Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
  B-24J-20-CO "Paper Doll" Serial Number 42-73187  
5th AF
380th BG
529th BS

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
USAAF 1943
Pilot  1st Lt. Harold H. Van Wormer, O-736424 (POW, survived)
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. John M. Peurifoy, Jr. (POW survived) GA
Navigator  Lt. Charles H. Shaver, O-797085 (POW, survived) Lee, MA
Bombardier  1st Lt. Herman J. Dias, O-729959 (MIA / KIA) SF, CA
Engineer  SSgt Charles B. Schofield, 18120807 (POW survived) NM
Nose Turret  SSgt John H. Mohr, 16099581 (POW)
Radio  SSgt Walter K. Gomer, 11047714 (POW survived) MA
Top Turret  SSgt Stewart A. Anderson, 31145258 (POW survived) CT
Waist Gunner  SSgt Louis J. Aiani, 16145097 (MIA / KIA) Chicago, IL
Tunnel Gunner  SSgt Thomas J. O'Donnell, Jr., 12155037 (MIA / KIA) NY
Tail Gunner  SSgt William F. Barbee, 18010876 (MIA / KIA) Harris County, TX
Crashed  January 19, 1944
MACR  2598

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego, CA between September 10-21, 1943. Constructors Number 2757. On September 23, 1943 delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24J-20-CO Liberator serial number 42-73187. On September 26, 1943 flown to the modification center at Tucson, Arizona. On October 4, 1943 flown to Florence, South Carolina. On October 17, 1943 flown to Fairfield Airfield then ferried via Hickam Field and across the Pacific before arriving at Garbutt Field at Townsville on October 22, 1943.

Wartime History
In Australia, assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 380th Bombardment Group (380th BG), 529th Bombardment Squadron (529th BS) based at Long Airfield. Nicknamed "Paper Doll" with the nose art of a female blonde nude laying with her back upward and holding her hair with both hands.

On January 17, 1944 first combat mission took off piloted by Stevens on a reconnaissance mission 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 remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA). All four are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Seven of the crew Van Wormer, Peurifoy, Mohr, Shaver, Schofield, Anderson and Gomer. were captured by the Japanese and became Prisoners Of War (POW).

Shaver was taken prisoner by the Japanese and transported to Japan and survived captivity until the end of the Pacific War. At the end of the Pacific War 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" [sic] until I worked out who it had to be, and Dias' serial number didn't quite match the one given in 43rd Group records."

Previously, bombardier 1st Lt. Herman Dias and navigator Lt. Charles Shaver were assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group (43rd BG), 64th Bombardment Squadron (64th BS). On July 11, 1943 both survived the ditching of B-17F "Black Jack" 41-24521 and were rescued and returned to duty. Afterwards, both were transferred to the 380th Bombardment Group (380th BG), 529th Bombardment Squadron (529th BS) and joined 1st Lt. Harold H. Van Wormer's crew.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Harold H. Van Wormer
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - John M. Peurifoy, Jr.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Charles H. Shaver
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Herman J. Dias
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24J-20-CO Liberator 42-73187
"73187 (380th BG) lost Jan 19, 1944, SW Pacific."
Missing Air Crew Report 2598 (MACR 2598) created January 20, 1944
King of the Heavies - 380th Bomb Group, 1942-1945 by Horton & Horton
380th BG Association / B-24 Paper Doll Data Sheet
FindAGrave - Harold H. Van Wormer
FindAGrave - John M. Peurifoy
FindAGrave - Charles Henry Shaver (grave photos)
Arlington National Cemetery (ANC Explorer) - Charles Henry Shaver (grave photos)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Herman J Dias (tablets of the missing)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Herman J. Dias
FindAGrave - Charles B. Schofield
FindAGrave - John H. Mohr
FindAGrave - Walter K. Gomer
FindAGrave - Stewart A. Anderson
FindAGrave - SSgt Louis J. Aiani (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Thomas J O'Donnell, Jr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt William F “Billy” Barbee (tablets of the missing photo)
Thanks to Steve Birdsall for additional information

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
June 9, 2020


Tech Information

Jan 19, 1944

7 Prisoner
4 Missing
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram