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  B-24L-5-CO Liberator Serial Number A72-88 Code ?-GR
RAAF
24 Squadron

Former Assignments
7 OTU

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Goh Loon 2008
Pilot  FLT Lt. A. A. Cambridge (survived)
Co-Pilot  WOFF F. Crawford, 425611 (WIA, survived)
Navigator  FLTLT John Richard Parkinson, 411371 (KIA, BR) Arncliffe, NSW
Bombardier  PLTOFF G. W. Rhodes, 413255 (survived)
Flight Engineer  SGT A. G. Cullen, 19835 (survived)
Wireless  PLTOFF S. N. Johnson, 416767 (survived)
Wireless  FLTLT V. Scanlon, 416131 (WIA, survived)
Gunner  FLGOFF John Macpherson Pitt, 401830 (KIA, BR) Brighton, VIC
Gunner  SGT E. W. Jennings, 443957 (WIA, survived)
Gunner  SGT E. L. Francis, 442341 (survived)
Force Landed  February 3, 1945 at 11:55pm


Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Constructors Number 5396. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24L-5-CO Liberator serial number 44-41460. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Liberator A72-88. Assigned to 7 Operational Training Unit (7 OTU). Later, assigned to No. 24 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. Fuselage code ?-GR painted in black lettering.

Mission History
On February 3, 1945 took off from Fenton Airfield piloted by FLT Lt. A. A. Cambridge on a mission. Returning in the late evening, this bomber was unable to locate the flare illuminated runway, likely due to hazy visibility of only a mile and at approximately 11:55pm force landed roughly two miles west of Fenton Airfield. During the lading, this Liberator crashed through trees that reduced speed and came to rest upright. On impact, a fire began in the nose and under the flight deck likely caused by the auxiliary power unit.

Fates of the Crew
Aboard, Parkinson and Pitt were killed in impact of the crash. Francis had his foot jammed in the waist gunner's area until freed by Crawford and Rhodes. Meanwhile, the B-24 caught fire. Aboard, Rhodes carried out Jennings who was badly injured. Scanlon, also dangerously injured managed to throw himself out of the aircraft and was carried to safety by Cambridge and Crawford who was slighly inured.

Rescue
Within an hour of the crash, a 21 Squadron Tiger Moth helped guide ground parties to the crash site in a boggy area full of trees without any roads.

Recovery of Remains

At the crash site, the bodies of Parkinson and Pitt were recovered.

Memorials
Parkinson and Pitt were officially declared dead the day of the mission. The next day, both were buried at Adelaide River Cemetery. Parkinson at D.D.11. Pitt at D.D.12.

Wreckage
Pieces of wreckage from this Liberator were recovered from the crash site. The recovered pieces including a section of the fuselage with "GR" and "A72-88". This fuselage section is on display at Australian Aviation Heritage Centre (Darwin Aviation Museum).

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24L-5-CO Liberator 44-41460
"41460 to RAAF as A72-88"
ADF Serials - Liberator A72-88
CWGC - John Richard Parkinson
CWGC - John Macpherson Pitt

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020

 

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Liberator
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