave unknown)
FindAGrave - SSGT Luis Degollado (grave)
FindAGrave - Sgt George Dick (grave photo)
Thanks to Chris Breuer for additional information

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Last Updated
September 25, 2020

 

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F-7A

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