Coleman Crew Documents

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307th B-24J Long Ranger
BOMBING: LIBERATOR OVER YAP - A U.S. Army 13th Air Force Consolidated B-24 Liberator is shown withdrawing from Yap Island after the formation bombed the strip, equipment, fuel dump and personnel areas during the first daylight raid on the Japanese strongh

Missing Air Crew Report:

Individual Aircraft Record Card:

The following document is the Individual Aircraft Record Card for B-24J-170, AAF Serial Number 44-40598. This is the plane that was lost with the Coleman Crew, Yap Island, 25 June 1944.

June 25, 1944 Mission Reports:

PAT NOTE: The 25 June 1944 mission with a joint stike between 2 squadrons of B-24's from the 5th Bomb Group and 2 squadrons of B-24's from the 307th Bomb Group to target the Yap Island Airfields. As you will read, the mission report statements about the Coleman shoot down are very different between the bomb groups.

Yap Drawing from the IDP File
Yap Drawing of Crash site from the from the Individual Deceased Personal File for Sgt John R. McCullough

Individual Deceased Personnel Files:

Additional Documents & Excepts:


I located a picture of a B-24 from the 307th Bomb Group, 372nd Bomb Squadron named THE WICKED WENCH (42-40863). My uncle's crew, the Coleman Crew, flew THE WICKED WENCH on a number of missions from April to June 1944. However, they were flying a brand new B-24, #598, the day they were shot down on June 25, 1944 over Yap Island. I met the widow of the navigator, Martin B. Unger, back in 2005. She was the first person to tell me that she thought the name of the Coleman B-24 was THE WICKED WENCH. The crews often flew different planes on missions but had preferred planes with the squadron inventory. I can only assume THE WICKED WENCH was the preferred plane of the Coleman Crew.

Click thumbnail to view large image

The Wicked Wench back of photo

The Wicked Wench

307th Bomb Group Mission Reports Involving the Coleman Crew prior to 25 June 1944::
Courtesy of the Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB AL

Date: Download Mission Report
(pdf file)
March-June 1944 307th Bomb Group, 373nd Bomb Squadron Combat Flying time for John E., Jr. Jurica - March to June 1944
(pdf file 504 KB)

PAT NOTE: The following Individual Flight Record (combat missions) from March to June 1944 was supplied by Paul Jurica (Nephew of co-Pilot John Jurica). The combat missions within this document likely related to the entire Coleman crew, however, I have not been able to locate mission reports listing the Coleman crew outside of the files listed below.

23 April 1944 Mission Report No. 307-247. Attack on Dublon Islands from stagging area of Ocean Field, Green Islands.
(pdf file 445 KB)

Coleman crew flying AC #863
27 April 1944 Mission Report No. 307-233. Attack on Dublon Islands from stagging area of Ocean Field, Green Islands.
(pdf file 170 KB)

Coleman crew flying AC #863
17 May 1944 Mission Report No. 307-261. Attack on AA positions on Biak Island
(pdf file 120 KB)

Coleman crew flying AC #372 turned back fifteen minutes after take off because of a failure in the aircraft's electrical system.
01 June 1944 Mission Report No. 307-275. Attack on enemy aircraft and repair facilities on Eten Island in the Truk Island group.
(pdf file 340 KB)

Coleman crew clying AC #863 turned back due to an oxygen leak making it impossible to reach bombing altitude.
07 June 1944 Mission Report No. 307-275. Attack on enemy installations in the Truk Islands.
(pdf file 340 KB)

Coleman crew one of three planes that dropped their bombs on their navigator's ETA on Truk. No land was sighted and the location of their hits cannot be determined. 16 planes turned back due to weather.
14 June 1944 Mission Report No. 307-233. Attack on Dublon Island & Truk Island
(pdf file 320 KB)

The Coleman crew shoots down two Hamp fighters. T/Sgt. Hurd and S/Sgt. Williams each credited for a Hamp fighter.
25 June 1944 Mission Report No. 307-292. Attack on Yap Island
(pdf file 270 KB)

Individual Aircraft Record Card for B-24J-170, AAF Serial Number 44-40598. Plane lost with the Coleman Crew, Yap Island, 25 June 1944
(pdf file 1.5 MB)

Aircraft #598 piloted by Lt. Coleman, was attacked by enemy aircraft about a minute and a half after bombs away. Direct hits were scored by the enemy interceptors on #2 and #3 engines. The cockpit and bombardiers compartment were seen with flames coming out of the windows which had been shot out. The plane made a perfect loop, then fell off to the right in a spin and crashed in the water 2 miles South of the runway. They were strafed all the way down and also after hitting the water. No parachutes were seen and it is believed that all members of the crew are dead.

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