Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
  B-24L-5-CO Liberator Serial Number 44-41470  
7th AF
11th BG
26th BS

Pilot  1st Lt. Herman L. E. Bierwirth, O-758291 (MIA / KIA) TX
Co-Pilot  1st Lt. Ralph B. Albaugh, O-765199 (MIA / KIA) TX
Navigator  2nd Lt. Fiume C. Cascioli, O-707854 (MIA / KIA) NY
Bombardier  2nd Lt. Harris G. Cheney, O-704163 (MIA / KIA) TX
Engineer  TSgt Napoleon A. McMullen, 14044662 (MIA / KIA) FL
Radio  TSgt Charles M. Finnigan, 18159891 (MIA / KIA) OK
Asst Radio  TSgt Donald E. Bloedel, 36260862 (MIA / KIA) WI
Asst Engineer  SSgt Charles L. Conrad, 16019181 (MIA / KIA) IL
Armorer-Gunner  SSgt Johnnie O. Markham, 37620373 (MIA / KIA) MO
Armorer-Gunner  SSgt Richard E. Carton, 39208530 (MIA / KIA) WA
Radar  SSgt John B. Van Volkenburg, 38421100 (MIA / KIA) TX
Crashed  February 8, 1945
MACR  12050

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego during 1941. Constructors Number 5406. Assigned to the 7th Air Force, 11th Bombardment Group, 26th Bombardment Squadron. No nickname or nose art. When lost, engine and weapon serial numbers not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 12050 (MACR 12050).

Mission History
On February 8, 1945 took off from Guam piloted by 1st Lt. Herman L. E. Bierwirth on a bombing mission against radar and radio installations and anti-aircraft defenses on Iwo Jima. This bomber was part of "C" flight flying a "box stagger" formation and bombed from 16,000' The formation began circling to the east to return to base and descended to 15,000'.

At approximately 7:20am a Japanese fighter approached from the sun and reached the formation undetected before rolling, belly over and impacted into the this B-24 behind the wing section into the top turret.

The impact resulted in an explosion and broke off the right wing. Other bombers in the formation noted a parachute open but it collapsed immediately and the tail section of the bomber fell in one piece. The wreckage landed into the sea roughly ten miles due east of Iwo Jima. Another bomber reported two parachutes open but both caught fire.

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized at the courts of the missing at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).

Missing Air Crew Report 12050 (MACR 12050)

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
February 14, 2020


Tech Information

11 Missing
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram