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B. Williams 1945
|Pilot 1st Lt. Charles D. Scroggs, O-828550 (rescued) St. Petersburg, FL
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Gayle Mace, O-780648 (rescued) St. Louis, MO
Navigator 1st Lt. Roy R. Rose, O-434050 (rescued) Tuscaloosa, AL
Bombardier F/O Robert J. Meyer, T-130069 (rescued) Central City, NB
Observer 2nd Lt. Robert M. Nairn, O-2070102 (rescued) Rochester, NY
Engineer TSgt Charles E. Rickey, 35583114 (rescued) Clarence, MS
Asst Engineer SSgt Harold Hinchman, 36421442 (rescued) Baroda, MI
Radio SSgt Wilbur D. Dickson, 18169028 (MIA / KIA) Belleville, AR
Gunner SSgt James T. Murdock, 34771007 (rescued) Statesville, NC
Radar TSgt Harry Fackenthal, 12204103 (rescued) Newark, NJ
Gunner SSgt Maurice H. Walker, Jr. 42029847 (rescued) Corning, NY
Gunner SSgt Edward J. Racz, 35915542 (rescued) Elyria, OH
Ditched June 12, 1945 at 1:35pm
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) asB-24M-1-CO Liberator serial number 44-41809. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 43rd Bombardment Group (43rd BG) Ken's Men, 63th Bombardment Squadron (63rd BS). This aircraft was painted overall black and equipped with radar for night and radar search missions. Nicknamed "Out of the Night II" in quotes in a cursive font on the side of the nose after the previous bomber B-24J "Out of the Night" 44-40901. On the tail below the serial number abbreviation "441809" was a white triangle with the tip pointed downward inside was the artwork of the head of an eagle. When lost, engines R-1830-65 serial numbers BP-455756, BP-455763, BP-455952 and BP-455824. Armed with .50 caliber machine guns serial numbers listed in the Missing Air Crew Report 14879 (MACR 14879).
On June 11, 1945 at 5:05pm took from Clark Field piloted by 1st Lt. Charles D. Scroggs on a solo armed reconnaissance radar sea search for shipping off Shanghai. Over the target area, they were not intercepted by Japanese fighters or anti-aircraft fire. Returning, on this B-24 ran out of fuel due to adverse weather conditions and radioed that the aircraft was going to ditch into the South China Sea but was actually over the Philippine Sea.
On June 12, 1945 at 1:34pm this bomber made a last position report at Lat 20° 30' N Long 123° 15' E. A minute later at 1:35pm ditched into the sea roughly 200 miles east of Formosa and 150 miles east off the Batan Island Group, north of Luzon into the Philippine Sea. When this bomber failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Fates of the Crew
During the ditching, Dickson disappeared, likely he was sucked out through the fuselage when the gun turrets were torn away and killed instantly or fatally injured and was never seen again. He remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA). The rest of the crew survived and successfully deployed two life rafts and awaited rescue.
When the B-24 failed to return, Air & Sea Rescue was notified. Spotted from the air, the surviving crew was rescued and returned to duty.
Dickson was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He earned the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, posthumously. Dickson is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. He also has a memorial marker at Havana Cemetery, Havana, AR.
Scroggs continued in the U. S. Air Force (USAF) and served in the Korean War then became a police sergeant in his hometown of Saint Petersburg. He passed away on March 12, 1970 at age 49. He is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Saint Petersburg, FL.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Charles D. Scroggs
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Wilbur D. Dickson
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24M-1-CO Liberator 44-41809
"41809 (43rd BG, 63rd BS, "Out Of The Night II") lost Jun 12, 1945, SW Pacific. MACR 14879. Was a radar countermeasures aircraft."
Missing Air Crew Report 14879 (MACR 14879) June 13, 1945
FindAGrave - Charles D. Scroggs (obituary)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Wilbur D. Dickson
FindAGrave - SSgt Wilbur David Dickson (tablets of the missing)
Ken’s Men Against The Empire The Illustrated History of the 43rd Bombardment Group During World War II Volume II: October 1943 to 1945 B-24 Era (2019) mentions this loss
June 12, 1945
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