44-41440         B24


On 5 November 1944, a B-24L, # 44-41440, assigned to 10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pandaveswar, India, on a bombing mission over coordinates 17º 42’ North & 92º 02’ East. All of the crew were killed in the crash of the B-24L. The crew were:


                                          Pilot                                         1stLt Thomas C. Cheaney Jr.                0-696550

                                          Co-Pilot                                   2ndLt Hollis K. Almondrode                0-765214

                                          Navigator                                2ndLt Andrew J. McDevitt                    0-707300

                                          Bombardier                              2ndLt Kenneth H. Strunk                     0-703071

                                          Engineer                                  TSgt Daniel Rapoza                              31299382

                                          Radio Operator                        TSgt Francis J. Sherby Jr.                     11081627

                                          Asst. Engineer                         SSgt Carl E. Smith                                16107675

                                          Armorer-Gunner                     Cpl Richard J. Prawdzik                        36809230

                                          “                                              SSgt Leo A. Ruggles                             19171256

                                          “                                              Cpl Frank R. Nolf                                 12075198


It was last sighted by 1stLt William T. Makovic, 0-696478, 2ndLt John M. Crowley, 0-712085, and 2ndLt George J. MeNamera, 0-869350. 1stLt Makovic reported that at 1840 hours (IST) he last saw Lt. Cheaney’s B-24. Lt. Cheany was at 2,000’ on a course of 190º at about 160 MPH. Makovic was flying parallel to Cheaney and was about 3-4 miles to Cheaney’s right. The weather worsened for a few minutes. It cleared and at the same moment, Lt. Cheaney’s B-24 veered across in front of him at about an 80º angle and disappeared into clouds to Makovic’s right. It was dark and Cheaney had his lights on. Cheaney’s turn was irregular because the flight plan was to continue on course for another 15 minutes before their first turn, which would be left, not right. There was no distress call and nothing appeared abnormal as to Cheaney’s B-24. A search with Capt. Louis A. Butler, Jr., 0-558867, commanding, was by eight planes on 7 November 1944.


No next-of-kin list was in the fold3.com file.