|Missing In Action (MIA)||Prisoners Of War (POW)||Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)|
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|Pilot 1st Lt. Wallace R. Montgomery, O-664036 (MIA / KIA) Ardmore, OK
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Richard S. Buehler, O-463434 (MIA / KIA) New York, NY
Navigator 2nd Lt. Joseph J. Grudzis, O-2068521 (MIA / KIA) Pawtucket, RI
Bombardier 2nd Lt. Donald R. Reed, O-718067 (MIA / KIA) Westfield, NJ
Engineer Sgt Edward J. Anclin, Jr., 38197195 (MIA / KIA) White Castle, LA
Asst. Engineer Cpl Allen L. Bidwell, 32823938 (MIA / KIA) Seymour, CT
Radio Sgt John E. Brand, 32165533 (MIA / KIA) New York, NY
Asst. Radio Cpl Donald E. Chaney, 37723833 (MIA / KIA) Bigelow, MS
Armoror/Gunner Cpl George A. Roder, 31265646 (MIA / KIA) Keene, NH
Gunner Cpl Bernard G. Whitworth, 38459948 (MIA / KIA) Corpus Christi, TX
Passenger S2c Gerald G. Barrett, 8806521 (MIA / KIA)
Crashed March 12, 1945
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. At the factory completed with an aluminum finish. Constructors Number 5485. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24L-10-CO Liberator serial number 44-41549. Ferried via Hickam Field across the Pacific to the South Pacific (SOPAC).
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 5th Bombardment Group, 23rd Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Maiden Montana" as all four officers initially assigned to this bomber were from Montana. The nickname was painted in red capital letters. The nose art was a topless girl wearing a white cowboy hat, vest, skirt with a pistol in a holster and white cowboy boots, in front of the black outline of the state of Montana. Below the left side of the cockpit was a scoreboard with red bomb markings indicating bombing missions flown plus three Japanese rising sun flags indicating enemy aircraft claimed by gunners. "549" was painted on the left side of the nose, the last three digits of the serial number.
When lost, engines R1830-65 serial numbers BP-456442, 42-90609, BP-456720 and 42-87623. Aboard were ten .50 caliber machine guns, weapon serial numbers not listed in Missing Air Crew Report 13311 (MACR 13311).
Weather was .10 cumulus alto stratus clouds at 8,000' with visibility of zero. Inbound to the target, the formation became separated due to extremely adverse weather condition. Last seen at 8:45am entering a cloud formation and did not reappear between Samar and Mindanao at roughly Lat 8° 10' N, Long 125° 00' E.
Just before reaching the target area, the formation leader 1st Lt. Robert B. McCutcheon, O-827882 radio contact with this bomber and was told by pilot Montgomery that he could see the formation ahead of him and would catch up. But, this bomber was never seen again nor was there any further radio communication from it, despite attempts to reach it while the rest of the formation flew back to base.
When this aircraft failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost was B-24L 44-49840 (MIA).
Recovery of Remains
Reed also has a memorial marker at Woodhill Cemetery in Franklin, OH at section 2, lot 63.
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