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  B-32-20-CF Dominator Serial Number 42-108528  
5th AF
312th BG
386th BS

Stull August 28, 1945
Pilot  1st Lt. Collins Orton, O-714741 (rescued) San Francisco, CA
Co-Pilot  F/O John A. Clark, T-62894 (rescued) Lockport, NY
Navigator  Captain Roy C. Cunningham, O-728460 (rescued) Berkeley, CA
Asst Navigator  1st Lt. Robert C. Styles, O-708958 (rescued) Bowmont, ND
Bombardier  2nd Lt. Elmer O. Jones, O-769046 (rescued) Peoria, IL
Photographer  2nd Lt. John L. Boyd, O-2076519 (rescued) Tulsa, OK
Photographer  Sgt Forrest B. Butler, 19182260 (rescued) Los Angeles, CA
Engineer  MSgt Paul E. Fairchild, 15059592 (rescued) Columbia City, IN
Radio  SSgt Wiley D. Pringle, 18155921 (rescued)
Gunner  SSgt Anthony D. Harris, Jr., 34671045 (rescued)
Gunner  Sgt John S. Munsell, 15126707 (rescued) Columbus, OH
Gunner  SSgt George A. Murphy, 12095098 (WIA, Buried at Sea / MIA) Patterson, NJ
Armor-Gunner  Sgt Morris C. Morgan, 35128696 (MIA / KIA) Georgetown, KY
Crashed  August 28, 1945 at 7:07pm
MACR  14920

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated-Vultee at Fort Worth, Texas. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-32-20-CF Dominator serial number 42-108528. Also known as #528 for the last three digits of the serial number.

Wartime History
On May 14, 1945 took off from Fort Worth Army Air Field piloted by Major Henry S. Britt on a flight bound for Mather Army Air Field. On arrival, the landing gear failed to extend and required the crew it to be manually lowered. On May 17, 1945 departed Mather Army Air Field on a flight to Hickam Field. After minor repairs and servicing, departed alone on May 21, 1945 bound for Kwajalein Airfield where the bomber was grounded due to electrical problems and further repaired. On May 25, 1945 departed for Guam to refueled. The next day departed for Clark Field. joining B-32 42-108529 and B-32 42-108532 that had arrived a day earlier.

On May 26, 1945 assigned to the 312th Bombardment Group (312th BG), 386th Bombardment Squadron (386th BS) at Clark Field. No known nickname or nose art.

On May 29, 1945 this bomber was scheduled to fly the first bombing mission piloted by Col. Steven D. McElroy armed with nine 1,000 pound bombs with B-32 "The Lady is Fresh" 42-108529 and B-32 "Hobo Queen II" 42-108532. Before take off, a faulty generator forced this bomber to abort the mission.

On May 31, 1945 transfered from Clark Field to Floridablanca Airfield. This B-32 continued to experienced mechanical problems and was often grounded for repairs.

On June 13, 1945 took off from Floridablanca Airfield on a bombing mission against Koshun Airfield. Over the target at 12,000', three bombs became hung up and were instead salvoed off the southern coast of Formosa.

On June 22, 1945 took off from Floridablanca Airfield on a bombing mission with B-32 "The Lady is Fresh" 42-108529 against Heito Butanol Plant and nearby anti-aircraft guns at Heito on Formosa. Over the target, this B-32 was targeted by accurate anti-aircraft fire at the same altitude and course and made a bomb run from 15,000' dropping 500 pound bombs that caused large explosions but ten bombs failed to release and were salvoed after leaving the target area.

On August 11, 1945 flown from Floridablanca Airfield to Yontan Airfield on Okinawa with B-32 "Hobo Queen II" 42-108532.

On August 25, 1945 took off from Yontan Airfield with B-32 42-108544 on a photographic mission over Tokyo On the way to the target the two other bombers in the formation B-32 "Hobo Queen II" 42-108532 and B-32 "Harriet's Chariot" 42-108543 aborted the mission due to mechanical problems. Over the target, there was no opposition and both bombers returned safely.

Mission History
On August 28, 1945 took off from Yontan Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. Collins Orton with B-32 42-108578 on a photographic mission over Tokyo. Each bomber was flying with a bomb bay fuel tank for extra range. Due to lingering mechanical issues with this bomber, the pair flew at 3,000' instead of climbing higher that would require using the auxiliary fuel pumps that were prone to malfunction aboard this bomber. The weather was scattered cumulus nimbus .1 high and cirrus clouds .1 with an undercast at 1,200'.

Due to cloud cover, the pair only took forty photographs with none over the assigned target area. Departed at 2:30pm at an altitude of 4,500' and began transferring fuel from the bomb bay tank into the main tanks when the no. 2 engine lost power and was feathered. At 6:45pm at 3,000' the no. 4 engine also lost power and was feathered. Spotting a friendly U. S. Navy (USN) destroyer, the bomber circled and jettisoned all equipment. At 6:50pm the crew radioed they were going to bail out, the last radio messages were at 7:03pm when the crew bailed out and left the radio key down to transmit a signal until impact at 7:07pm crashing into the sea east of Amami-O-Shima and north of Kikai Jima.

This was the last U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) aircraft lost on a combat mission during World War II. When lost, engines Wright 3350-23 serial numbers 41-W-46400, DW-201360, W-462423 and DW-204503. Armed with .50 caliber machine guns makers and serial numbers unknown.

Fates of the Crew
The entire crew bailed out and landed in the sea. Murphy sustained internal injuries when he landed. Morgan had his parachute malfunctioned and failed to open and was presumed to have died on impact, he remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA). The rest of the crew landed safely and inflated their life vests and life rafts.

The crew were rescued by two destroyers. Three of the crew were rescued by USS John D. Henley (DD-553). The others were rescued by USS Aulick (DD-569) including Murphy who died of his wounds and was buried at sea.

Morgan earned the Purple Heart, posthumously and remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA). He is memorialized at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) on the courts of the missing, court 7. He also has a memorial marker at Georgetown Cemetery in Georgetown, KY at section N, Lot 1150 Block 5. Grave Number 1.

Murphy earned the Air Medal, Purple Heart, posthumously. He was buried at sea and is listed as Missing In Action (MIA). He is memorialized at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) on the courts of the missing, court 7.

NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Collins Orton
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - John A. Clark
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Elmer O. Jones
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Forrest B. Butler
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Wiley D. Pringle
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -- John S. Munsell
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - George A. Murphy

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-32-20-CF Dominator 42-108528
"108528 (312th BG, 386th BS) crashed east of Amaro-O-Shima Aug 28, 1945 after engine failure. 11 of 13 aboard survived. One of the last operational missions of WW2"
Missing Air Crew Report 14920 (MACR 14920) created August 31, 1945 lists Murphy's body as recovered [sic, he was buried at sea]
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George A. Murphy
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Morris C. Morgan
FindAGrave - SSgt George A Murphy (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Morris C Morgan (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Morris C. Morgan (memorial marker photo)
Dominator (1984) pages 44, 46, 49
Rampage of the Roarin' 20's (2009) pages 306 (May 26, 1945 assignment), 315 (June 13, 1945), 315-316 (June 22, 1945), 333 (August 25, 1945 mission) 333-335 (August 28, 1945 mission, photo), 353 (August 29, 1945 crew MIA), 356 (42-108528), 411 (index Orton)

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Last Updated
August 28, 2020


Tech Information

8, 1945

2 Missing
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