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  B-24J-20-CO "Paper Doll" Serial Number 42-73187  
USAAF
5th AF
380th BG
529th BS

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
1943

Pilot  Harold H. Van Wormer, O-736424 (POW, survived)
Co-Pilot  John M. Peurifoy, Jr. (POW survived) GA
Nose Turret  S/Sgt John H. Mohr, 16099581 (POW)
Bombardier  1st Lt. Herman J. Dias, O-729959 (MIA / KIA) SF, CA
Navigator  Lt Charles H. Shaver, O-797085 (POW, survived)
Lee, MA
Engineer  S/Sgt Charles B. Schofield, 18120807 (POW survived) NM
Top Turret  S/Sgt Stewart A. Anderson, 31145258 (POW survived) CT
Radio  S/Sgt Walter K. Gomer, 11047714 (POW survived) MA
Tunnel Gunner  S/Sgt Thomas J. O'Donnell, Jr., 12155037 (MIA / KIA) NY
Waist Gunner  
Louis J. Aiani, 16145097 (MIA / KIA) IL
Tail Gunner  SSgt William F. Barbee, 18010876 (MIA / KIA) TX

Crashed  January 19, 1944
MACR  2598

Crew History
Previously, crew members Herman Dias and Charles Shaver were assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 64th Bombardment Squadron. Both had survived the ditching of B-17F "Black Jack" 41-24521 on July 11, 1943. Transferred to the 380th Bombardment Group, 529th Bombardment Squadron, they were assigned to Lt. Harold Van Wormer’s crew.

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego between September 10-21, 1943. Constructors Number 2757. Accepted by the USAAF on September 23, and to Tucson, AZ modification center on September 26. Next, flown to Florence, SC on October 4. Then flown to Fairfield, CA on October 17, 1943 before being ferried overseas across the Pacific to Garbutt Airfield arriving on October 22, 1943.

In Australia, assigned to the 380th Bombardment Group, 529th Bombardment Squadron based at Long Strip. First combat mission was on January 17, 1944 piloted by Stevens for a reconnaissance over Manokwari and Noemfoor.

Mission History
On January 19, 1944 took off piloted by Harold H. Van Wormer on its second combat mission to bomb Ambon. Over the target, this B-24 was intercepted and shot down by Japanese fighters, 30 miles south of Ambon and "exploded upon contact with the ocean". Also lost was B-24J "Doodlebug" 42-73117 (KIA/rescued).

Fates of the Crew
The four crew: Dias, Aiani, O'Donnell and Barbee were killed in the crash and officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). All four are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Seven were captured by the Japanese: Van Wormer, Peurifoy, Mohr, Shaver, Schofield, Anderson and Gomer.

Charles Shaver was taken prisoner by the Japanese and transported to Japan where he was interned at Tokyo POW Camp Branch #2 (Kawasaki) at Tokyo Bay.

Steve Birdsall adds:
"The 380th Bomb Group website is an excellent source, but they had Shaver listed as "Shayer" until I worked out who it had to be, and Dias' serial number didn't quite match the one given in 43rd Group records."

References
King of the Heavies - 380th Bomb Group, 1942-1945 by Horton & Horton
380th BG Association / B-24 Paper Doll Data Sheet
Thanks to Steve Birdsall for additional information

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Information
B-24

MIA
MIA / POW
7 Prisoner
4 Missing

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