|Pilot Captain William "Bill" Wright, O-725565 (POW / MIA) Commerce, TX
Co-Pilot 1st Lt. Merrill R. Parker, O-720160 ( (POW / MIA) MS
Navigator 1st Lt. Roy A. Wentz, Jr., O-659938 (POW, survived) IL
Bombardier 1st Lt. Raymond A. Maloney, O-726056 (POW, survived)
Engineer SSgt Clifford H. Bockman, 19075514 (POW, survived)
Radio SSgt Francis C. Winderl, 19019299 (POW / MIA) MN
Asst Engineer SSgt Frank Rodriguez, 6578491 (POW, died August 27, 1944, BRN / MIA) CA
Asst Radio SSgt Edward J. Girman, 35258994 (POW, MIA) IN
Gunner SSgt Alvin L. Hastings, 35357272 (POW, survived) IN
Gunner SSgt Joseph B. Wells, 6934111
(POW, survived) IA
Crashed December 1, 1943
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas to India.
Assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group, 9th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engines R-1830-65 serial number 42-91183, 41-43411, 42-91628, 42-90944. Weapon serial numbers noted in MACR.
On December 1, 1943 took off from Pandaveswar Airfield in India on a bombing mission against Insein north of Rangoon in Burma (Myanmar). Over the target, this B-24 was shot down by enemy fighters 30km west of Ma-ubin in Burma.
Fates of the Crew
The entire crew was captured by the Japanese and became Prisoners Of War (POW). All were imprisoned at Rangoon Central Prison at Rangoon.
Rodriguez died on August 27, 1944, but his remains were never recovered and listed as MIA.
At the end of the war, four of the crew were liberated from Moulmein and Rangoon Prison: Hastings, Wells, Wentz, Bockman. Girman, Parker and Winderl were officially declared dead on February 4, 1946.
On May 17, 1946, the remains of Wright were transported aboard C-47B Dakota 43-48308 on a flight from Rangoon to Calcutta and crashed.
Rodriguez, Wentz, Bockman. Girman, Parker and Winderl are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Rob Donaldson (nephew of Wright)
"Our Uncle, Capt William "Bill" Wright from Commerce Texas, was a B-24 pilot with 7th BG 9th BS, operating out of the CBI Theater when they were shot down in December 1942. They became POW's at the Rangoon Jail, where he was killed in captivity. Supposedly his remains were recovered after the war, and in the process of being transported via C-47 43-48308 back to the US the plane crashed in the Burmese jungle."
Missing Air Crew Report 1227 (MACR 1227)
NARA Prisoners of War Data File - Roy A. Wentz
NARA Prisoner of War Data File - Clifford H. Bockman
NARA Prisoner of War Data File - Alvin L. Hastings
NARA Prisoner of War Data File - Joseph Wells
The Daily Chronicle (De Kalb, Illinois) "Yanks Held In Rangoon Free" May 7, 1945
Pictorial History of the 7th Bombardment Group/Wing page 286 (Wells photo)
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February 14, 2020