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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
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.
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.
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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