|Commander Captain Donald F. Marvin, O-69019 (POW died July 28, 1945) Geauga Lake, OH
Pilot 1st Lt. Joseph Dubinski, O-693016 (KIA, BR) Washington, PA
Co-Pilot 1st Lt. Rudolph C. Flanagan, O-821250 (POW, died) San Antonio, TX
Navigator 1st Lt. Lawrence A. Falls, O-708804 (KIA, BR) Washington, DC
Bombardier 1st Lt. Robert C. Johnson, O-698565 (POW, survived) Mission, KS
Engineer TSgt Walter Piskor, 11066604 (KIA, BR) Willimantic, CT
Radio TSgt David A. Bushfield, 32142771 (POW, died July 28, 1945) Rochester, NY
Top Gunner SSgt Charles R. Allison, 36478544 (KIA, BR) Chester, IL
Ball Turret Gunner SSgt Charles O. Baumgartner, 35526892 (POW died August 6, 1945) Sebring, OH
Nose Gunner SSgt Camillous F. Kirkpatrick, 34625126 (KIA, BR) Clarksdale, MS
Tail Gunner SSgt Julius Molnar, 36453945 (POW died August 6, 1945) Kalamazoo, MI
Crashed July 28, 1945 at 12:51
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Constructors Number 4652. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24J-175-CO Liberator serial number 44-40716. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the Central Pacific.
Assigned to the 7th Air Force (7th AF), 494th Bombardment Group (494th BG), 866th Bombardment Squadron (866th BS). Nicknamed "Taloa" the name of the pilot's girlfriend in Panama with a nude female with long black hair wearing only a garland of flowers across her chest and arm. Also known as 716 (last three digits of the serial number). When lost, engines R1830-65 serial number 42-91213, 45-2962, 42-88461, 42-42601. Armed with .50 caliber machine guns serial numbers noted in Missing Air Crew Report 14990 (MACR 14990).
On July 28, 1945 took off from Yontan Airfield on Okinawa piloted by Captain Donald F. Marvin on bombing mission number 139 against Kure. The weather was hazy with lower cumulus clouds. This B-24 flew in the no. 4 position in the formation, behind B-24L Liberator #980. Over the target at 10,000' the formation bombed Battleship Haruna anchored in Kure Harbor.
A few moments after releasing their bombs at 12:48pm, this B-24 was hit by anti-aircraft fire 3 or 4 times and was observed to make a slight turn to the left and and went into a steep dive, and was seen burning on the ground at roughly Lat 34° 16' N Long 132° 33' E. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost was B-24J "Lonesome Lady" 44-40680 (KIA / POW).
At 12:51pm, this bomber crashed at Yawata village, Saeki County in Hiroshima Prefecture. Today, the crash site is located in Yawata Nishi-ku near Hiroshima.
Fates of the Crew
After being hit by anti-aircraft fire, 1st Lt. Flanagan was sucked out of a hole caused in the bomber by the anti-aircraft fire and landing at the mouth of the Hiroshima Otagawa. He was captured and became a Prisoner Of War (POW) but died that same day, likely due to injuries.
Piskor fell to his death landing at the mouth of the river at Hiroshima Otagawa landing on the Mitsubishi shipyard machine factory roof.
Four of the crew did not exit the bomber and died in the crash.
Six of the crew were taken prisoner: Marvin, Bushfield, Flanagan, Baumgartner, Molnar and Johnson. For unknown reasons Marvin, Flanagan and Baumgartner were never officially listed as a Prisoner Of War (POW) of the Japanese.
Three of the crew: Marvin, Bushfield and Flanagan died on July 28, 1945 likely due to injuries sustained from bailing out.
Baumgartner and a Molnar were transported to Hiroshima and detained at the Chugoku Kempei-Tai Headquarters (Chugoku Military Police Headquarters). On August 6, 1945 when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima their location was near the near the epicenter and both were killed in the explosion. Baumgartner was not officially listed as a Prisoner Of War (POW) of the Japanese.
Johnson survived the war and was liberated from Tokyo POW Camp (Shinjuku) at the end of the Pacific War.
Recovery of Remains
Postwar, the remains of seven of the crew were recovered from the crash site and burials including Falls, Piskor, Bushfield, Allison, Baumgartner, Molnar and Kirkpatrick and transported to the United States for permanent burial.
Marvin was officially declared dead July 28, 1945. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart, posthumously. He is buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at Plot P Row 0 Grave 653.
Dubinski has an unknown burial, likely in his hometown in the United States.
Flanagin died on July 28, 1945 and earned the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters and the Purple Heart, posthumously. He is buried He is buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at at Plot P Grave 1113.
Falls was buried in the middle of July 1949 at Mount Zion Cemetery in Central, SC.
Piskor was buried at Saint Joseph Cemetery in Willimantic, CT.
Bushfield died on July 28, 1945. He is buried at Woodlawn National Cemetery in Elmira, NY.
Allison died on July 28, 1945. He is buried at Two Mile Grove Cemetery in Latham, IL.
Baumgartner and Molnar died on August 6, 1945. On November 3, 1949 both were buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in a group burial at section 82 site 156.
Kirkpatrick is buried at Vicksburg National Cemetery in Vicksburg, MS at section W site 17516.
In 1999, a Memorial for U.S. POWs at site of Chugoku Kempei-Tai HQ in Hiroshima was established due to the efforts and personal funds of Hiroshima
resident, and A-bomb survivor, Mr. Shigeaki Mori. The words on the memorial were written by Thomas Cartwright former pilot of B-24J "Lonesome Lady" 44-40680: "The Atomic bomb devastated the city and its people with a force beyond any
known before. US Air Force and US Navy airmen interned as POWs at the Chugoku
Military Police Headquarters, which was located at this site, near the epicenter,
were among the victims of this holocaust. This plaque is placed in the memory
of these brave and honorable men. May this humble memorial be a perpetual reminder
of the savagery of war."
In 1999, a Memorial
For U.S. POWs killed by the atomic bomb, including Marvin and Flanagan was
placed at the site of the former headquarters. The
memorial was conceived and built by a Japanese resident of Hiroshima.
Shirley Morehead (niece of Charles Baumgarten)
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24J-175-CO Liberator 44-40716
"40716 (494th BG) shot down Jul 28, 1945"
Missing Air Crew Report 14990 (MACR 14990) created July 30, 1945
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File does not list Marvin, Flanagan or Baumgartner
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Robert C. Johnson
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - David A. Bushfield
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Julius Molnar
FindAGrave - Donald F. Marvin (grave photo)
FindAGrave - 1LT Lawrence A. Falls Jr. (grave photos, application for headstone)
FindAGrave - TSGT Walter Piskor (grave photos)
TSGT David A Bushfield (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Charles R. Allison (grave photos)
FindAGrave - SSGT Charles O Baumgartner Jr. (photos, group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Camillous Felder “Bill” Kirkpatrick (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Julius S Molnar (photo, news, group burial photo) date of death engraved as July 28, 1945 [sic, date of crash] then changed to the correct date August 6, 1945
Richmond Times-Dispatch "Hiroshima Survivor Remembers Lost U.S. Airmen" May 30, 2009 via Wayback Machine October 6, 2012
Cleveland.com "Ohio airman among POWs killed by Hiroshima atomic bomb" August 6, 2015
Thanks to Chris Valgardson and Philip Fazzini for additional information
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February 18, 2020
July 28, 1945