Their B-24J was on 1stLt Allison’s right and could see that the right waist gun, tail guns, and the left nose turret gun were not firing. 1stLt Allison pulled out of formation and descended to about 300 feet. Four parachutes opened, three landed in the water and another in trees on an island. The B-24J lost altitude rapidly and crashed into the sea about 100 yards from shore. Upon water impact, the B-24J exploded and burned, and the fire died out immediately. They could still see the tail of the B-24J protruding from the water.

 

He was captured by the Japanese and eventually transferred by a “Hell Ship” to the Omori Headquarters prison camp in Tokyo, Japan. He was liberated in August 1945 after the Japanese unconditional surrender. After medical treatment and his recovery, he returned home. He attended Wayne State University, completed a doctorate of laws degree and practiced law with his father, Attorney William Kaufman. In 1957, he ran for a judicial seat in the Common Pleas Court, Detroit, Michigan, lost that race but won two years later and was sworn in as a judge. In 1964, he ran for a Circuit Court judicial seat and won. He served about thirty years. He died on 30 June 2004 in West Bloomfield, Oakland County, Michigan. He was survived by his wife, two sons, three daughters, and twelve grandchildren.

Charles Kaufman, WWII Navigator, lawyer, judge

IRIARTE, FRANCIS M., Second Lieutenant, #0-744199, USAAF

 

Francis M. Iriarte was born 16 March 1919 in New York to Iriarte and Leonora Blanca (Blanche) Capote nee Iriarte (1898-    ) (born San Juan, Puerto Rico).

 

He enlisted in New York, NY, on 14 January 1941. He completed extensive training as a bombardier on the B-24 and earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 15 April 1944 a flight of B-24J bombers assigned to the 7th Bomb Group, 9th Bomb Squadron, departed the 10th Air Force base at Pandeveswar, India, on a bombing mission to Port Blair. B-24J, # 42-100243, was in the flight and was last seen at about 1212 hours and crashed from fire from enemy aircraft. Staff Sergeants Page and DiBello, in another B-24J, reported that the formation of B-24J bombers was attacked by enemy fighters. The first pass knocked out the # 2 engine of our lead aircraft, flown by 1stLt Allison. It was feathered. The second pass started engine # 1 on fire. The remaining passes concentrated on the crippled B-24J. Their B-24J was on 1stLt Allison’s right and could see that the right waist gun, tail guns, and the left nose turret gun were not firing. 1stLt Allison pulled out of formation and descended to about 300 feet. Four parachutes opened, three landed in the water and another in trees on an island. The B-24J lost altitude rapidly and crashed into the sea about 100 yards from shore. Upon water impact, the B-24J exploded and burned, and the fire died out immediately. They could still see the tail of the B-24J protruding from the water. He is remembered on the memorial at the Manila American Cemetery & Mausoleum, Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.