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41-23786

B-24 Liberator

B-24D 41-23786 was assigned to 44th Bomb Group, 68th Bomb Squadron at Shipdham. Shot down by German fighters 6-December-1942 on a mission to bomb the German airfield Drucat at Abbeville, France. 10KIA. First loss for 44th Bomb Group. MACR 2920.

P 1Lt. James D. Du Bard, Jr. (KIA); CP 2Lt Henry B. Kaitala (KIA);
N 2Lt Richard V. Somerville (KIA); B 2Lt George A. Crawford (KIA);
E/TT G Sgt Charles S. Dick (KIA); RO Sgt William C. Mears (KIA);
BTG Sgt Robert F. Lilley (KIA); WG SSgt Paul E. Beverly (KIA)
WG Sgt Anthony F. Rizzo (KIA); TG Sgt Donald M. Smith (KIA)

Service

Units

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 68th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Paul Beverly

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined crew 3 August 1942. Shot down 6 December 1942 in B-24 41-23786 while serving as Ball Turret Gunner. Plane crashed into Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). First loss for the 44th BG.

  • George Crawford

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined crew 3 August 1942. Shot down 6 December 1942 in B-24 41-23786 while serving as Bombardier. Plane crashed into Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). First loss for the 44th BG.

  • Charles Dick

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 3 August 1942. Shot down 6 December 1942 in B-24 41-23786 while serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner. Plane crashed into Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). First loss for the 44th BG. Fw 190 (2) destroyed 6 December 1942

  • James Du Bard

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 6 December 1942 in B-24 41-23786 while serving as Pilot. Plane crashed into Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). First loss for the 44th BG.

  • James Dubard

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

  • Henry Kaitala

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Arrived in the ETO on the Queen Mary, 5 September 1942. Shot down 6 December 1942 in B-24 41-23786 while serving as Co-Pilot. Plane crashed into Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). First loss for the 44th BG.

  • Robert Lilley

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined crew 14 October 1942. Shot down 6 December 1942 in B-24 41-23786 while serving as Waist Gunner. Plane crashed into Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). First loss for the 44th BG.

  • William Mears

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined crew 10 April 1942. Shot down 6 December 1942 in B-24 41-23786 while serving as Radio Operator. Plane crashed into Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). First loss for the 44th BG.

  • Anthony Rizzo

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 6 December 1942 in B-24 41-23786 while serving as Waist Gunner. Plane crashed into Channel. Killed in Action (KIA). First loss for the 44th BG.

  • Harold Shorka

    Military | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

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Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 24

    6 December 1942
    The German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France is the primary target for 19 B-24s despatched from 44th Bomb Group but are recalled. One squadron of 6 does not hear the recall and proceeds to the target, 1 B-24 MIA. ...

Places

  • Shipdham

    Military site : airfield
    Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Over Water (OW) English Channel 6 December 1942

Attacked by German fighters and crashed into the English Channel mid-way between Boulogne and Beachy Head.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2014 19:47:25 Lee8thbuff Changes to description and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Dec-2014. Minor edit to description; added detail to FTR event per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
08 November 2014 21:55:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Nov-2014. Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 2920.

Date Contributor Update
08 November 2014 21:18:21 Lee8thbuff Changes to description, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Nov-2014. Missing AIr Crew Report (MACR) 2620; "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack McKillop.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:01 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 2920 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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