Missing Army Bomber – December 13, 1943

Missing Army Bomber – December 13, 1943

 

B-24 Liberator
U.S. Air Force Photo

     In the early morning hours of Sunday, December 13, 1943, a B-24 Liberator bomber took off from Westover Air Field in Chicopee, Massachusetts, for a training flight in preparation for overseas duty.  It was never seen again, and was presumed to have gone down in the waters off the New England coast.

     There were eight men aboard the missing aircraft, two officers and six enlisted men.  They were identified as:

     2nd Lt. William P. Masters of Klamath Falls, Oregon.

     2nd Lt. Robert Rollin Hansen, age 25, of Corcoran, California.

     Sgt. Dean G. McAffery, age 19, of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

     Sgt. Stanley E. Zagae, of Detroit, Michigan.

     Sgt. Bernard G. Stoeckley, of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

     Sgt. Cicel H. Conklin, of Kansas City, Mo.

     Sgt. Anson G. Wiseman, of Spruce Pine, North Carolina.

     Sgt. Anthony L. Greco, of Pittsburgh, Pa.

     It is believed that the aircraft was assigned to the 759th Bombardment Squadron, which was stationed at Westover at the time before leaving for overseas duty in January of 1944. 

     Sources:

     Unknown Newspaper, “Westover Bomber Missing; Air, Land Search Under Way”, December 13, 1943

     The Fresno Bee Republican, (Fresno, CA.), “Corcoran Flier’s Plane Is Missing”, December 14, 1943, page 15.      

 

Atlantic Ocean – December 12, 1943

Atlantic Ocean – December 12, 1943

B-24 Liberator U.S. Air Force Photo

B-24 Liberator

U.S. Air Force Photo

     On December 12, 1943, a B-24 Liberator (42-7225) took off from Westover Field in Chicopee, Massachusetts, for a nighttime high altitude navigational and gunnery training flight over the Atlantic Ocean.  The aircraft was never seen again.

     The air crew was assigned to the 758th Bombardment Squadron, 459th Bomb Group.  

     The lost crewmen were listed as follows:

     (Pilot) Lt. William P. Masters

     (Co-Pilot) Lt. R. R. Hansen  (First name unknown)

     (Gunner) Sgt. Cecil H. Conklin

     (Gunner) Sgt. Anthony L. Greco

     (Gunner) Sgt. Dean G. McCaffrey

     (Radio Operator) Sgt. Bernard G. Stoeckley

     (Gunner) Sgt. Anson G. Wiseman

     (Flight Engineer) Sgt. Stanley E. Zajac

A bronze memorial plaque at the New England Air Museum honoring the lost crew of a B-24 Liberator (42-7225)

A bronze memorial plaque at the New England Air Museum honoring the lost crew of a B-24 Liberator (42-7225)

   A memorial to these men can be seen at the New England Air Museum in Winsor Locks, Connecticut.

     Click on image to enlarge.

     Source: 459th bombardment Group website

www.459bg.org/758th_squadron_servicemen.cfm

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