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307th BG Nov 8, 1944
|Pilot 1st Lt. Walter A. Scalese, O-697377 (MIA / KIA / BR) Windber, PA
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Stephen Fuda, O-764278 (MIA / KIA / BR) Stamford, CT
Navigator F/O Joseph E. Novakovits, T-124379 (MIA / KIA, BR) Bethlehem, PA
Bombardier 2nd Lt. Paul H. Phillips, O-703067 (MIA / KIA, BR) Logan, WV
Engineer TSgt Charles H. Neville, 15020222 (MIA / KIA, BR) Evansville, IN
Asst Engineer SSgt George J. Kacoyannakis, 12025464 (MIA / KIA, BR) Tyrone, NY
Radio TSgt Chester E. Matz, 13081336 (MIA / KIA, BR) Wilkes Barre, PA
Asst Radio SSgt John T. Stough, 33669803 (MIA / KIA, BR) Jeanette, PA
Gunner SSgt Robert L. Dyson, 15171268 (MIA / KIA, BR) Dennison, OH
Gunner SSgt Michael P. Falcone, 33829746 (MIA / KIA, BR) Bangor, PA
Crashed November 8, 1944 at 10:10am
Built by Consolidated with a natural aluminum finish. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24L-1-CO Liberator serial number 44-41421. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the South Pacific (SOPAC).
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 307th Bombardment Group (307th BG), 371st Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. On both sides of the outer tail was a circle with "LR" (Long Rangers), the motif of the 307th BG. When lost, engines R-1830-65A serial numbers BP-444463, BP-444523, BP-444142 and BP-444109. Weapon serial numbers not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 10456 (MACR 10456).
On November 8, 1944 took off from Kornasoren Airfield on Noemfoor Island piloted by 1st Lt. Walter A. Scalese on a bombing mission against Alicante Airfield on Negros. Over the target, the bombers were intercepted by enemy aircraft and hit by cannon in the right wing causing the outer wing to bend upward and one of the tail stabilizer to fall off. A photograph of the damaged bomber before it fell out of control and crashed on the northern tip of Negros killing the entire crew on impact. The crash was observed by Sgt Marvin M. Kottke aboard another bomber. When this bomber failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
The Associated Press (AP) released a photograph of the damaged bomber on December 11, 1944 with the caption: "OVER THE PHILIPPINES - This picture was made at the moment of impact when a Japanese Zero crashed into a Liberator Bomber of the 13th AF over the Philippines. The bombers were intercepted by enemy planes en route to a Negros Island airstrip. Both planes exploded and fell to the ground. Note wing broken off and tilting upward revealing US star insignia. (AP Wire photo from USAAF)".
Afterwards, no search was conducted over the area due to intense enemy interception, but all crews on subsequent missions were instructed to be on the alert for any indication or sign from the downed crew.
After the U. S. Army liberation of Negros, the crash site was located including the remains of the crew.
Recovery of Remains
The remains of the crew were recovered and postwar were transported to the United States for permanent burial.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Each crew member earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. On September 27, 1949 crew was buried at Winchester National Cemetery in a group burial at section 88 sites 4105C to 4105G. Stough, Falcone and Dyson at 4105C, Fuda and Kacoyannakis 4105D, Matz and Neville 4105E, Novakovits and Phillips at 4105F. Scalese at 4105G. Also, Stough has a grave (unclear if memorial marker or individual burial) at Brush Creek Cemetery in Irwin, PA.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24L-1-CO Liberator 44-41421
"41421 (307th BG) lost Nov 8, 1944, Philippines. MACR 10456"
Missing Air Crew Report 10456 (MACR 10456)
The Long Rangers page 165
FindAGrave - Walter A Scalese (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Stephen Fuda (photo, group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Joseph E Novakovits (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Paul H Phillips (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Charles Hugh Neville (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt George J Kacoyannakis (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Chester E Matz (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT John T Stough (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - John Turney Stough (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Robert L. Dyson (group burial photo)
Thanks to Jim McCabe / 307th Bomb Group Association for additional information
Nov 8, 44
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