Historical Note: The text within this post is an excerpt from the original Army Air Corps or USAAF accident report that was filed shortly after the aircraft disappeared.  These archival reports were typically the Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) or Report of Major Accident.  The reports frequently stated the crash site was believed to be “unrecoverable” or “all but impossible to recover”, due to the very remote and rugged terrain where the aircraft crashed.  Employing the services of local tribal guides, I was able to reach and document this crash site.  Without exception, all the sites were very difficult to reach, often involving many days of trekking from the nearest road and multiple river crossings.

B-24J #42-73308
Found 07 Dec 2006

by

B-24J #42-73308

On 25 Jan 1944, this aircraft departed Kunming, China at 0740 CST for Chabua, India on a routine ferrying mission.  The aircraft was assigned to the 14th Air Force, 308th Bombardment Group, 425th Squadron.

The aircraft experienced extreme instrument weather conditions upon entering India at 1045 IST and left the formation it was flying in.  Cloud ceiling was at treetop level and visibility was less than 1 mi.  Last communication from aircraft stated it was on a NW course at 15,000 ft.  It did not reach Chabua.  It was listed as missing in routine flight.  No further information was available as of 20 Nov 1944.  Crew declared dead.  Dead: 8.

  • Pilot: 1st Lt. William A. Swanson
  • Co-Pilot: F/O Sheldon L. Chambers
  • Navigator: 1st Lt. Irwin Zaetz
  • Bombardier: 1st Lt. Robert E. Oxford
  • Radio Operator: SSgt. Harry B. Queen
  • Flight Engineer: SSgt. Charles D. Ginn
  • Gunner: Sgt. Alfred H. Gerrans, Jr.
  • Gunner: Sgt. James A. Hinson

View the Crashed Aircraft Site Report for B-24J #42-73308


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Important Notice:​ These MIA expeditions are mostly self-funded by Clayton Kuhles.  No funding assistance is received from the US government.  If you believe this is a worthwhile humanitarian project that needs to be pursued, then please visit the Funding page on this website to see how easy it is to support this project in a meaningful manner.  MIA Recoveries, Inc is a tax-exempt public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  EIN: 45-3174718.  Funding donations to MIA Recoveries, Inc are deductible under section 170 of the Code.