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|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
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).
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)
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