|Pilot 1st Lt Loren G. Barstow,
O-675387 (KIA, BR) MI
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Jack S. Connor, O-729317 (KIA) King County, WA
Navigator 2nd Lt Douglas H. Puck, O-734599 (KIA, BR) MN
Engineer S/Sgt Edwin R. Maillie, 17071379 (KIA) Oelwein, IA
Radio S/Sgt Harold M. Valentine, 34029885 (KIA, BR) LA
Photographer S/Sgt Leonard Diamond, 11073297 (KIA) CT
Gunner Sgt John W. Schmitt, 14085521 (KIA) WA
Gunner Sgt George M. Harvey, 13088758 (KIA) Westmoreland County, PA
Gunner Sgt Stephen J. Boudreaux, 38380560 (KIA) Orleans Parish, LA
Gunner S/Sgt Luis Degollado, 18057572 (KIA) Webb County, TX
Gunner S/Sgt George Dick, 33245475 (KIA, BR) East Freedom, PA
Crashed May 22, 1944 at 4:00am
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.
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.
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).
The wreckage of this B-24 remains on Mount Wilhelm in the vicinity of Keglsugl.
"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.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission and earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.
Barstow is buried at Ceder River Cemetery in Stephenson, MI.
Three of the crew are buried
in Manila American Cemetery Harvey at Plot L Row 2 Grave 131, Diamond at Plot N Row 12 Grave 50. Schmitt is buried at Plot D Row 12 Grave 174.
Puck was buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at section 9, site 8972.
Valentine is buried at Arlington National Cemetery at section 34, site 4176.
Dick is buried at Alto Reste Burial Park in Altoona, PA at plot D row 262.
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
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George M. Harvey
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Leonard Diamond
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
John W. Schmitt
1LT Loren G Barstow (grave photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT Jack S Connor
FindAGrave - 2LT Douglas H Puck (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Edwin Roy Maillie (obituary, grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Harold M Valentine (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Leonard Diamond (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt John W Schmitt
FindAGrave - Sgt George M Harvey
FindAGrave - SGT Stephen J Boudreaux, Jr
SSGT Luis Degollado
FindAGrave - Sgt George Dick (grave photo)
Thanks to Chris Breuer for additional information
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August 10, 2019