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  B-24J-205-CO Liberator Serial Number 44-41264  
USAAF
13th AF
307th BG
371st BS

Pilot 1st Lt. Kenneth C. Sanderson, O-886170 (survived)
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Loren B. Corliss, O-713355 (survived) Labette County, KS
Navigator  2nd Lt. Stephen P. Piusz, O-701285 (survived)
Bombardier  F/O Charles G. Steiger, T-124050 (survived)
Engineer  SSgt L. Norton Ligon, 18232936 (survived) Nuces County, TX
Asst Engineer  TSgt Michael S. Dobos, 36567057 (survived)
Radio  TSgt Howard I. Mosher, 14119897 (survived)
Asst Radio  SSgt Leroy L. Cartwright, 35217251 (survived)
Gunner  SSgt Jesus N. Valenciano, 35895296 (survived) Parr, TX
Gunner  SSgt John W. Kirk, Jr., 33646881 (survived)
Crashed  November 8, 1944
MACR  10587

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated. Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 307th Bombardment Group, 371st Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engines R-1830-65A serial numbers BP-443849, BP-444273, BP-443430 and BP-444063. Weapon serial numbers not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 10587 (MACR 10587).

Mission History
On November 8, 1944 took off from Kornasoren Airfield on Noemfoor Island piloted by 1st Lt. Kenneth C. Sanderson on a bombing mission against Alicante Airfield on Negros. Over the target, this B-24 was damaged.

Returning, at approximately 11:45am, Lt. Sanders called over the radio to B-24J 44-40938 piloted by 1st Lt. William R. Covington that his fuel gauges were shattered and he had no way to estimate fuel levels. Also, he reported one engine was out and several crew members were injured. He also stated that he had lost sight of the formation over Mindanao north-northeast of Davao and advised he would divert to Leyte. He departed the formation heading north. The weather was 6/10 low stratus clouds with visibility of 6-8 miles.

At 1:00pm another aircrew member aboard B-24J 44-41213 heard the radio message "QMMO" from LED to Morotai that was repeated several times. At 3:10 the aircraft then began sending an "SOS" and at 3:20pm the message "Bail out or crash land on Mindanao".

Search
On November 10 and 11, a search mission was flown by PBY Catalinas from 5230 Rescue Group, with single aircraft searching over northern Mindanao and the vicinity of the coordinates last reported were thoroughly searched with negative results. More searches were not made due to a lack fo available aircraft, but American aircraft operating in the area were advised to be on the alert for any signs of the downed crew.

Fates of the Crew
In fact, the crew bailed out and were later rescued. On January 5, 1945, the crew was given seven days leave in Sydney then returned to duty.

Memorials
Corliss passed away on May 31, 2018 at age 96. He is buried at Resthaven Gardens of Memory in Wichita, KS.

References
World War II Army Enlistment Records - Charles G. Steiger
World War II Army Enlistment Records - L. Norton Ligon
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24J-205-CO Liberator 44-41264
"41264 (307th BG) lost Nov 8, 1944, Philippines. MACR 10587"
Missing Air Crew Report 10587 (MACR 10587)
FindAGrave - Loren B Corliss (photo, obituary)

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020

 

Tech Information
B-24
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