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  PB4Y-1 "Rugged Beloved" Bureau Number 38913  
USN
FAW-10
VPB-111

MIA
USN c1945
Pilot  Lt(jg) Louis Tulane Bass, Jr., O-240715 (MIA / KIA) UT
Co-Pilot  Lt(jg) William L. Dernberger, O-278082 (MIA / KIA) NJ
Crew  Ens Philip C. Stretcher, 378816 USNR (MIA / KIA, BR) OR
Crew  ARM3c Alden P. Anders, 8599212 (MIA / KIA) Clay County, IA
Crew  ARM1c Robert H. Graham, 6506879 (MIA / KIA) PA
Crew  ARM3c Ray P. Kivitt, 7113286 (MIA / KIA) NJ
Crew  AMM3c Roger W. Mitchell, 8897569 (MIA / KIA) NM
Crew  AMM1c Henry V. Philpott, 2875379 (MIA / KIA) Corbin, KY
Crew  AOM3c George W. Pringle, 8575327 (MIA / KIA) OH
Crew  ARM3c Joseph Regiac, 7207917 (MIA / KIA) Wilkes-Barre, PA
Crew  ARM3c William A. Whitener, 5571576 (MIA / KIA) FL
Crashed  June 16, 1945

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation at San Diego as model 32. Constructors Number 5244. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24J-205-CO Liberator serial number 44-41308. Assigned to the U. S. Navy (USN) as PB4Y-1 Liberator 38913.

Wartime History
Assigned to Fleet Air Wing 10 (FAW-1), Patrol Bombing Squadron 111 (VPB-111). Known by the last three digits of the bureau number 913. Nicknamed "Rugged Beloved".

Mission History

On June 16, 1945 took off from Puerto Princesa Airfield on Palawan Island piloted by Lt(jg) Louis Tulane Bass, Jr. on a patrol mission over the Makasar Strait. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). In fact, this bomber conducted bombing and strafing runs over Makassar (Makasser) and was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed.

Search
On June 17, 1945 three special search missions were flown to search for this bomber without results totaling 7.2 hours.

Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of some of the crew were recovered and buried in a Christian church cemetery in Makassar. Postwar during 1947 six caskets were exhumed transported to Hawaii for permanent burial with Stretcher was individually identified.

During 2017, a Defense Department Office of MIA/POW Accountability reports the Makassar recovery with family members of the crew contacted to submit DNA samples for testing against the unknown remains recovered in the six caskets with contained four sets of remains that are presumably members of this crew.

Memorials
Stretcher earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. He is buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at section A site 267.

The other remains recovered in 1947 were buried as unknowns at at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).

The entire crew (with the exception of Stretcher) was officially declared dead on June 17, 1946. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Bass earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with Gold Star, Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Dernberger earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial at Old Tennent Churchyard in Tennent, NJ.

Alden P. Anders earned the Air Medal with two Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Lone Tree Cemetery in Sioux Rapids, IA.

Graham earned the Air Medal with two Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Kivitt earned the Air Medal with two Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Mitchell earned the Air Medal with two Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Philpott earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

Pringle earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

Regiac earned the Air Medal with three Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Whitener earned the Air Medal with two Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Myrtle Hill Memorial Park in Tampa, FL.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24J-205-CO Liberator 44-41308
"41308 to USN as PB4Y-1 38913"
Navy Serial Number Search Results - PB4Y-1 Liberator 38913
"38913 ex USAAF 44-41308"
NARA VPB-111 War Diary June 1945 page 9-10
(Page 9) "16 June 1495: Two negative patrols 24.8 hrs. On this date Lt.(jg) L. T. Bass and crew failed to return from a patrol through Makasar Straits. The entire crew is listed as missing in action."
(Page 10) "17 June 1945: No trace was found of Lt.(jg) Bass's plane or crew although three special searches were made in the area."
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List June 1945 6/13/1945 [sic 6/16/45] PB4Y-1 38913 VPB-111 Ltjg L. T. Bass
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Louis T. Bass Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William L. Dernberger
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Alden P. Anders
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert H. Graham
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ray P. Kivitt
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Roger W. Mitchell
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Henry V. Philpott
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George W. Pringle
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph Regiac
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William A. Whitener
FindAGrave - LTJG Louis Tulane Bass, Jr (photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - LtJG William Lyons Dernberger (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - LTJG William Lyon Dernberger (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Ens Philip Carlton Stretcher (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Alden Pearl Anders (photos, obituary tablets of the missing) death June 17, 1945 [sic June 16, 1945]
FindAGrave - Alden Pearl Anders (photo, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - ARM1 Robert H Graham (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - ARM3 Ray Philip Kivitt (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AMM3 Roger W Mitchell (photo, tablets of the missing)
"As of 2017, it has been discovered that remains of several of this crew WERE indeed recovered and buried in a Christian church cemetery in Makassar City, Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) Defense Department Office of MIA/POW Accountability reports that in 1947, six caskets were exhumed from the cemetery at Makassar and removed for burial at Punch Bowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu in unknown graves. Presently, family members of the crew are submitting DNA samples to DPAA with hopes that the crew buried in the six caskets (one of which contains four sets of remains) may be identified and repatriated to their families."
FindAGrave - AMM1 Henry Verlin Philpott (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AOM3 George William Pringle (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - ARM3 Joseph Regiac (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - ARM3 William A Whitener (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - William Alfred Whitener (memorial marker)

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Last Updated
June 16, 2020

Tech Information
PB4Y-1

Tech Information
MIA
10 Missing
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