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  B-24L-5-FO Liberator Serial Number 44-49480  
USAAF
5th AF
90th BG
321th BS

Pilot  2nd Lt. Roger A. Ryder, O-695275 (MIA / KIA) Hudson Falls, NY
Co-Pilot  2nd John B. O'Doherty, O-831457 (MIA / KIA, BR) Lorain, OH
Pilot Instructor  2nd Lt. George W. Brautigam, Jr., O-781193 43rd BG, 64th BS (MIA / KIA)
Navigator  2nd Lt. Clinton T. Ferguson, O-2056364 (MIA / KIA, BR) Ralls, TX
Bombardier  2nd Lt. Alfonse M. Maynez, O-772150 (MIA / KIA, BR) West Los Angeles, CA
Radar Bombardier  2nd Lt. Donald R. Dunberg, O-77902 (MIA / KIA, BR) Rockford, IL
Engineer  TSgt Wesley J. Hicks, 18194209 (MIA / KIA, BR) Coyle, OK
Gunner  SSgt Walter C. Sankey, Jr., 33714655 (MIA / KIA, BR) Pittsburgh, PA
Radio  TSgt Robert F. Snelling, 39702060 (MIA / KIA, BR) Portland, OR
Gunner  SSgt Tommy J. Grimes, 38060881 (MIA / KIA, BR) Straford, TX
Gunner  SSgt Everett W. Welch, 16156256 (MIA / KIA, BR) Dorchester Center, MA
Gunner  SSgt Andrew J. Rausch, 16156256 (MIA / KIA, BR) Burlington, WI
Crashed  January 11, 1945 around 1:00am
MACR  11906

Aircraft History
Built by Ford. Constructors Number 4335. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24L-5-FO Liberator 44-49480. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 90th Bombardment Group, 321th Bombardment Squadron (321st BS). No known nickname or nose art. Possibly this B-24 was assigned to the 320th Bombardment Squadron and equipped with H2X search radar.

On January 10, 1945 took off from Mokmer Airfield (APO 920) on Biak and flown to Tacloban Airfield on Leyte for detached service with the 22nd Bombardment Group (22nd BG). When lost, engines R-1830-43 serial numbers CP-320701, CP-320730, CP-320754 and CP-320735. Weapon serial numbers not listed in Missing Air Crew Report 11906 (MACR 11906).

Mission History
On January 10, 1945 at 11:00pm took off from Tacloban Airfield on Leyte piloted by 2nd Lt. Roger A. Ryder on a bombing mission against central Luzon in the Philippines. Aboard was instructor pilot 2nd Lt. George W. Brautigam from the 43rd BG, 64th BS. This B-24 was last heard on take off. When it failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA) during the early hours of January 11, 1945.

Search
After this bomber went missing, planned searches were impossible due to the fact this B-24 never checked in after take off and a fix could not be obtained or a position calculated where it could have been lost. Since the take off was at night, this bomber was not observed by other aircraft. All Allied airfields in the area were notified to possible contact with the missing plane with negative results. Afterwards, PBY Catalinas were notified to be on alert for this bomber, but no specific searches were made nor was any information reported.

Wreckage
On February 6, 1946, Filipinos discovered the crash site of this B-24 on Mount Banahaw (Mount Banahad) to the northwest of Tayabas in the southern Luzon. During March 1946 a team from American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) visited the crash site and reported it to American authorities.

Recovery of Remains
During March 1946 a team from American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) visited the crash site and recovered the remains of the crew and transported them to Manila for identification. The remains of Ferguson, Brautigan, Hicks, Ryder, Sankey and Welsh were unable to be individually identified and were grouped together.

After the recovery and identification, the remains were transported to the Manila American Cemetery and the United States for permanent burial.

In the 1970, the crash site was rediscovered and again reported. On May 10, 1970 a reporter from the Chicago Tribute reported the crash site had been rediscovered and Filipinos found the identification bracelet of SSgt Wesley J. Hicks.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 11, 1945. The entire crew earned the earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

During March 1950, six of the crew were buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in a group burial at section 79 sites 6-8 including Ferguson, Brautigan, Hicks, Ryder, Sankey and Welsh.

Two of the crew were buried at at Manila American Cemetery. Maynez at plot L row 8 grave 16. Rausch at plot A row 15 grave 50.

O'Doherty is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Lorain, OH.

Dunberg Is buried at Arlington Memorial Park Cemetery in Rockford, IL.

Grimes is buried at Stratford Cemetery in Stratford, TX.

Rausch also has a memorial marker next to the graves of his parents at St. Mary Cemetery in Burlington, WI at D-11-1.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Roger A. Ryder
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - John B. O'Doherty
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Clinton T. Ferguson
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Donald R. Dunberg
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24 Liberator 44-49480
"49480 (90th BG) lost Jan 10, 1945, Leyte. MACR 11906"
Missing Air Crew Report 11906 (MACR 11906) created January 14, 1945
The Times Record "Missing" February 7, 1945
"Missing - Lieut. Roger A. Ryder, husband of Mrs. Eunice Willette Ryder, Parry Street, Hudson Falls, and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Arlon J. Ryder, Jr., 45 Notre Dame Street, Hudson Falls, who has been reported missing in action since January 10, is a brother of Lietu. John A Ryder, who was killed while flying over Italy on December 29 in combat service. Lieutenant Ryder, a pilot, with nine other flyers, left a base in the Philippines on the evening of January 10 to proceed to a point near Luzon. No word has since been received from the crew. Lieutenant Ryder received his training at San Antonio, Sherman and Bonham, Texas. He has twin daughters, Dayle Ann and Gayle Jean."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Andrew J. Rausch
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Alfonso M. Maynez
FindAGrave - 2LT Roger A Ryder (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT John B O'Doherty (grave photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT George W Brautigam, Jr (photo, group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Clinton T. Ferguson (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Alfonso M. Maynez (grave photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT Donald R Dunberg (photo, obituary, grave photo)
FindAGrave - TSGT Wesley J Hicks (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Walter C Sankey, Jr (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt Robert F Snelling (obituary, grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Tommy Joe Grimes (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Everett W Welch (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Andrew J Rausch (obituary, grave photo, memorial marker photo)
Legacy of the 90th Bomb Group pages 150 (January 10, 1945 mission lists pilot as 2nd Lt. Roger A. Ryder), 154 (January 1945 casualties), 200 (chronological casualty list), 206 (index Ryder)
Thanks to Michael McAlonie for additional information

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020

 

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B-24

MIA
MIA
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