Crash Site Discoveries

Aircraft crash sites reached to date: 22
MIA / KIA personnel accounted for: 193

Full details of each aircraft crash site discovery are entered on a Crashed Aircraft Site Report. This report is available to authorized parties upon their request.See our Terms of Service.

MIA Recoveries, Inc. employees a team of archaeologists who meet the professional standards for Principal Investigator as set forth by the Secretary of the US Department of the Interior. We offer complete site excavation and recovery services. Please contact us for a price quote.


B-25D #41-30362  Found 09 Nov 2011

On 10 Dec 1943, this aircraft was on a rescue mission over Burma when it was attacked by Japanese Zero fighter aircraft.  The B-25 tried to escape by flying westerly into India, but was pursued by the Zeros.  The right engine caught fire after the main attack was over.  The crew feathered the propeller, and as they did that, a Zero that had been pursuing them, pulled up from the 7 o’clock position and shot out their left engine, setting the aircraft afire.  The pilot, Capt. John Porter, gave the order to bailout.  Only the co-pilot, Lt. James Spain, had his parachute fastened on when the bailout order was given.  Lt. Spain’s clothes got caught while he was trying to exit the overhead hatch in the cockpit and he was freed by Capt. Porter pushing him out.  The aircraft was entirely in flames by the time Lt. Spain exited.  The aircraft had crashed and exploded by the time Lt. Spain pulled his parachute ripcord moments later.  No other crew members survived.  Dead: 5.

  • Pilot: Capt. John L. Porter
  • Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. James F. Spain
  • Radio Operator: SSgt. Walter R. Oswalt
  • Flight Engineer: Sgt. Harold W. Neibler
  • Gunner: SSgt. Harry D. Tucker
  • Passenger: Maj. Ralph L. Dewsnup

Note: Bolded name is that of the sole survivor of this airplane crash.

View images and information from the Union County Veterans Memorial Plaza, where Capt. Porter and Sgt. Neibler are honored.

Crashsite on slope in rear-center
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C-46A #41-24708  Found 01 Nov 2011

This aircraft departed Mohanbari, India at 0423 GMT on 31 Jan 1944 for Kunming, China on a routine cargo flight over the Hump.

The route was overcast with cloud tops above 24,000 ft.  Winds were out of the SW and estimated to be 70 mph at 18,000 ft.  Approximately 50% of the flight would have been flown on instruments and further complicated by the high winds.

There is no record of radio contact from the aircraft.  The last known position, cause or nature of the aircraft loss is not known.  It is believed the crash may have been caused by bad weather, mechanical failure or a sudden catastrophic event.  The cause of the crash was probably so sudden and so severe that the pilot didn’t have time to radio a mayday call.  The pilot had made 35 roundtrips on this route.  The aircraft has not been found and the crew has been declared dead.  Dead: 4.

  • Pilot: Capt. Alvin Catalano
  • Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Robert F. Kearns
  • Radio Operator: Pfc. John W. Briggette
  • Flight Engineer: Cpl. John W. Sadler
Crashsite on green slope in rear center
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C-47DL #41-18556 a.k.a. CNAC #60 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 29 Sept 2011 and two additional trips later in 2011

This CNAC aircraft was enroute from Kunming, China to Dinjan, India on 17 Nov 1942. It was a routine flight over the Hump to its homebase. The aircraft was loaded with tin billets at Kunming for transport back to India.

About 1 hr out from Kunming, and slightly SE of Likiang on the Able route, pilot John Dean told eastbound CNAC pilot Robbie Robertson that #60 was icing badly. Robertson had just come through from India on the more southerly Charlie course, and responded to Dean that he experienced no icing and saw no Japs on his route. This was the last known radio contact with #60.

CNAC #60 was reported as Missing in Flight. No trace of this aircraft or crew has been found. Pilot John Dean was a former Flying Tiger. Dead: 3.

  • Pilot: John J. Dean
  • Co-Pilot: James S. Browne
  • Radio Operator: K.L. Yang

View the C47DL #41-18556 a.k.a. CNAC #60 ID Reference

Read the article “The Last Flight of CNAC #60”

Summit ridge
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B-24J #42-73242 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 04 Jan 2011

On 25 Jan 1944, this aircraft of the 14th Air Force, 308th Bombardment Group, 425th Squadron, departed Kunming, China for Chabua, India. It was a routine combat – ferry trip. The aircraft never arrived in Chabua. The cause of its loss and its whereabouts is unknown. Dead: 12.

  • Pilot: Maj. Harry H. Musinski
  • Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Toney W. Gochnauer
  • Navigator: 2nd Lt. John B. Frazier
  • Bombardier: 2nd Lt. George R. Maupin
  • Radio Operator: TSgt. Joseph P. Kurta
  • Asst. Radio Operator: SSgt. Donah L. Adams
  • Flight Engineer: TSgt. Wellington W. Hull
  • Asst. Flight Engineer: SSgt. John W. Karns
  • Passenger: 1st Lt. Charles H. Mortimer
  • Passenger: SSgt. Robert O. Watson
  • Passenger: TSgt. Jack R. Ferguson
  • Passenger: TSgt. Edward W. Higgins,

Read the letter about Haley’s Comet

Wreckage
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B-24J #42-100184 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 07 Dec 2010

On 25 May 1944, this B-24 aircraft of the 14th Air Force, 308th Bombardment Group, 373rd Bomb Squadron, departed Yangkai, China for Chabua, India. It was a routine ferry mission. The aircraft reported being 30 minutes E of Chabua. That was the last radio contact received from this aircraft.

The crew of this aircraft were declared dead as of 26 May 1945. Dead: 10.

  • Pilot: 1st Lt. Robert M. King
  • Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. John B. Byron
  • Navigator: 1st Lt. Eugene L. Bernstein
  • Radio Operator: TSgt. John J. Regan
  • Flight Engineer: TSgt. Robert R. Riley
  • Gunner: SSgt. Garland J. Reed
  • Gunner: SSgt. Earl L. Smith
  • Passenger: Capt. Thomas H. Clare
  • Passenger: SSgt. Raymond J. Bridge
  • Passenger: Cpl. Merle L. Pickup
Shidibi Mtn shrouded in clouds with crashsite on other side
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C-47A #41-38746 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 24 Nov 2010

On 05 June 1945, this aircraft departed Dum Dum, India at 1243Z on a shuttle run to Jorhat, India. The only radio contact was a position report transmitted by the aircraft at 1415Z. Its position at that time was S of Lalmanirhat and at 5,000 ft. altitude. The aircraft never arrived in Jorhat. Dead: 7.

  • Pilot: Capt. Earl E. Cunningham
  • Co-Pilot: 1st Lt. John J. Besone
  • Radio Operator: Cpl. Morris Adoff
  • Flight Engineer: SSgt. Murdoch M. McLaughlin
  • Asst. Flight Engineer: Pfc. Charles Perkel
  • Passenger: Capt. Lloyd F. Melichar
  • Passenger: Pfc. John Barto
Crashsite area
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C-47A #43-15398 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 23 Nov 2010

This aircraft took off from Lalmanirhat, India on 25 May 1944 for Chabua, India on a cargo run. This was an Air Transport Command aircraft assigned to Karachi and with an ATC crew aboard. The last report on this aircraft states the plane is still missing in flight and the crew is presumed dead. Dead: 3.

  • Pilot: 1st Lt. John S. Gordon
  • Co-Pilot: F / O Russell A. Brown
  • Radio Operator: Pfc. James C. Mohn
Crashsite area
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C-47B #43-48308 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 05 Nov 2009

This C-47 aircraft of the 10th Air Force was assigned to the post-war American Graves Registration Service (AGRS). Very early in the morning on 17 May 1946, it departed Mingaladon airport at Rangoon, Burma for Barrackpore / Calcutta, India. The aircraft had a crew of 3 from the 1304th Air Force Base Unit and 8 passengers, including a 6-man AGRS team. This aircraft was transporting possibly as many as 43 sets of US remains which were recently recovered by the AGRS team from POW cemeteries in southern Burma.

A heavy storm was developing over the Bay of Bengal that day, and it was moving to the N – NE. The aircraft would unavoidably be running into the storm along its route to Barrackpore. The standard flight route from Rangoon to Barrackpore required flying over the NE corner of the Bay of Bengal between Akyab, Burma and Calcutta. The pilot was known to dislike flying over water; furthermore, before departing Mingaladon, the pilot told airport personnel he could not fly over water on this flight because he did not have enough life jackets aboard. The pilot stated he would instead follow the coast, and if he encountered a storm over Akyab, he would fly N or NE to skirt around it.

The pilot radioed Barrackpore at 0610Z to report he had passed over Akyab at 0530Z, was flying on instruments and he expected to arrive at Barrackpore at 0800Z. At 0615Z the pilot radioed Barrackpore for a weather update, and Barrackpore had to respond to him twice due to heavy atmospheric interference. At 0705Z the pilot mistakenly responded to a call from Barrackpore to another aircraft and said he had nothing to report. This was the last contact with C-47B #43-48308. The plane was never heard from again and its location is unknown. Dead: 11 plus possibly as many as 43 sets of US POW remains.

  • Pilot: 1st Lt. Horace J. Gabbart
  • Check Pilot: 1st Lt. Melvin L. Power
  • Radio Operator: Pfc. Eugene F. Ryan
  • Passenger: Lt. Cmdr. James T. Campbell
  • Passenger: Capt. Roy W. Corley
  • Passenger: 1st Lt. Harry Chan
  • Passenger: 1st Lt. Henry E. Derbyshire
  • Passenger: 1st Lt. Donald S. Dutton
  • Passenger: SSgt. Glenn F. Cox, Jr.
  • Passenger: Sgt. Warren R. Haines
  • Passenger: Cpl. Wallace J. Davis

View the C47B #43-48308 ID Reference

View the crashsite location map

Wreckage
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C-87 #41-23791 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 16 Oct 2008

This aircraft departed its home station of Chabua, India on 09 April 1943 on a routine ferrying flight to China. It was assigned to the Air Transport Command of the 10th Air Force, 1st Ferrying Group, 3rd Ferrying Squadron.

This aircraft simply disappeared while enroute over the Hump. Numerous attempts were made to contact this ship, but no reply was received to any of the calls. The plane and its crew were never located. The nature of the loss is undetermined. Dead: 6.

  • Pilot: Capt. Bobby A. Cook
  • Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Marvin Siegal
  • Navigator: 2nd Lt. John P. Falvo
  • Radio Operator: Pvt. Robert L. Looney
  • Flight Engineer: TSgt. Henry C. Jones
  • Passenger: MSgt. Thomas L. Macintosh
Crashsite at base of mountain
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C-46A #41-24739 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 10 Oct 2008

This aircraft departed Chanyi, China at 0940Z on 29 Jan 1944 for Misamari, India. Winds were reported out of the SW at 80 – 100 mph at altitudes greater than 18,000 ft. and severe icing below 21,000 ft. No radio contact was received from ship after it departed Chanyi. Aircraft not located and was reported missing on 03 Feb 1944. Crew declared administratively dead. Dead: 4.

  • Pilot: 2nd Lt. Huland K. Hunt
  • Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Lawrence H. Fox
  • Radio Operator: Cpl. Alphonse B. Kupchun
  • Flight Engineer: Pfc. Kenneth L. Seidel
Crashsite on Taju Rapa Mtn
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C-87 #42-107259 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 03 Oct 2008

This aircraft departed Yangkai, China on 09 Aug 1943 enroute to Jorhat, India. Plane was reported as missing in flight. There was still no news on the fate of this aircraft or its crew as of Dec 1943. Dead: 5.

  • Pilot: Capt. Tom Perry
  • Co-Pilot: 1st Lt. John T. Tennison
  • Navigator: 2nd Lt. John W. Funk
  • Radio Operator: SSgt. Alvin J. Lenox
  • Crew Chief: Pfc. Donald A. Johnson
Wreckage
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C-47DL #41-18518 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 28 Sept 2008

On 13 July 1943, this aircraft departed Mohanbari, India for Kunming, China. It was on a routine mission over the Hump. Aircraft radioed from the vicinity of Sookerating, India for a weather report at Yunnanyi, China. This call was received by AACS at 1418IST.

Aircraft did not arrive in Kunming. Last report was neither plane or crew has been located. Search for this missing aircraft will continue. Crew believed to be dead. Dead: 4.

  • Pilot: 2nd Lt. Robert D. Coker
  • Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Howard G. Bushey
  • Radio Operator: Cpl. Walter A. Hynes
  • Passenger: Capt. Alexander A. St. Clair
Charred trees remaining at crashsite
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C-46A #42-107386 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 23 Sept 2008

On 04 Feb 1945, this aircraft departed Chabua, India for Karachi, India. The passengers were homeward bound to the USA.

Over a remote jungle location approx. 55 mi NW of Jorhat, this aircraft developed mechanical problems and caught on fire.

It crashed near the summit ridge of a jungle-covered hill and burned. All crew members and passengers were killed with the sole exception of TSgt. Marvin H. Jacobs, who survived the crash and was rescued by local villagers. Dead: 34.

Click here to view list of the crew and passengers

Wreckage
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B-24D #42-40069 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 20 Sept 2008

This aircraft was lost on the Hump on 20 March 1943 while enroute from Pandaveswar, India to Kunming, China. It was assigned to the 14th Air Force, 308th Bombardment Group, 425th Squadron and was on its original flight to Kunming to begin work in China.

It had been cleared from Chabua, India to Kunming, but its location when it encountered problems is unknown. The nature of the loss is unknown, as airplane or crew never found. Dead: 10.

  • Acting Pilot: Maj. Robert W. Fensler
  • Pilot: 2nd Lt. Phillips G. Huffman
  • Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Gerald (Jerrold) E. Owens
  • Navigator: 2nd Lt. Frederick W. Ossenfort
  • Bombardier: 2nd Lt. Harvey M. Nix
  • Radio Operator: TSgt. Norman H. Price
  • Asst. Radio Operator: SSgt. Louis F. Verhaegen
  • Flight Engineer: TSgt. Erle H. Thayer
  • Asst. Flight Engineer: SSgt. Aubrey E. Stevenson
  • Gunner: SSgt. Sandav E. Rivardo
Wreckage
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C-46A #41-24717 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 27 Oct 2007

On 24 March 1944, this aircraft was on a cargo mission from Chabua, India to Ondal, India via Tezpur. The pilot was given night instrument clearance from Chabua to Ondal. There was light – moderate thunderstorm activity with ground fog and intermittent hail along the entire route, but with heaviest storm activity in the Tezpur and Misamari area.

The plane crashed enroute, killing all of crew. Cause of crash is undetermined. Dead: 4.

  • Pilot: 1st Lt. Richard S. Austin
  • Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Joe O. Hudgins
  • Radio Operator: Cpl. Giles Q. Stevens
  • Flight Engineer: Cpl. Arnold B. Stavinoha
Wreckage
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C-109 #44-49628 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 22 Oct 2007

On 17 July 1945, at approx. 0230IST, this aircraft departed Jorhat, India enroute to Chengtu, China. They had instrument clearance on the Able route. It was a routine Hump cargo flight hauling 100 octane aviation gasoline to the Chengtu area.

A position report was received as being over Pathalipam, India at 8,000 ft. There were no further radio contacts with this ship. Negative replies were received in answer to all queries sent. This aircraft disappeared somewhere on the Hump and was declared missing as of 17 July 1945. A concentrated search was conducted to no avail, and the search was abandoned as of 17 August 1945. In view of the complete absence of information, the cause of the accident remains undetermined. All aboard this aircraft have been declared dead. Dead: 4.

  • Pilot: 1st Lt. Allen R. Turner
  • Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Frederick W. Langhorst
  • Radio Operator: Cpl. Robert L. McAdoo
  • Flight Engineer: Pvt. Joseph I. Natvik
Wreckage
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C-46A #41-24724 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 01 Oct 2007

This aircraft was enroute from Kunming, China to Misamari, India on 20 Feb 1944.

The weather was extremely bad and radio contact was very poor. The pilot was evidently lost and the aircraft was running low on fuel. Pilot called Chabua for a bearing, and Chabua shot bearings on the ship and instructed pilot to let down. Pilot wanted to bailout, but Chabua assured him it was OK to let down from 12,500 ft to 8,000 ft. Pilot was also receiving bearings and instructions from Jorhat, and this may have caused even more confusion for the pilot. The last radio transmission from aircraft ended with a loud crashing sound. It is presumed the plane crashed into a mountain. Aircraft not located and crew declared dead. Dead: 4.

  • Pilot: 2nd Lt. Jack Hunter
  • Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Alfred S. Hemmer
  • Radio Operator: Sgt. Inman A. Watson
  • Flight Engineer: SSgt. John L. Weinberg

Wreckage
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B-24J #42-73308 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 07 Dec 2006

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

Upon entering the Assam Valley at 1045, the aircraft experienced extreme instrument weather conditions 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. The plane 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 AZ Governor’s Proclamation document

View the AZ House recognition document

Wreckage
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C-53DO #42-15890 a.k.a. CNAC #58 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 14 Dec 2005

This CNAC aircraft was enroute from Dinjan, India to Kunming, China on 07 April 1943. It was a routine cargo flight over the Hump on Able route. The aircraft was loaded with graphite electrodes destined for an electric smelting furnace somewhere in China.

As the aircraft climbed high to cross the mountains on the India-Burma border, it started accumulating a heavy load of ice and loosing altitude. Pilot Joe Rosbert called Dinjan and said he couldn’t make it over the border mountains and he needed to return to Dinjan. He turned the ship 180 deg. and proceeded to return to his homebase. With the palm of his hand held against the windshield to melt the ice and his face pressed against the glass in an effort to see, the aircraft had no sooner turned when it skimmed across the snow-covered ridge of a mountain. The mountain tore off the engines and landing gear, and the aircraft slid to a stop at almost 15,000 ft. altitude on a steep slope just below the summit of the mountain. No fire or explosion occurred.

The radio operator was killed in the crash and the pilot and co-pilot were slightly injured. After weeks of agonizing travel down the mountain, the pilot and co-pilot eventually reached a tiny tribal village. The Mishmi villagers cared for the pilot and co-pilot until a runner could bring a British survey team to the village, and then the Mishmis helped carry the crew down to the US base at Sadiya, India. Dead: 1.

  • Pilot: C. Joseph Rosbert
  • Co-Pilot: Charles R. Hammell
  • Radio Operator: Y.T. Wong

Note: Bolded names are those of the survivors of this airplane crash.

C.J. Rosbert survived the war and died in Texas in 2007.

Charles R. Hammell died in the crash of CNAC #94 near Dinjan, India on 09 May 1945 and was buried at Panitola Cemetery on 10 May 1945.

Click here to read Joe Rosbert’s account of this crash (5.5 MB PDF FILE)

View from crashsite
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C-47A #42-24360 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 11 Nov 2003

On 02 Nov 1943, this aircraft departed Yunnanyi, China at 0840 for Misamari, India. It was assigned to the Air Transport Command.

No radio contacts were received from aircraft after its departure from Yunnanyi. Airplane did not arrive in Misamari, and it was listed as missing. The cause of the loss is unknown, as the weather was reportedly good and the airplane was new. This ship might have been brought down by Jap fighter aircraft operating over northern Burma.

On 09 Oct 1944, the ATC search and rescue team at Ft. Hertz, Burma heard about a US plane wreckage being found high in the mountains NW of the Burma border. They went to the site and identified it as being this aircraft. All 3 crewmembers were found and identified, and their remains were buried at the site. Dead: 3.

  • Pilot: 1st Lt. John A. Deaux
  • Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Edgar L. Corbiere
  • Radio Operator: Cpl. Paul E. Pakari
Wreckage
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C-47A #42-23734 a.k.a. CNAC #77 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 20 Oct 2003

This CNAC aircraft departed Kunming, China at 0709GMT on 06 Jan 1945 for Tengchung, China.

The aircraft was over Tengchung, but was unable to land due to bad weather. Pilot decided to head to his homebase at Dinjan, India. Pilot radioed Kunming at 0822GMT, but received no reply. No further radio contact was made with this aircraft. Dead: 4.

  • Pilot: Russell W. Coldren
  • Co-Pilot: K.W. Chen
  • Radio Operator: V.N. Chow
  • Training Radio Operator: G. Tai

C-47A #42-23734 a,k.a. CNAC #77 ID Reference

Click here to read about the R.W. Coldren Memorial

Crashsite between buttes, just below summit
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C-87 #41-23696 Missing Aircrew Report

Site Report: 19 Oct 2003

On 24 April 1943, this aircraft departed Yangkai, China at approx. 1400CST enroute to its homebase at Chabua, India. It was assigned to the 1333rd AAF Base Unit, 22nd Ferrying Group, 3rd Ferrying Squadron.

There was no radio contact with this aircraft after take-off. It did not arrive in Chabua, and was listed as missing. Aerial searches commenced immediately, and search efforts lasted until 26 May 1943. Aircraft not located. Nature of loss is unknown. No further information has become available. Crew was declared dead. Dead: 5.

  • Pilot: Capt. Jennings H. Mease, Sr.
  • Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Samuel E. Lunday, Jr.
  • Navigator: 2nd Lt. James M. Jeffrey
  • Radio Operator: SSgt. Elwood E. Stevens
  • Flight Engineer: Pvt. Mervyn E. Sims

Memorial service for Pfc. Mervyn E. Sims

Crashsite on grassy slope in right background
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Full details of each aircraft crash site discovery are entered on a Crashed Aircraft Site Report.  This report is available to authorized parties upon their request. See our Terms of Service.


Important Notice: These MIA search expeditions are mostly self-funded by Clayton Kuhles.  No funding 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.  Donations to MIA Recoveries, Inc are deductible under section 170 of the Code.  Thank you!