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Comparing Original Crew Members vs. Crew Members Shot Down

The Coleman Crew (13th Air Force, 372nd Bombardment Squadron, 307th Bombardment Group) flying B-24J AAF Serial #44-40598 departed Mokerang Field, Los Negros the morning of 25 June 1944 with the ten crew members listed below. This was a thirteen hour round trip to a heavily defended target without friendly fighter cover. After bombs away on the Yap airfield the plane was attacked by a Japanese fighter and crashed on the SE tip of Yap Island.

The crew members who were declared MIA/KIA on 25 June 1944:

  1. Gerald D. Coleman, Pilot 2nd Lt
  2. * John E., Jr. Jurica, Co-Pilot 2nd
  3. Martin B. Unger, Navigator 2nd Lt
  4. * James F. Lind, Bombardier 2nd Lt
  5. Robert P. Wagoner, Engineer T/Sgt
  6. James R., Jr. Lykens, Ass't Engineer S/Sgt
  7. James R. Hurd, Radio Operator T/Sgt
  8. * John R. McCullough, Ass't Radio Operator T/Sgt
  9. * Romeo Tetreault, Gunner T/Sgt
  10. * Bill Williams, Jr., Armorer Gunner T/Sgt

* Crew members in red above "likely" not in the crew picture taken in November 1943.

Comparing Original Crew Members vs. Crew Members Shot Down

I have located a document dated 29 January 1944 that lists the original Coleman Crew members who departed the states (Hamilton Field) to their assignment with the 307th Bomb Group at Carney Field Guadalcanal as replacement crews. The crew members listed in this document includes the following men who were not with the Coleman crew when they were shot down on 25 June 1944:

Members of the Coleman Crew who shipped out with the Coleman crew on 29 January 1944 but were not on the plane when it was shot down on 25 June 1944:

  1. Sgt. Gilbert C. Romero (Replaced in the Pacific for unknown reason)
  2. Sgt. Fred R. Santarcangelo (Replaced in the Pacific due to disagreement with the pilot)
  3. Sgt. Lawrence Rein (Replaced in the Pacific when he became ill)

New Officer Names Found on Picture-Members of the Original Crew

This crew picture (same as we have received from other sources) was located by the family of 2nd. Lt. Coleman and sent to me in March 2008. It includes a few names that I have never heard before from the back row of officers. The new names included co-pilot 2nd Lt. David Grimwood and bombardier 2nd Lt. Marion Sebastian. Since the names were written on the back of the picture by 2nd. Lt. Coleman we can only assume that both Grimwood and Sebastian were members of the Coleman crew in November 1943 when it was originally put together. However, both were replaced (by co-pilot 2nd Lt. John E. Jurcia, Jr. and bombardier 2nd. Lt. James F. Lind) by the time the crew shipped out to the Pacific in February 1944.

Coleman Crew, 307th BG, 372nd BS

Coleman Crew officers in November 1943 Picture but were not with the crew when they shipped out to the Pacific on 29 January 1944:

  1. Co-pilot 2nd Lt. David Grimwood
  2. 2nd Lt. Marion Sebastian.

The following crew members including my uncle were replacement crew members for the men above. Members Coleman Crew when it was shot down but not in the original Coleman Crew picture taken in November 1943:

  1. T/Sgt. Bill J. Williams (Joined the crew in the Pacific)
  2. T/Sgt. Romeo Tetreault (Joined the crew in the Pacific)
  3. T/Sgt. John R. McCullough (Joined the crew in the Pacific)
  4. Co-pilot 2nd Lt. John E. Jurcia, Jr (Joined the crew in the states before shipping out)
  5. 2nd. Lt. James F. Lind (Joined the crew in the states before shipping out)

Coleman Crew Members in Picture:

Original Coleman Crew

Please Share Info

Please share any information you might have regarding the following men. Although they were not lost with the Coleman crew, all were members of the Coleman crew prior to the loss.

Mission Reports Listing the Coleman Crew

Thus far I can only locate seven mission reports involving the Coleman crew starting on 23 April 1944 and ended with the 25 June 1944 shoot down. View Coleman Crew mission reports.

Crew Picture Information from www.armyairforces.com forum:

Pat's Note: I received the following information from Phil Marchese via a question I asked on the http://www.armyairforces.com forum:

About the plane in the crew picture: The style of markings are common to OTU/RTU HBs in 1943. Also it was very common for crews to photographed before departing US. Plane is a stateside B-24-J in 42-73200s CO ; 42-64200s CF with last three as shown on nose. Photo in/after Fall 1943.
 

Please contact Pat to share additional information: pat@missingaircrew.com

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