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  B-24M-20-CO Liberator Serial Number 44-42184  
7th AF
30th BG
27th BS

Click For Enlargement
USAAF c1945
Pilot  1st Lt. William Dean Yockey, O-558770 (WIA, rescued)
Co-Pilot  F/O Robert Emerson Saunders, T-7816 (WIA, rescued)
Navigator  2nd Lt. James Mayfield Secrest, O-2074820 (WIA, rescued)
Engineer  Sgt Lloyd Francis Reed, 16019071 (WIA, rescued) Annada, MO
Radio  SSgt Raymond Lee Goins, 35360604 (MIA / KIA) Danville, KY
Passenger  SSgt Delbert F. Bangs, 37196511 (WIA, rescued, died) Blue Earth, MN
Passenger  SSgt John William Miller, 33152262 811th AAA Battalion (MIA / KIA) Connelsville, PA
Passenger  Pfc Pete Martin Collins, 38446812 (MIA / KIA) August, AR
Crashed  July 9,1945
MACR  14903

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24M-20-CO Liberator serial number 44-42184. When lost engines R-1830-65 serial numbers BP-457162, BP-457202, BP-457707 and PB-457062. Armed with ten .50 caliber machine guns makers and serial numbers unknown plus two pyrotechnic pistols.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 7th Air Force (7th AF), 30th Bombardment Group (30th BG), 27th Bombardment Squadron (27th BS). No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On July 9,1945 took off from Wheeler Field on Oahu piloted by 1st Lt. William D. Yockey on a training mission and calibration mission bound for Kauaʻi Island then to return. The weather was ceiling and visibility unlimited (CAVU). During the flight, the pilot practiced emergency proceedures by feathering the no. 4 engine at 3,000' then feathered the no. 2 engine and restarted both engines to 1,500 RPM but when power was increased to both engines the RPM did not change and had lost altitude to 2,000'.

Attempting to gain lift, emergency power was increasted to no. 1 and no. 3 engines and flaps lowered to 20 degrees, then increased flap to 30 degrees but the plane contined to descend at 500' per minute until it ditched into the Kauaʻi Channel (Kaʻieʻie Waho Channel). When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Fates of the Crew
Four of the crew survived the crash and floated at sea. The fate of the other three members of the crew is unknown and they remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

On July 11, 1945 a search was conducted at sea by Chaplin Harry O. Carr where the plane was last observed. Also searching was the C. O. and a boat crew. Four personnel were rescued. Afterwards, Bangs died of heart failure caused by his wounds. Meanwhile, two B-24s from the 27th Bombardment Squadron flew the same flight route two miles apart to search for survivors until notified they had been found and were recalled to base.

On July 13, 1945 Bangs was buried at Scholfield Barracks Cemetery at number 6, row C grave 49. Later, he was permanently buried at Riverside Cemetery in Blue Earth, MN.

Goins, Miller and Collins remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Since the flight was over a non-combat area, none of the crew earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. All three are memorialized at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) on the courts of the missing. Goins and Collins on court 7.

Reed passed away on November 2, 1998 at age 78. He is buried at Elsberry City Cemetery in Elsberry, MO at original block 19, single lot, space 26.

Raymond Goins III (grandson of Raymond Lee Goins)

Bill Reed (son of Reed)
"My father Sgt. Lloyd F. Reed, AAF, 16019071 was in a B-24 plane crash 07/09/45 somewhere off the coast of Hawaii. His friend Sgt. Raymond L. Goins, AAF, 35360604 was killed during this crash. My father survived the crash. My father passed away November 2, 1998."

Cynthia Reed (daughter of Robert E. Saunders)
"My father, who passed away at the age of 93 in November 2017, was Robert Emerson Saunders. I am in the process of 'curating' (though it is not that organised a process!) some of his many, many photographs taken during the Second World War and the Korean Conflict, where he also served."

Note some sources incorrectly list the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) serial number as 42-42184 [sic Vultee BT-15] the correct serial number is 44-42184.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - William D. Yockey
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Frances L. Reed
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - John W. Miller
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24M-20-CO Liberator 44-42184
Missing Air Crew Report 14903 (MACR 14903) created July 10, 1945 incorrectly lists B-24M 42-42184 [sic B-24M 44-42184]
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Raymond L. Goins
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John W. Miller
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Pete M. Collins
FindAGrave - Sgt Raymond L Goins (photo, courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt John W Miller (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - PFC Pete M Collins (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Delbert F Bangs (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Lloyd Francis Reed (grave photo)
Thanks to Raymond Goins III, Bill Reed and Cynthia Reed for additional information

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Last Updated
July 9, 2020


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July 9, 1945

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