|Pilot 1/Lt Walter M. Severance, USAAF O-812318 (rescued)
Co-Pilot 2/Lt Tim Rogers, USAAF O-834023 (rescued)
Navigator 2/Lt Robert W. Crist, USAAF O-697822 (rescued)
Engineer T/Sgt George F. Wendt, USAAF 36278598 (MIA / KIA) WI
Radio T/Sgt Donnie E. Treadwell, USAAF 14182000 (rescued)
Passenger T/Sgt Charles E. Hainline, USAAF 18063518 (MIA / KIA) TX
Crashed October 7, 1944
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 90th Bombardment Group, 400th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R-1830 serial numbers: (1) 42-3528, (2) 44-2462, (3) 44-2478 and (4) 44-7886.
On October 7, 1944 took off at 12:50pm from Pitu Airfield on Morotai Island on a ferry flight bound for Mokmer Airfield on Biak Island. While cruising at 5,000 feet, at approximately 2:50pm, the number four engine cut out and was feathered. In order to save gasoline, which was running low, the power was decreased. The airplane was gradually losing altitude and the pilot ordered the crew to bail out, as it was impossible to reach Noemfoor Island for an emergency landing.
At 3:37pm, with 2,000' altitude, number two engine cut out. Lt Rogers, T/Sgt Hainline, T/Sgt Wendt and T/Sgt Treadwell bailed out at 3:40pm from 2,000'. Lt Severance and Lt Crist bailed out as quickly as possible after the first four had gone.
During the night of October 7, 1944 at approximately 9:30pm, a freighter heading east rescued Lt Rogers. The freighter searched the immediate area until, rescuing Sgt Treadwell at 10:30pm. Lt Rogers and Sgt Treadwell were brought back by the freighter which searched until October 8, 1944 at 4:00am then returned to dock at 6:00pm.
Meanwhile, on October 8, 1944 an organized search by three B-24s from the 90th Bomb Group, one Catalina from the 3rd Emergency Rescue Squadron (3rd ERS) and one crash boat were sent to the reported position early in the morning of October 8. At approximately 9:30am, two men with life vests were reported as sighted by a C-47. A life raft was dropped and a Catalina called. The rescue of Lt Severance and Lt Crist was made at 10:00am by the Catalina.
The two missing crew members were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Wendt and Hainline are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at the Manila American Cemetery.
Missing Aircrew Report 9458 (MACR 9458)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George F. Wendt
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles E. Hainline
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February 14, 2020