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2nd BS June 5, 1945
5th BG June 1945
|Pilot 2nd Lt. Dewey G. Allmon, O-930704 (KIA, BR) Winona, MO
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Edward A. Kent, O-930724 (KIA, BR) Long Island City, NY
Navigator F/O Albert C. Deutsch, Jr., T-135711 (KIA, BR) San Antonio, TX
Bombardier F/O Elvin W. Long, Jr., T-8812 (KIA, BR) Williamsport, PA
Engineer Cpl James F. Stengel, 19124665 (KIA, BR) Miles City, MT
Radio Cpl Donald Sutherland, 19206239 (KIA, BR) Buena Park, CA
Photographer Sgt Raymond J. Riddle, 36859910 (WIA / KIA, BR) Petoskey, MI
Gunner Cpl Willard L. Bohlken, 37479377 (KIA, BR) Glenvil, NE
Crew Cpl James G. Acker, 37363235 (WIA, survived) Bayard, NE
Crew Cpl Lawrence J. Child, 39928479 (WIA, survived) Springville, UT
Crew Sgt Martin Coons, 32371494 (WIA, survived) Hillsdale, NY
Crashed June 5, 1945
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Constructors Number 575. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24J-195-CO Liberator serial number 44-41126. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).
In October 1944 assigned to the 5th Air Force, 22nd Bombardment Group, 2nd Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. The tail had #126 in large white digits on the tail. This Liberator flew at least 63 bombing missions with the first on October 17, 1944.
On June 5, 1945 took off from Clark Field from Borax Strip at 6:10am piloted by 2nd Lt. Dewey G. Allmon on a bombing mission against targets on the western coast of Formosa (Taiwan). Allmon was a new pilot and photographer Riddle was on his last mission before rotating home. Inbound to the target, the no. 2 engine's propeller stuck at 2,400 rpm without reporting the issue, the pilots adjusted the power settings on engines and continued the mission but were consuming fuel at a higher rate.
Over the target, bad weather prevented the formation from locating the primary or secondary target. Instead, the 2nd Bombardment Squadron broke off to conduct a radar guided bomb run from 10,000' against Taito (Taitung). Returning, the pilots informed the formation of their propeller problem and that they were running low on fuel and a short time later the no. 3 engine ran out of fuel but restarted when they switched to another fuel tank. Roughly 60 miles off the northern coast of Luzon, the formation experienced heavy clouds and broke up again.
Low on fuel, this B-24 radioed the supporting PBY Catalina "Playmate" it was critically low and attempted to make a gear up belly landing on Fuga Island.
Aiming for a clearing, this B-24 made a successful belly landing around noon but skidded into a ravine that broke the rear fuselage and caused a fire in the no. 2 engine and burned the nose section. The four crew in the cockpit were killed when the top turret continued forward and crushed them. Four others bracing in the forward bulkhead of the bombay, three were killed when the fuselage broke apart. The bomber came to rest with the wing section rotated parallel to the broken off tail section.
From the air, the crash was observed by 1st Lt. Issac W. Underwood and by 2nd Lt. Charles M. Allen aboard a Catalina "Playmate" from Air-Sea Rescue. Afterwards, the crash site was photographed.
Fates of the Crew
Only four of the crew survived the crash. Riddle was severely injured and died soon afterwards. Acker suffered a broken back. Coons nearly severed his hand. Only Child survived with minor injuries and administered morphine to Riddle then aided the others with morphine and a tourniquet on Coons' hand.
Roughly an hour later, a 14 year old Filipino boy ran into the clearing to warn the Americans that the Japanese were approaching. The surviving crew carried Acker and fled into the nearby jungle. Later in the afternoon, Child went back to the crash site to look for Riddle but was spotted by the Japanese who opened fire but managed to hide in a wallow filled with water until after dark. Meanwhile, Coons and Acker continued to hide and incorrectly believed Child was killed or captured.
The next morning, Child reached the coast and signaled a PBY Catalina that landed and fought off the Japanese before rescuing him and flying back to Clark Field. After two days in the hospital he returned to duty.
Meanwhile, Coons and Acker hid in the jungle and narrowly avoided Japanese patrols. Above, they spotted American aircraft patrolling and searching for them. Six days later, the same Filipino youth found them and beckoned them to follow him to a rice storage building where four English speaking Filipinos gave them food and informed them a U. S. submarine was coming to rescue them the next night.
June 5, 1945
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