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B-24 Liberator

Assigned to 743BS, 455BG, 15AF USAAF. Departed the US for Italy on 22-Dec-43. Failed to Return (FTR) mission. Left formation en route to target on reciprocal heading after crew reported serious fuel leak. Crashed Piatra, Rumania 11-Jun-44. 9 POW 1 KIA. MACR 5771.

Crew: 2nd Lt Earl W Brawninger [P], 2nd Lt Robert M Murphy Jr [Co], 2nd Lt Jordan W Grant III [Nav], 2nd Lt Jimmy P Robinson [B], S/Sgt John W Shepherd [R], S/Sgt Frank W Luscinskas [Eng], Sgt Joseph P McMillan Jr [Eng], Sgt Wallace E Bailey [Arm], Sgt Robert F Kleeman [Arm] (KIA), Sgt Earnest P Lewis [Arm] (POW/KIA).



  • 455th Bomb Group

    455th Bomb Group

    The group was activated July 1943 with four essentially stand-alone bomb squadrons: 740th, 741st, 742nd, and 743rd. After a somewhat nomadic training regimen with dilapidated equipment, the pieces of the group came together at Langley, VA in October...

  • 743rd Bomb Squadron

    743rd Bomb Squadron

    Established as a B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment unit in mid-1943; assigned to II Bomber Command for training. Primarily trained in New Mexico and Utah received deployment orders for the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) in November 1943....


  • Earl Brawninger

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 455th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 743BS, 455BG, 15AF USAAF. Force landed in Romania in B-24 42-64500 after mechanical difficulties 11-Jun-44; released after Romania capitulated in Aug-44. Prisoner of War (POW) Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Robert Kleeman

    Military | Sergeant | Waist gunner | 455th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 743BS, 455BG, 15AF USAAF. 7 x combat missions. Baled out into the Danube river. Killed in Action (KIA). Awards: AM (OLC), PH.

  • Ernest Lewis

    Military | Sergeant | Waist gunner | 455th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 743BS, 455BG, 15 AF USAAF. Prisoner of War (POW). Romania capitulated in Aug-44, freeing the crew, killed by bomb fragment in Luftwaffe revenge raid. Killed in Service (KIS). Awards: POW, PH.



Event Location Date
Manufactured Fort Worth, TX, USA 1944

Built at Consolidated.

Crashed Piatra 147245, Romania 11 June 1944

Lost due to a crash on 11-Jun-44.


Date Contributor Update
16 February 2022 15:13:47 Al_Skiff Changes to description

Date Contributor Update
12 February 2022 21:41:56 jmoore43 Changes to unit associations

Added an association to the 743rd BS listed in the description section for A/C #42-64500.

Date Contributor Update
07 November 2016 01:39:50 466thHistorian Changes to nicknames, events and place associations

Date Contributor Update
04 August 2016 11:54:35 Al_Skiff Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, description, events, unit associations and media associations