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  B-24J-180-CO Liberator Serial Number 44-40783  
14th AF
308th BG
425th BS

Pilot  1st Lt. Norman B. Clendenen, O-427299 (MIA / KIA) Stockton, CA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Robert B. Reade, O-699850 (MIA / KIA) Sacramento, CA
Navigator  2nd Lt. John W. Roney, O-706547 (MIA / KIA) Chattanooga, TN
Bombardier SSgt Howard N. Young, O-697755 (MIA / KIA) Colorado Springs, CO
Engineer SSgt Ewald A. Mast, 31247318 (MIA / KIA) Wsterly, RI
Radio  Sgt James L. Hicks, 34722415 (MIA / KIA) Cleveland, TN
Gunner  Sgt Glen H. Park, 19126712 (MIA / KIA) Los Angeles, CA
Gunner  Sgt Milan J. Sliepka, 36650396 (MIA / KIA) Chicago, IL
Gunner  Sgt Richard D. Zacharias, 33429963 (MIA / KIA) New Kensington. PA
Radar  SSgt Allen S. Guthrie, 15082134 (MIA / KIA) Indianapolis, IN
Observer  Captain George K. O'Neil, O-427621 (POW, survived) Ames, IA

Crashed  August 31, 1944
MACR  8018

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas to CBI.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 308th Bombardment Group, 425th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. Weapon serial numbers not noted in MACR.

Mission History
On August 31, 1944 took off from Liuchow Airfield at at 4:30pm to bomb enemy ships in Takao Harbor off Takao (Kaohsiung) on Formosa (Taiwan). Over the target, intercepted by A6M Zeros. This B-24 was shot down by A6M Zero piloted by Takeo Tanimizu and crashed into the sea. Also damaged was B-24J 44-40831 that later crashed.

According to O'Neil who survived, the B-24 was hit by anti-aircraft fire and fighters, and the crew in the the forward compartment bailed out including O'Neil, Reade, Roney, Mast, Hicks. Two of their parachutes were fired on as they descended, and none were seen again after hitting the water. The remaining crew were likely were still aboard the B-24 when it crashed into the sea.

Fates of the Crew
O'Neil came ashore on an island with the help of locals. On September 1, 1944 he was taken prisoner by MP Sgt Kakimoto from a Japanese sub chaser that arrived to investigate the crash site on the sea. According to the Japanese he fired his pistol and resisted capture, but Kakimoto fired back and O'Neil was captured and became a Prisoner Of War (POW).

O'Neil was transported to Japan and detained at Omori POW Camp and survived captivity until the official surrender of Japan. He was liberated from Omori Headquarters Camp (Ofuna) Tokyo 35-139 and transported to the United States.

Postwar during December 1945, American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) "Search Team No. 9" searched for this aircraft, but found no trace.

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24J-180-CO Liberator 44-40783 reference relates to B-24J 44-40831
Missing Air Crew Report 8018 (MACR 8018)
NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - George K. ONeil
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Norman B. Clendenen
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert B. Reade
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John W. Roney
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Howard N. Young
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ewald A. Mast
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James L. Hicks
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Glen H. Park
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Milan J. Sliepka
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Richard D. Zacharias
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Allen S. Guthrie

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


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