42-73060         B24

 

On 26 October 1943, at about 1210 hours, a B24J, # 42-73060, named the “Boogie Woogie Bomb Buggy,” departed from the 10th Air Force airbase at Panagarh, India, assigned to the 7th Bomber Group, Heavy, 492nd Bomber Squadron, on a combat mission to Rangoon, Burma, and return. After the mission, it was collided with by an enemy Zero, shot at, and while one or two parachutes were used, the aircraft crashed and burned. The crew was comprised of:

                                                       Pilot                             1stLt Roy G. Vaughn               0-435815

                                                       Co-Pilot                       2ndLt Arleen W. Sundal          0-798611

                                                       Navigator                    2ndLt Robert H. Waller           0-801530

                                                       Bombardier                  2ndLt Gustaf E. Johnson         0-682483

                                                       Engineer                      TSgt Harold C. Bell                 38116590

                                                       Radio Operator            TSgt Gilford H. Moen             36265427

                                                       Asst. Engineer             SSgt Henry A. Chlebowski      7021258

                                                       Asst. Radio Operator   SSgt Charles W. Wright            32501439

                                                       Armorer Gunner          SSgt Charles E. Vickers           36198133

                                                       Asst. Armorer              SSgt Salvatore C. Assisi           13130967

                                                       (All enlisted men doubled as gunners)

The witnesses to the crash were: SSgt Thomas L. Grady, 31108546 (sighted); TSgt Pete (NMI) Hinman, 17034046 (sighted); SSgt Glenn E. Brady, 13040709 (saw the crash). Some parachutes were used by the crew. No search was made. Hinman wrote that: He was a ball turret gunner on the lead ship of the 2nd element and saw the B-24J go down after a collision with an enemy Zero. A Zero made a side attack on our ship from about 3 o’clock and continued past us toward the B-24J behind. He lost the Zero behind the tail fin and saw him again just as he crashed into the B-24J. The tail of the Zero broke off a few feet behind the trailing wing edge and the Zero fell off and went into a spin. The B-24J was broken in half at about the waist windows. It also went into a slow spin with all four engines running. He saw one chute open and it was circled by another Zero. Grady wrote that: He a tail gunner of the lead ship of the 2nd element. He glanced at the B-24J at the moment a Zero collided with it. There was an explosion in the rear section of the B-24J and pieces flew all directions. The tail section was shattered and, from the waist windows forward, began a slow spin downwards. He saw one chute open. The Zero went into a faster spin than the B-24J and he saw the Zero crash but did not see the B-24J crash. He saw no fires. Brady wrote that: He first saw the B-24J when it was in trouble, in back of the formation and to the right. The # 2 engine smoke badly. It kept dropping behind. At least four Zeros kept making passes from the right side. One Zero appeared not to pull out in time and crashed into the tail of the B-24J. What he saw go down was a B-24 wing and the Zeros followed it down. Hey also followed 2 parachutes he saw open. The B-24J crashed into the jungle and burned. He last saw clouds of black smoke.