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  PB4Y-1 "The Schooner" Bureau Number 32069 Nose Number 69
USN
VB-104

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
VB-104 c1943
Commander  Lt(jg) Anton E. Anderson, O-114932 (MIA / KIA) Hennepin County, MN
First Pilot
  Lt. Marlin O. Andrews, Jr. O-146151 (MIA / KIA) TX
Co-Pilot
 Lt James C. Parker, O-146115 (MIA / KIA) TN
Plane Captain  AMM1C Don E. Pate, 2626985 (MIA / KIA) Mount Olive, NC
Engineer  AMM2C Harry W. Pierson, 6600992 (MIA / KIA) Kalispell, MN
Asst Engineer
 ARM1C William B. King, 4057846 (MIA / KIA) VA
Waist Gunner
  AOM3C Edward Brennan Healy, 7245895 (MIA / KIA) Chicago, IL
Radio Operator  AR1C David Solari, 6631000 (MIA / KIA) CA
Bow Gunner  AO1C Melbert M. Weinschenk, 3216989 (MIA / KIA) New Haven, IA
Ball Turret Gunner  AMM1C Robert F. Flack, 6465328 (MIA / KIA) NY
Tail Gunner  AMM1C John M. Nichols, 6061296 (MIA / KIA) MA
MIA  March 9, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-90-CO Liberator serial number 42-40709. Assigned to the U.S. Navy (USN) as PB4Y-1 Liberator bureau number 32069.

Wartime History
Assigned to Bombing Squadron 104 (VB-104). Nicknamed "The Schooner" (in captial letters) on the left side of the nose with nose number 69 (last two digits of the bureau number). Assigned to crew no. 16 under the command of Lt(jg) Anton E. Anderson. On the March 9, 1944 mission, the regular bombardier AOM1c R. H. Martin was sick with tonsillitis and did not fly the mission.

Mission History
On March 9, 1944 this PB4Y-1 took off from Munda Airfield on a search mission for PB4Y-1 "Whata-Honey" 32079 lost three days earlier over Kapingamarangi (Greenwich). Although they failed to find the bomber, they radioed they had spotted a vessel and were going to attack. Damaged, a faint radio signal was heard reporting they were going down. When this bomber failed to return the entire crew was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 16, 1946. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Anderson earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

Andrews earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

Parker should have earned the earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

Pate earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal with two Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at W D Pate Family Cemetery in Mount Olive, NC.

Pierson earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal with two Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously.

King earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal with two Gold Stars. He should have earned the earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk, VA at section B, block 7, lot 30.

Healy earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal with two Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Solari earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal with two Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Weinschenk earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal with two Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Flack earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal with two Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Nichols earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal with two Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Dog Tag Found
In 2009, Shane Elliott visited Munda Airfield and met local resident Graham Sale who had in his possession some dog tags, including the dog tag of Edward Brennan Healy, which Mr. Sale said was found in the hills near Munda Airfield. Likely, this dog tag was dropped prior to his loss or otherwise lost in the area. Elliott researched the dog tag, located his son Joel Healy and returned the dog tag to him on May 12, 2010, free of charge.

Relatives
Joel Healy (son of Edward Healy)

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-90-CO Liberator 42-40709
"40709 to USN as PB4Y-1 32069 Apr 29, 1943."
Navy Serial Number Search Results - PB4Y-1 Liberator 32069
"32069 (ex USAAF B-24D 42-40709)"
The Buccaneers of Harry Sears pages 254-256
VB-104 Album page 40 (Crew #7 Stoppleman with The Schooner 69), 49 (Crew #16 Anderson with 09)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Anton E. Anderson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Marlin O. Andrews Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James C. Parker
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Don E. Pate
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harry W. Pierson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William B. King
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edward B. Healy
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - David Solari
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Melbert M. Weinschenk
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert F. Flack
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John M. Nichols
FindAGrave - LtJG Anton E Anderson (tablets of the missing photos)
FindAGrave - Marlin O. Andrews, Jr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - LtJG James C Parker (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AMM1C Don E Pate (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Don Everett Pate (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - AMM2 Harry Waldo Pierson (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - ARM1 William B King (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - William Benjamin King (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - AOM3 Edward B Healy (obituary, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - ARM1 David Solari (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AOM1 Melbert M Weinschenk (photo, news, obituary, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AMM2 Robert F Flack (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AMM1 John M Nichols (tablets of the missing)
Fox5 Atlanta "Son Given Father's Lost WWII Dog Tags" May 25, 2010 story & video clip
AJC "66 years later, missing WWII vet's dogtag returned to son" May 31, 2010
Thanks to Joel Healy, Shane Elliott and Ted Darcy for additional information

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Last Updated
December 5, 2021

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PB4Y-1

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