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  B-24J-45-CO Liberator Serial Number 42-73453 Nose 453
USAAF
13th AF
307th BG
424th BS

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USAAF c1944

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USAAF May 15, 1944

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307th BG c1944

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307th BG c1944

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BentStar 2004

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BentStar 2005
Pilot  2nd Lt. Jack S. M. Arnett, O-809803 (MIA / KIA, BR) Friendly, WV
Co-Pilot  F/O William B. Simpson, T-002389 (MIA / KIA, BR) Winston Salem, NC
Navigator  2nd Lt. Frank J. Arhar, O-709240 (MIA / KIA, BR) Lloydell, PA
Bombardier 2nd Lt. Arthur J. Schumacher, O-762989 (POW / MIA) St. Louis County, MN
Engineer  T/Sgt Robert J. Stinson, 39167263 (MIA / KIA, BR) San Bernardino, CA
Asst Engineer / Nose Gunner  S/Sgt Jimmie Doyle, 38346235 (MIA / KIA, BR) McKinney, TX
Radio  T/Sgt Charles T. Goulding, 32626618 (MIA / KIA, BR) Marlboro, NY
Assistant Radio  S/Sgt John Moore, 38512637 (POW / MIA) AR
Gunner  S/Sgt Earl E. Yoh, 35558843 (MIA / KIA, BR) OH
Tail Gunner  S/Sgt Leland D. Price, 15080991 (MIA / KIA, BR) OH

Photographer  Sgt Alexander R. Vick, 6553144 (POW / MIA) Campbell, CA
Crashed  September 1, 1944 at 11:06am
MACR  8641

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. At the factory painted with olive drab paint upper surfaces and gray lower surfaces. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24J-45-CO Liberator serial number 42-73453. Equipped with SCR-521 sea search radar. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the South Pacific (SOPAC).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 307th Bombardment Group, 424th Bombardment Squadron. Nose number 453. No known nickname. The left side of the nose had the nose art of a seated Vargas girl wearing a night gown and high heels and one leg folded was painted on the left side of the nose.

When lost, this B-24 had engine serial numbers R-1830-65A serial number HP437702, HP437793, HP436468 and 42-40966. Aboard were 50 caliber machine guns serial numbers: 935616, 935614 (tail) 935179, 935727 (ball turret), 936039, 765025 (top turret), 935952 (left waist), 935577 (right waist). Usually, the crew of this B-24 flew with pilot Lt. Norman Coorssen. On the September 1, 1944 when lost, Coorssen, his regular co-pilot and photographer were replaced by Arnett, Simpson and Vick.

Mission History
On September 1, 1944 took off from Wakde Airfield (APO 719) piloted by 2nd Lt. Jack S. M. Arnett on a bombing mission against Koror in the Palau Islands. The weather was unlimited visibility and excellent weather as the formation reached the target area at an altitude of 17,000'.

Over the target, this B-24 was hit by two bursts of Japanese anti-aircraft fire in the left wing, causing the no. 2 engine to catch fire and the bombs were immediately salvoed and slid out of formation descending. One person was observed to bail out and their parachute opened before landing on a coral reef approximately 1 1/4 miles south east of the southern tip of Babeldaub. The bomber appeared to be under control making a steep turn to the right in an effort to extinguish the fire. Another person was observed to bail out with their parachute opening near the sea.

Suddenly, the left wing folded up and broke off the bomber, causing it to go into an uncontrolled spin that broke the fuselage into two pieces. The wreckage landed in the sea between Koror and Babeldaub. At least two of the crew were observed to successfully bail out and deploy their parachutes. The other crew members went down with the bomber. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Search
Roughly an hour later, three B-24s piloted by Lewis, Hunter and Randolph circled Babeldaub and the vicinity of the crash at an altitude of 4,000' and searched for any surviving crew members. No trace of the crew was seen, although a small launch was observed in the area bound for Koror.

Fates of the Crew
In fact, three of the crew bailed out and reached a village where they were captured by the Japanese and became prisoners of war. Later, all three were executed.

Wreckage
On January 26, 2004 this bomber was located due to the efforts of Bent Prop and Pat Scannon on a coral head approximately two miles west of Babeldaub. The rear fuselage was also located, separated from the rest of the bomber. Also found was the nose section and starboard wing.

Between 2004–2008 the crash site was investigated by JPAC at least four times:

1) During February 2004, Bent Prop took JPAC to this B-24, while they were in Palau working on a recovery of remains from FG-1 Corsair 76471.

2) During April-May 2005 JPAC JPAC and recovered remains from the bomber. Reference: Bent Prop P-MAN VII (2005) report.

3) During January-February 2007 JPAC augmented by U. S. Navy (USN) divers from the Mobile Underwater Diving Salvage Unit 1 conducted an underwater excavation for sixty days and recovered remains. References: JPAC News Release 07-01 January 23, 2007 and Bent Prop P-MAN IX Final Report.

4) During January-February 2008 site was again visited by JPAC and additional remains were recovered. During the operation, U. S. Navy (USN) Admiral Keating and his wife visited this site. References: JPAC News Release "JPAC to conclude mission, found remains, February 25, 2008" and Bent Prop P-MAN X Update #13.

On February 12, 2009 eight of the crew: Arnett, Arhar, Simpson, Goulding, Stinson, Doyle, Price and Yoh were positively identified by the Department of Defense (DoD) and reported in DPMO news release dated April 30, 2010.

During 2009, BentProp continued to search for the three crew members still listed as missing. Reference: JPAC as part of the PMAN XI (2009) report.

To this day, three of the crew remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA): Schumacher, Moore and Vick.

Memorials
Eight of the crew: Arnett, Simpson, Arhar, Stinson, Price, Goulding, Yoh and Doyle were officially declared dead the day of the mission on September 1, 1944. Three of the crew: Moore, Schumacher and Vick were officially declared dead on March 15, 1946. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

On April 29, 2010 remains from eight of the crew including: Arnett, Arhar, Simpson, Goulding, Stinson, Doyle, Price and Yoh were buried at Arlington National Cemetery in a group burial at section 60 G 9440-9441.

Three of the crew: Schumacher, Moore and Vick remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Arnett earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He has a memorial plaque at Emmanuel Episcopal Church Memorial Garden in Orlando, FL. He was officially identified on February 12, 2009. After the recovery of remains, he was buried at Friendly Cemetery in Friendly, WV. Some of his remains were also bured at Arlington National Cemetery in a group burial at section 60 G 9440-9441.

Simpson earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously, He was officially identified on February 12, 2009. His remains were also bured at Arlington National Cemetery in a group burial at section 60 G 9440-9441.

Arhar earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. His remains were also bured at Arlington National Cemetery in a group burial at section 60 G 9440-9441. He also has a memorial marker at Saint Joseph Cemetery in Beaverdale, PA.

Schumacher earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Stinson earned the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Purple Heart, posthumously. He was officially identified on February 12, 2009. He was buried on October 30, 2009 at Riverside National Cemetery at section 49A, site 74 after his remains were recovered.

Doyle earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Lamesa Memorial Park in Lamesa, TX. After the recovery of his remains, he was buried alongside his wife, Myrle Dean. Some of his remains were also bured at Arlington National Cemetery in a group burial at section 60 G 9440-9441.

Goulding earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. His remains were also bured at Arlington National Cemetery in a group burial at section 60 G 9440-9441.

Moore earned the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Lakeside Cemetery in Des Arc, AR. He remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Yoh earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Mohr Cemetery in Van Wert, OH.

Price earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker and grave at Riverside Cemetery in Defiance, OH.

Vick earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Relatives
Nancy Doyle (daughter in law of S/Sgt Jimmie Doyle)
"Doyle was born born Oct. 29, 1918. My husband, Tommy, and I traveled to Palau where my husband dove on the plane. He had learned to scuba dive and had been certified only 2 weeks before the dive."

Tommy Doyle (son of S/Sgt Jimmie Doyle)
With the help of Bent Prop, Tommy Doyle (son of SSgt Jimmie Doyle) SCUBA dived the wreck during March 2005. His visit is documented in the Last Flight documentary. Reference: P-MAN VII Attachment 2.

Janet Potts (niece of Earl Yoh):
"Earl Yoh was my Uncle and this is the first photo I've seen of him with the crew."

Bob Kay adds:
"My wife's uncle was 2nd Lt. Arthur Schumacher bombardier on the airplane when it went down in Palau. She's going to be a member of the BentProp P-MAN XVI mission this spring to Palau."

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24J-45-CO Liberator 42-73453
"73453 (307th BG) lost Sep 1, 1944. MACR 8641"
Missing Air Crew Report 8641 (MACR 8641) created September 2, 1944
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Arthur J Schumacher
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - John Moore
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Alex R Vick
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Jack S. M. Arnett "recovered and identified on Feb 12, 2009"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William B. Simpson "recovered and identified on Feb 12, 2009"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frank J. Arhar "recovered and identified on Feb 12, 2009"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Arthur J. Schumacher
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert J. Stinson "his remains were recovered"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Jimmie Doyle "remains have been recovered"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles T. Goulding "recovered and identified on Feb 12, 2009"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John Moore
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Earl E. Yoh "recovered and identified on Feb 12, 2009"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Leland D. Price "recovered and identified on Feb 12, 2009"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Alexander R. Vick
FindAGrave - Jack S M Arnett (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Jack S. M. Arnett (Emmanuel Episcopal Church Memorial Garden plaque)
FindAGrave - Lieut Jack Sterling Arnett (airport arrival photo)
FindAGrave - William B Simpson (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Frank J "Big Stoop" Arhar (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Frank Arhar (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Arthur J Schumacher (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Robert J Stinson (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Robert J Stinson (Riverside grave photo)
FindAGrave - Jimmie Doyle (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Jimmie Doyle (Lamesa grave, memorial marker)
FindAGrave - Charles T Goulding (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - John Moore, Jr. (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Earl Ellsworth Yoh (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Earl Ellsworth Yoh (Mohr grave photo)
FindAGrave - Leland D Price (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Leland D Price (Riverside Cemetery grave)
FindAGrave - Sgt Alexander R Vick (tablets of the missing photo)
Tia Belau “Search comes up blank” October 27, 2000 "one or possibly two B-24s that the Japanese anti-aircraft guns on 25 August [B-24J 44-40596] and a second on 1 September 1944 [B-24J 42-73453]"
BentProp P-MAN VI Final Report, 2004 reporting initial discovery of B-24
JPAC continues recovery mission February 4, 2008
JPAC to conclude mission, found remains February 25, 2008
Orlando Sentinel "At long last, pilot returns from World War II" December 8, 2009
The Bent Star Project - MIA Updates
DoD News Release "U.S. Airmen MIA From WWII Are Identified (Arnett, Arhar, Simpson, Goulding, Stinson, Doyle, Price, Yoh)" 10-003 April 28, 2010
DPMO - Recently Accounted For - April 30, 2010
Philadelphia Inquirer "The lost, now found, laid to rest at Arlington" by April 30, 2010
NBC Nightly News "World War II Airmen Laid to Rest, 65 Years Later" April 30, 2010
Last Flight Home interviews Doyle's relatives & footage of the B-24
Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II by Wil S. Hylton details the story of this B-24's discovery, recovery and identification of the crew
Painting "Mission Palau" by Mark Pestana depicts 42-73452 in formation
DPAA - Recently Accounted For - 2009 Accounted-For
"2nd Lt. Jack S. M. Arnett, 2nd Lt. Frank J. Arhar, Flight Officer William B. Simpson, Tech. Sgt. Charles T. Goulding, Tech. Sgt. Robert J. Stinson, Staff Sgt. Jimmie Doyle, Staff Sgt. Leland D. Price and Staff Sgt. Earl E. Yoh, U.S. Army Air Forces, 307th Bombardment Group were lost on Sept. 1, 1944, while bombing enemy targets in the Republic of Palau. Their remains were identified on February 12, 2009."
Thanks to Bent Prop / Pat Scannon and Pete Johnson for additional information

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Last Updated
August 10, 2019

 

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Sept 1, 1944

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