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Yap Island Mission Loss—13 June 1944

The following plane was lost on 13 June 1944 on a mission to Yap Island. I would greatly appreciate anyone's help to locate additional information regarding the information listed below. Submit additional information, updates, newpaper articles, pictures, and supporting documents to: pat@missingaircrew.com

Date: Plane Type: Unit: Crew Names: Supporting Documents:
13 June 1944 B-24D1

43rd BG, 67th BS All 10 Men listed as MIA:
  1. Pilot 1st Lt. John G. Duvall PA
  2. Co-Pilot 1st Lt. Fred M. Vosse OK
  3. Navigator 2nd Lt. Edward K. Cornelius PA
  4. Bombardier 2nd Lt. William B. Edwards CA
  5. Radar 1st Lt. Roy L. Bridges TX
  6. Engineer SSgt Charles V. Meeder PA
  7. Radio TSgt Edward Jennings NY
  8. Asst Eng. SSgt Thomas K. Manning OH
  9. Asst Radio SSgt Archie Noah Jones TX
  10. Gunner SSgt Conrad J. Hembree TN
  11. Gunner Sgt Richard M. Farnsworth MA
MACR 9340

AC# 42-72811



MACR #59340
(LARGE FILE—pdf file 37 MB)

Description

B-24D1 (S/N 42-72811) assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group (Heavy), 67th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) of the 5th AAF, and piloted by 1st Lt. John Duvall, was lost on a mission to bomb Yap (MACR 9340, dated 15JUN44).

B-24D1 Crew of the aircraft named "Uncle Sam," S/N 42-72811, left Mokerang, Los Negros Island, Admiralty Island Group, on 13 June 1944, on a mission to bombYap in the Caroline Islands.

Apparently the crew was stationed at either Nadzab or Lae, New Guinea, and were furnished to the 90th group as a pathfinder for a night strike mission against Yap in the Caroline Islands.

They must have flown to Mokerang and left from that airfield, apparently on schedule. It is unknown why the plane was lost, although tropical storms were reported in the area, but two aircraft of the following 90th group reported a plane burst into flames, and upon descent to investigate they observed airplane wreckage including a wing. A squadron mate presumed it was AA fire, but other reports show no enemy activity.

A subsequent search confirmed that it was the "Uncle Sam" aircraft with no survivors at an estimated location is 30 North and 146 West in 2200 fathoms of water. The 90th went on to attack Yap that day and subsequent days thereafter, but the "Uncle Sam" number 811 was the only loss for the 43rd that week.

Notes from John Goodale

Richard Miller Farnsworth (Dickie), born 26 May 1922 was my uncle. "Dickie"attended Deerfield Academy, Dartmouth, and Trinity College, before he entered the service on 29 Jan 1943. He trained in the USA from 10 Feb 1943 to 17 Mar 1944. He attained the rank of Sgt in the Army Air Force (S/N 31 294 168).

He was lost on a mission on 13 June 1944 and declared dead 07 Nov 1944. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart and is listed on the MIA section in the Manila American Cemetery.

Duty Stations for Richard Miller Farnsworth

Hg SCU #1112 Ft. Devens, MA from 29Jan43 to 10Feb1943 Pres. ACEB. Ft. Devens, MA from 10Feb43 to 07Mar1943 AF. CLC. Nashville TN from 9Mar1943 to 20Apr1943 HQAAFBTC Biloxi MS from 21Apr1943 to 12May1943 CG Scott Field IL from14May1943 to 24Sep1943 (copy yearbook) 21st Academic Sq. Ft Myers FL from 24Sep1943 to 28Nov1943 (gunnery training) Ft Myers FL from 27Oct1943 to 28Nov1943 Hamilton Field CA from 06Mar1944 to 17Mar1944

Will dated Feb 24, 1944, executed at Buckingham Army Air Field in Fort Meyers Florida.

Command V Group 43rd Group (H) 64th Squadron (H)

B-24D1 Crew of "Uncle Sam," SN 42-72811 left Mokerang, Los Negros, Admiralty Islands on 13 June 1944 on a mission to Yap Pilot 1st Lt. John G. Duvall PA Co Pilot 1st Lt. Fred M. Vosse OK Navigator 2nd Lt. Edward K. Cornelius PA Bombardier 2nd Lt. William B. Edwards CA Radar 1st Lt. Roy L. Bridges TX Engineer SSgt Charles V. Meeder PA Radio TSgt Edward Jennings NY Asst Eng. SSgt Thomas K. Manning OH Asst Radio SSgt Archie Noah Jones TX Gunner SSgt Conrad J. Hembree TN Gunner Sgt Richard M. Farnsworth MA

DATA

From the MACR 9340 (Missing Air Crew Report) dated 15 June 1944: Left Mokerang on a strike mission to Yap. Tropical storms reported in area. Lost due to "other circumstances." A report made on 9 Sept 1944 regarding the 14 June said wreckage had been found with no survivors despite significant searching.

From the 43rd Association historian:

On the night of the 13/14 June the 64th furnished the "pathfinder" for a strike on Yap by way of Moekering. This plane took off as scheduled, but never reached the target. A 90th group plane that was following, saw an explosion over the water and flying down to investigate, reported a burning wing on the ocean. The aircraft was listed as missing after it did not reach Hollandia. No other 43rd planes were (apparently) on this mission. (See mission history, 63rd made armed recco, S. China Sea - last message from #026.) (see MACR - 90th B.G. report is attached to MACR.)"

Stories from family etc.

Lt. Fuller former Co pilot with Duvall:

"A night mission to Palau Captain Doubleday"

Night mission over Palau. Navigator on another ship saw ship blow up, no doubt hit by Ack Ack, same comment from Ben Schneider Gunner who returned to Tulsa "A night pathfinder mission, supposed to lead mission back. No bombs on board, no enemy opposition, might be down in jungle.

Mrs. Jennings - Number on picture 100 A B 3C 208-1

Sister reported he was a tail gunner. I would like to see some operational reports to learn more about what was the Squadron doing from 17 Mar through 13 June 1994 and how my uncle was involved.

Notes from Richard Goodale from family records concerning Dickie's last mission:

Based at Nadzab, New Guinea (NE side of Markham river, opposite the mouth of the Wampit river). Near Lae. In 64th Bomber Squadron, 43 Bomb Group. Lost June 13th on a mission to Yap. B-24 (Liberator) bomber. Plane loaded with fragmentation and flack bombs. 5 hours out. 6 officers and 5 men lost. One armed reconnaissance sent out. Loss attributed to accident. Last reported between Mokerang (easterly end of Manus island) and Yap (00-45 N & 145-30 E). His was the only plane lost in the squadron that week.

Notes from IDPF (Individual Deceased Personnel File) of Richard M. Farnsworth

Plane SN 42-72811, a B-24D1, took off from Mokerang Field, Los Negros Island, Admiralty Islands 13 June 1944, to participate in a strike against Yap Island in the Caroline Islands. Wreckage was reported found by a Catalina, no survivors. Graves registration case number 2544.

Declared KIA on 23 Nov 1944. Two ships from 90th Group reported a plane burst into flames and crashed in the water.

I have a report that an eyewitness discovered the wreckage in the ocean. How would they know which aircraft they had found?

Please submit additional information.

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