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  B-24J-155-CO Liberator Serial Number 44-40332  

Pilot  2nd Lt. Wayne R. Kimble (KIA / BR) New Martinsville, WV
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt William E. Somsel Jr. (KIA / BR) Philadelphia, PA
Navigator  2nd Lt Charles E. Mueller (KIA / BR) Detroit, MI
Engineer  2nd Lt. Morris Righthand (KIA / BR) Lehighton, PA
Gunner  SSgt Jack J. Dowd (KIA / BR) Jackson, MI
Gunner  SSgt Marion F. Norman (KIA / BR) Augusta, MI
Gunner  Sgt James H. Means (KIA / BR) Belden, MS
Gunner  Cpl. Manuel F. Campos (KIA / BR)
Gunner  Cpl. Gerald L. Weiss (KIA / BR) Mason, WI
Gunner  Cpl. Joseph J. Carlucci (KIA / BR) Port Chester, NY
Crashed  May 5, 1944
MACR  15138

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. In March 1944 delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24J-155-CO Liberator serial number 44-40332. Flown from Hamilton Field to Hickam Field on Oahu and was not yet assigned to any Bombardment Group or Bombardment Squadron. No nickname or nose art. When lost, engine and weapon serial numbers unknown.

Mission History
On May 5, 1944 at 5:22am took off from Hickam Field piloted by 2nd Lt. Wayne R. Kimble on a ferry flight across the Pacific bound for Australia for assigned to the 5th Air Force in the South West Pacific Area (SPWA). Soon after take off this bomber failed to make a turn (other sources report a fuel problem) and crashed six miles away into the Puu Nau Ridge near Aiea. On impact, the B-24 caught fire and the entire crew was killed in the crash.

Recovery of Remains
Afterwards, the crash site was located and the remains of the crew were recovered.

During February 1993, the crash site was rediscovered by members of the QuestMasters Museum. Only the right and left wing with wheels, four engines, tail turret, and many small parts remained at the site. They removed the nose turret and martin turret

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission.

Four of the crew were buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). Carlucci at section B site 73. Norman at section N section 39. Righthand at section C site 1322. Mueller at section A site 938.

Kimble is buried at Northview Cemetery in New Martinsville, WV.

Somsel is buried at Arlington National Cemetery at section 12, site 3357.

Dowd is buried at Saint Johns Catholic Cemetery in Jackson MI.

Campos is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in San Diego, CA at plot St. Paul, lot 567.5.

Means is buried at Saltillo Cemetery in Saltillo, MS.

Weiss is buried at Weston Cemetery in Rensselaer, IN at section O lot 35 space 3.

On May 5, 2008 a memorial plaque was erected at the Aiea Loop Trail head near Hickam Field on the 64th anniversary of the crash with the names of each crew member and a summary of the mission. The plaque reads:

B-24J Liberator SN: 44-40332
Along this trail are the remains of a B-24J Liberator Bomber. In the early morning of May 5 1944 2 LT Kimble and crew departed Hickam Field on a replacement mission enroute to the 5th AF. Six miles after take-off, failing to make a turn, they crashed into the Pu'u Uau Ridge Ko'olau Range. All ten aviators perished serving their country.
2 LT W R Kimble
2 LT C E Mueller
S SGT J J Dowd
2 LT W E Somsel
Sgt J H Means
CPL M F Weiss
CPL M F Campos
2 LT M Righthand
S SGT M F Norman
CPL J J Carlucci
Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society
May 5th, 2008 marks the 64th anniversary. You are not forgotten!

The nose and martin turret were recovered for restoration by QuestMasters Museum.


USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24J-155-CO Liberator serial number 44-40332
Missing Air Crew Report 15138 (MACR 15138) does not list Cpl Manuel F. Campos
QuestMasters Aircraft Archeology - B-24J 44-40332
QuestMasters - B-24
Facebook Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society B-24J 44-40322 5May1944 Crash Survey - Aiea Loop Trail
Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West - B-24J Oahu, Hi
FindAGrave - 2LT Wayne R. Kimble (grave photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT William E Somsel, Jr (photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT Charles E Mueller (grave photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT Morris Righthand (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Jack J. Dowd (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Marion F Norman (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt James Hoyt Means (grave photo)
FindAGrave - CPL Manuel F. Campos (grave photo)
FindAGrave - CPL Gerald Leon Weiss (grave photo)
FindAGrave - CPL Joseph J Carlucci (grave photo)

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Last Updated
February 18, 2020


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