|Missing In Action (MIA)||Prisoners Of War (POW)||Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)|
|Chronology||Locations||Aircraft||Ships||Submit Info||How You Can Help||Donate|
|Pilot 2nd Lt. Jimmie L. Riche, O-700980 (MIA / KIA) Port Arthur, TX
Passenger 1st Lt. Raymond A. Priebe, O-679940 (MIA / KIA) Waukesha, WI
Passenger Pvt. Alan L. Bagby, 37621396 (MIA / KIA) La Belle, MS
Passenger Pvt. Eldridge S. Edens, 34725178 (MIA / KIA) Elizabethton, TN
Crashed February 5, 1945
Built by Noorduyn. Constructor Number 167. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as UC-64A Norseman serial number 43-5176. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 433rd Troop Carrier Group (433rd TCG), 68th Troop Carrier Squadron (68th TCS) based at Mokmer Drome on Biak Island. No known nickname or nose art.
On February 5, 1945 took off from Mokmer Drome on Biak Island piloted by 2nd Lt. Jimmie L. Riche on his first mission transporting cargo bound for Owi Drome on Owi Island. This aircraft was observed by other pilots going into a spin and crash into the sea. At 2:00pm this aircraft was observed to crash into Yapen Strait (Japen Strait) roughly six miles southeast of Owi Island. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
The entire crew was declared dead the day of the mission. All four are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
None of the crew earned the Purple Heart posthumously as the flight was not deemed to be in a combat zone. Previously, Priebe earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.
Bagby also has a memorial marker at La Belle Cemetery in La Belle, Missouri.
Jim Riche (son) adds:
"My Father arrived at Nadzab, New Guinea in August 1944 were he was assigned to the 68th squadron of the 433 TCS. Later in 1944, the squadron moved to Biak. He normally flew as a copilot on C-47s and was transitioning to C-46s just before he was killed. Some of places he flew were: Saidor, Port Moresby, Wau, Lae, Finschhafen, Noemfoor, Wakde, Owi, Borokoe, Luzon, Morotai, Mindoro, and Lingayen.
the last several years I have been trying to learn about the area and uncover
any other details. Like, what kind of cargo would a single engine UC-64 be
carrying to Owi. Some of the above information comes from my
Father's papers and letters my Mother received from the War Department. Other
information comes from Veterans of the 68th who I meet at several of their
reunions in the 1990s. I would be most interested if
you uncover any additional information.
|Discussion Forum||Daily Updates||Reviews||Museums||Interviews & Oral Histories|