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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 193286
Last updated: 12 June 2020
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Date:03-FEB-1944
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic B24 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Consolidated B-24J Liberator
Owner/operator:26th BSqn /11th BGp USAAF
Registration: 42-73014
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 12
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:23 miles off Tarawa, by by 173 15 E 2 55 N -   Pacific Ocean
Phase: En route
Nature:Ferry/positioning
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Narrative:
During the night of 2-3 February 1944 the B-24J 42-73014 was lost on a ferry flight from Nurufetau in the Ellice Group to Tarawa with a crew of 26th BS, 11th BG. It was last sighted at 0204 hrs about 23 miles from Tarawa, bearing 160 from Mullinix Field, its planned destination.

The next day at 1400 hrs, an aircraft saw a debris field by 173 15 E 2 55 N, reporting a tail (shaped like a B-24 one), two life ratds, packages of food, several oxygen bottles, one bedroll, one A/P wheel but no personnel. Two F4F, a SBD abd a J2F were dispatched from Tarawa to search the area but no trace of the crew was ever found.

Crew & passengers (all lost):
2nd Lt Richard A Nicholson (pilot)
2nd Lt Leo Charles Rosselot, Jr (copilot)
2nd Lt Peter Holovak (navigator)
T/Sgt Victor H Holmes (engineer)
Sgt Paul H Reimers (assistant engineer)
Cpl Harry J Hutchinson (radio operator)
Sgt David E King (assistant radio operator)
S/Sgt Albert T Smith (nose gunner)
S/Sgt Donald R Hartmann (armor-gunner)
1st Lt Richard C Powell (passenger
Sgt Gordon D McGaffey (passenger)
Sgt Uno E Ylimainen (passenger)

The ABMC database shows that the crew were all experienced, all having been awarded the Air Medal with one or two Oak Leaf Cluster, indicating they flew respectively more than 10 and 15 missions. The three passengers had no such medal.

Sources:

MACR 2050 (available online at https://www.fold3.com/image/1/28711012)
http://www.armyairforces.com/m172571-print.aspx
https://www.abmc.gov/database-search
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56120958
http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/map/google_map_Tarawa.htm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
03-Feb-2017 22:46 Laurent Rizzotti Added
23-Mar-2020 08:34 DG333 Updated [Operator, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description