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Anyone searching for "Heaven Can Wait" S/N 42-734

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:37 am
by smil1025
I was wondering if the Army or any researchers are trying to recover the following plane? This was my Uncle's plane and it sure would be nice to know that this crew is being looked for. If not, does anyone know who to contact to try and get some research done on finding this plane / crew?

B-24J-50-CO "Heaven Can Wait" Serial Number 42-73496

Mission History
Aircraft was engaged on a bombing mission from Eniwetok to Ponape. Due to electrical problems the aircraft was delayed on take off for approximately two hours. It was never heard from again.
There were reports by "Tokyo Rose" that a B-24 was shot down over Ponape on the date in question. This was the only B-24 that did not return.

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:19 pm
by Daniel Leahy
Basic details for this aircraft can be found on the Project PRIAM at the following URL: ... d=42-73496

I will try and get some more details on there ASAP.

Re: Anyone searching for "Heaven Can Wait" S/N 42-734

Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:44 pm
by Gyrene
As far as I know, only a PBJ and an F4U actually crashed on Ponape. Of course, that does not mean that the B-24 in question wasn't hit over Ponape and crashed on the reef or at sea. Let me e-mail this to a friend and see what I can find out.

Semper Fi,

Re: Anyone searching for "Heaven Can Wait" S/N 42-734

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:01 am
by Gyrene
I just received a reply from Stan Gajda on Ponape (Pohnpei). Stan has lived on Ponape for the past nine years and has documented the wreckage of the PBJ and the F4U that crashed on the island. He also knew of the loss of another F4U that ditched in the water off Ponape and was surprised when I inquired about the loss of this Liberator. He indicated that he has asked many people over the years for information regarding aircraft wreckage, but has never been told of anything other than the PBJ and the F4U. He speculates that the "Tokyo Rose" broadcast was a propaganda ploy to show the Americans how powerful the air defenses were on Ponape.

Sorry that there is not more information, but I was pretty sure that there was no knowledge of a B-24 crash on Ponape. Another resident on Ponape, Gene Ashby, indicated in his book that only the PBJ and F4U crashed on the island during the war.

Stan also mentioned that he just returned from Tarawa. While there, he was going to dive on a new B-24 wreck in the lagoon, but his plans were canceled due to strong winds.

Re: Anyone searching for "Heaven Can Wait" S/N 42-734

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:49 pm
by smil1025
I was wondering if anyone has done anything further to search for my Uncle's plane "Heaven Can Wait"? Would anyone have any information to share with me on this plane and crew? I will be glad to share any information that the government has provided me on my briefings with the MIA/POW organization. I have all my Uncle's papers that were filed for the 'search' efforts during the following 3 days after this plane went missing......Would be WONDERFUL if I could get a search team out there, I am sure this plane could be found !!! I have the coordinates of the Mae West life jacket, oar and life boat that was found which is listed on the 'search' report. Would this be of any help to any search team? Please feel free to contact me at with any questions/comments. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart....My Uncle was MY HERO !! I will search until my dying day for him !!!!

Re: Anyone searching for "Heaven Can Wait" S/N 42-734

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:33 pm
by obxgyrene
I am sending you an e-mail. Keep an eye out for it.

Re: Anyone searching for "Heaven Can Wait" S/N 42-734

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:21 pm
by PF