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|Pilot 2nd Lt. Herbert N. F. Patrick, O-764421 (MIA / KIA) Lindsborg, KS
Co-Pilot Lt. Col J. W. Hinton, O-326153 C. O. 307th BG (MIA / KIA) Bay City, TX
Navigator 1st Lt. Fred K. Harrison, Jr., O-711395 (MIA / KIA) New Orleans, LA
Bombardier 2nd Lt. Robert M. Jones, O-762923 (MIA / KIA) Glastonbury, CT
Engineer TSgt Roy E. Hanan, 38564678 (MIA / KIA) Shattuck, OK
Asst Engineer SSgt George H. Westlund, 37549431 (MIA / KIA) Parkers Prairie MN
Radio TSgt Henry J. Hritz, 3277906 (MIA / KIA) Paterson, NJ
Asst Radio SSgt Robert H. Podewils, 12027987 (MIA / KIA) New York, NY
Gunner SSgt Francis E. Shea, 37537086 (MIA / KIA) Miltonvale, KS
Armorer/Gunner SSgt Thomas Wong, 32086732 (MIA / KIA) Brooklyn, NY
Photo/Gunner SSgt Leonard C. Bennett, 16018853 (MIA / KIA) Peoria, IL
MIA December 10, 1944
J. W. "Grasy" Hinton was a quarterback for the St. Louis Gunners during one season then enlisted in the U. S. Army and earned his wings in 1939. On January 22, 1944 promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and became the Commanding Officer (C O.) of the 307th Bombardment Group (307th BG) until he was killed on December 10, 1944.
Built by Consolidated in San Diego. Constructors Number 4865. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24J-185-CO Liberator serial number 44-40929. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field to the South Pacific (SOPAC).
Assigned to the 13th Air Force (13th AF), 307th Bombardment Group (307th BG), 372nd Bombardment Squadron (372nd BS). No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R-1830-43 serial numbers: BP-443755, BP-440608, BP-440608, BB-443699, BB-440650. Armed with ten .50 caliber machine guns serial numbers unknown.
On December 10, 1944 took off from Pitu Airfield (Pitoe) on Morotai Island piloted by 2nd Lt. Herbert N. F. Patrick as one of two B-24s on a strafing mission against Miri Airfield and Miri on Borneo. This B-24 was armed with fifteen 250 pound bombs and 10,000 rounds of ammunition and 3,100 gallons of fuel. The weather was 12 mile visibility with high clouds above 10,000' with a few scattered clouds. No radio contact was made after take off. This B-24 was last sighted by Captain Lex E. Souter and observed to crash into a hillside on the northern tip of Halmahera. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
The crash was visible from Morotai Island. Although the crash was observed, six search missions were conducted over the area where the bomber was believed to have crashed but nothing definitive was observed or appeared in photographs taken of the area. Afterwards, further searches were aborted.
This B-24 crashed into the hillside of Halmahera. Postwar, the crash site was visited by a team from American Graves Registration Service (AGRS).
Recovery of Remains
Postwar, American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) recovered the remains of the crew and transported them to Manila American Cemetery. Afterwards, the remains were transported to the United States for permanent burial.
In December, 2009, a US Army Air Corps Advanced Flying School ring of J. W. Hinton was discovered and offered for sale at an antique shop in Bali.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. On January 16, 1950 the crew were buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in group burial at section E sites 253-255.
Patrick earned the the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Elmwood Cemetery in Lindsborg, KS.
Westlund also has a memorial marker at Parkers Prairie Cemetery in Parkers Prairie, MN.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Herbert N. F. Patrick
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Roy E. Hanan
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Robert H. Podewils
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Thomas Wong
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Leonard C. Bennett
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24J-185-CO Liberator 44-40929
"40929 (307th BG) lost Dec 10, 1944. MACR 11028"
Missing Air Crew Report 11028 (MACR 11028) created December 12, 1944
307th BG Mission Report - December 10, 1944
"The two were killed in action while taking off on an early morning shipping strike from Morotai with Colonel Hinton, our deputy group commander. I think Colonel Hinton was flying the plane with Pat in the co-pilot seat. George was attempting to makeup a mission probably missed because of a cold or some other circumstance. The plane crashed into a hillside on IIalmahera Island. The crash explosions could be seen from the runway on Morotai. A concentrated air to ground search was conducted for a period of six to ten days to no avail. We could not locate the plane or the crash sight. Several years after the war their remains were found, returned to Zachary Taylor Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky, and buried in a common grave."
FindAGrave - 1LT Herbert Nels F Patrick (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - 1LT Herbert Nels Patrick (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - LTC J W Hinton (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Fred K. Harrison, Jr. (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - 1LT Robert M Jones (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - TSGT Roy E Hanan (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT George H Westlund (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - George Westlund (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - TSGT Henry J Hritz (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Robert H Podewils (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Francis E Shea (photo, group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Thomas Y Wong (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Leonard C Bennett (group burial photo)
Dec 10, 1944
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