41-24220         B24


On 14 October 1943, at 1245 hours, B-24D, # 41-24220, assigned to the 7th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Squadron, departed Pandaveswar, India, on a bombing mission to Rangoon, Burma. Weather was reported as scattered cumulus clouds at 12,000 feet, 40% coverage, slight haze, good weather. It was shot down by enemy aircraft and was said to have gone down “blazing.” The crew was comprised of:

                                           Pilot                             1st Lt Harold W Goad                          0-659694

                                           Co-Pilot                       2ndLt William G Schrader                   0-681482

                                           Navigator                    2ndLt Clarence A. King                       0-747093

                                           Bombardier                  2ndLt Russell C Gebert                       0-676372

                                           Engineer                      TSgt Omar A Austin                           20150369

                                           Radio Operator            TSgt Robert W Witte                           19059282

                                           Asst Engineer              SSgt Francis E Sawyer                         16046505

                                           Asst Radio Operator    SSgt George H Marshall                      33114877

                                           Armorer Gunner          SSgt Frank J Chiarello                          11041104

                                          Armorer Gunner          Sgt Frank A Peters                               18016954

                                          (Enlisted men are dually trained as gunners)

The MACR indicates that Austin, Witte, Sawyer, Marshall, Chiarello, and Peters died in the crash. The aircraft was last seen by 493rd Squadron Commander Wesley Werner, Major, 0-399595, 1stLt Earl W Healzer, 0-661928, 1stLt Hugo R Franz, Jr, 0-728195, and 1stLt Daniel Grinnan, IV, 0-791094.  They saw that parachutes were used. They observed a parachute near Rangoon, the figure in the harness was limp. The parachutes were seen just before the aircraft disintegrated; one parachute was streaming in a column and not seen to open; of the three that opened, two were on fire.


The statement by 1stLt Grinnan was: “My first sight of Lt. Goad’s plane in trouble was approximately two or three minutes before it disintegrated. From the co-pilot’s seat in the lead ship, I saw the bomb-bay aflame and smoking badly, also that Lt. Goad was having difficulty holding his position in formation upon our right wing. Several enemy fighter attacks followed after this, and I was able only to get interrupted glimpses of Lt. Goad’s plane. However, about a minute before the end, it pulled up well into position and I could see that the fire and smoke had increased. At this point, Lt. Goad pulled away to the right ahead and below us and we turned away also for the safety of the formation. During this last minute no enemy attacks were made and I saw what looked to bea bomb-bay door drop off, smoking. A big fire then was plainly visible in the bomb-bay from which still issued a long trail of black smoke. The plane had pulled away to a distance roughly 500 yards away from us, when the wings on either side collapsed downwards, the fuselage broke in two – then quickly followed the complete disintegration of the main parts, which fell away behind us. I last saw several great blazes and many individual pieces falling. From my position, it was impossible to see any individual person. After first seeing him in trouble, we were unable to contact Lt. Goad by radio.”