BEFORE AND AFTER PAGE 3
More phases of an airframe life in combat
BA3 #2a BEN BUZZARD. On 18 October 1943 it ditched in Bootless bay in bad weather. Only four of the 10 crew survived. Today: The port wing is against the reef at 1m. The starbord wing is 9m deep. The fuselage is broken in half behind the wings, and the rear is missing. Inside the fuselage is filled with silt and debris. One machine gun is visible. Visibility on the wreck is almost zero due to its proximity to shore.
BA3 #10C LIBERTY BELLE: Took off on a night bombing mission over Bacuit Bay, Palawan on 30 October 1944. Spotted a Japanese task force of cruisers and destroyers. Hit by anti-aircraft fire in one of the engines, forcing the bomber to head eastward towards Tacloban, the nearest Allied base. En route, a second engine failed. When the bomber arrived at Tacloban airfield the area was under Japanese air attack and American gunners were firing. He attempted a force landing with only two engines, but obstructions forced him to abort. During the second landing attempt, a white phosphorous bomb burst on the runway. He applied the brakes causing the nose wheel to blow out, but the bomber landed without injury to the crew. Abandoned in a swampy area at the north-western end of the airfield.
BA3 #15a STUGOTT'S 1ST Took off from Dobodura on an armed reconnaissance mission to shadow a ten ship convoy near Kavieng to the limit of their fuel. At 1:40am they radioed: "Three direct hits on a CL [Light Cruiser] or CA [Heavy Cruiser], 0.3005 15100E target destroyed". Their final message was received at 1:20am "Turn on radio range". No further messages were received and a search failed to locate the missing aircraft. This wreck was discovered outside Lae in 2002 by locals. The crash site was found at at 10,800' in the Sarawagget Range, near the village of Imon. The bomber's five day clock shows that it crashed at 1:21, a minute after its last radio call. This bomber was focus of a CILHI recovery PP0088 during July - August 2003 and 2004 led by Captain Paul Royale. In July 2006, the military announced that the crew of nine were all identified, and returned to their families for burial. Armacost, Cameron, Hafner and Lascelles were buried July 19, 2006 at Arlington National Cemetery, as were the group remains that couldn't be matched specifically to any missing airman. Individual remains of the other five have been buried elsewhere. Raymond Cisneros was buried in Webster, TX.
BA3 #16a WHO'S NEXT? Original Scott Project aircraft. Here it has collapsed the nosewheel after running across a ditch during taxying. Repaired, it crashed 7 December, 1944 into Mt. Malasimbo (near or in the town of Calapan in the province of Oriental Mindoro) on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines, killing the crew headed by Lt. Savage
BA3 #17 THE CAPTAIN AND HIS KIDS, 41-23800, 44BG. Peter Yee, whose Great Uncle was the Bombardier on 41-23800 has weighed in on this sequence. There were two different B-24Ds coded 'Y' named similarly in the 44th, and it seems that this picture is actually 41-24112 CAPTAIN AND HIS KIDS RIDE AGAIN. The wording was printed on an opened newspaper headed 'SECOND EDITION'. The newspaper was not present on the original artwork and this is JUST visible on the picture above, meaning that it is actually 41-24112. Rather than remove the sequence altogether, since both aircraft were SO similar, I have elected to retain both images with this explanation.
BA3 #18b EAGER EVE/HAG MAG THE MOTHBALL QUEEN flew on the a August 1943 Ploesti mission and on 6 October 1943 while taking off on the return flight from Marrakesh to the UK, hit a wall when just airborne. All but the pilots bailed out and the pilots crash landed it. It remained there and was reduced to components.
BA3 #25a THE JINX lived up to its name; repaired after a crash landing at Garveston, near Shipdham, receiving extensive battle damage from the 13 November 43 mission, JINX later crashed and burned 13 January 44 at Letton Hall, Cranworth, Norfolk, after turning into a dead engine, losing height and crashing into a fir spinney, 2 miles east of the main runway. Lt. Glenn Hovey and crew were all killed before ever flying a mission. I note the recurrence of the #13!!