MACR #6580

Missing Air Crew Report #6580

8 July 1944

Here are the images from last three pages of the MACR that my relative was on board.

Warrant Officer Junior Grade, Dawson Leondus Hutchison

Headquarters, V Air Service Command

DOB 8-13-21

DOD: FOD

He was just one of 14 passagngers on B-17-E 41-2464, which took off at 0641 (6:41am)

with five B-17 crew

P- LTC Walter Piehl Hq5AirSer, Service # 0-230257, Wisconsin

Cmd Eng- SSgt Cortez Beal Hq 5AriSerCmd, Service # 34190024, Tennessee

CP- Maj Alan Attebery Hq 5AirSerCmd, Service # 0-664493, Missouri

RO- SSgt Henry Willis Hq 5AirSerCmd, Service # 34058608, Florida

CC TSgt Edgar Elseman 5AirSerCmd, Service # 17004297, Nebraska

Passengers

Maj Robert Barnes Hq 5AirSerCmd, Service # 0-900048, Arkansas

Maj V. Henriques Hq 5AirSerCmd, Service # 0-280216, California

Capt Russell Helmer HqSq 58AirSerGrp, Service # 0-393337, Pennsylvania

Capt Fred Lewis Hq5AirSerCmd, Service # 0-925188, California

Capt Paul McKnight 5 AirSerCmd, Service # 1576369, Ohio

Capt Wendell Root Hq 58AirSerGrp, Service # 0-413266, New York

Lt Winton Witmer Hq 58SerGrp, Service # 0-567120, California

Lt John Campbell Hq 58SerGrp, Service # 0-857274, Pennsylvania

Lt Roland Hickey Hq 5AirSerCmd, Service # 2036113, Tennessee

WOJG Dawson Hutchison Hq 5AirSerCmd, Service # W2114954, Mississippi

SSgt August Bachor Hq5AirSerCmd, Service # 32225289, New York

Sgt William Ray Hq 5AirSerCmd, Service # 13107567, Pennsylvania

Cpl Noel Lowe Hq 5AirSerCmd, Service # 34608243, North Carolina

PFC Clyde Hopkins Hq 5AirSerCmd, Service # 34732682, Tennessee

Hq 5AirSerCmd=Headquarters, Fifth Air Force

HqSq 58AirSerGrp= Headquarters Squadron, 58th Air Service Group

Hq 58SerGrp= Headquarters, 58th Air Service Group

Never to be seen again.

Dawson was just one of four from my family to die or go missing durning WW2 ( two KIA & two MIA, one of each catagory serving with British and American forces)

JB Hutchison, His farther (granddad brother) talked with a man in 1950s who was stationed

with Daswon and he said that the B-17 used to ferry had a really bad

history with its engines.

And if they bailed out over the mountains or swamp then they was good as

already dead.

Doing research over the last two years, I have found archived do*****ents pertaining to Japanese warcrimes in New Guinea 1942-45.

Just three months before 41-2464 went missing the japanese captured a B-25 crew that went down in the Sepik-Ramu river valley, which is the area as noted MARC search area ground search.

All five U.S airmen were executed by the Japanese after being captured, a familiar but true account of many Army Air Force crews captured by the Japanese.

What really happened to the crew and passangers of 41-2464?

1) Engine failure

SSgt Henry Willis, B-17 radio ops should have had time to send out a a mayday before the crew and passengers bailed out?

2) Japanese AAA

-General Hatazo Adachi, moved almost over 60,000 men to assault Aitape on July 10th, just two days before the flight of 41-2464.

Did Adachi also move Anti-aircract gun to the area of Aitape/Tadji before the 10th?

My first thought after reading the MARC and seeing AAA listed as a opson was that SSgt Henry Willis, B-17 radio ops should have had time to report it and or send out a a mayday if hit.

After July 1944 and up until the end of the war the only Japanese units are listed as “Remnants” around Aitape until the end of the war. (scan of map)

3) Hit a mountain due to bad weatherFlight from Nadzab probably proceeded up the Sepik Valley and then over the Alexander Mountains or Torricelli Mountains enroute Tadji?

WW2 wreck hunter John Douglas has emailed me some great information in reguards to a possible B-17 crash site!

 

This wreck is interesting because I possibly know more or less where it is!

1]It was not lost to Japanese action.The Japanese were practically out of PNG at the time of loss.

2] the flight path would have taken the plane along the Markam-Ramu valley, to the Sepik,in the mid reaches, then Tadji. very easy to wind up in mountains on either side of this route. I found a C47 a little south of this route on a tributary of the Sepik two years ago.[Still not recovered or even visited by our heros of the Quartermasters Corps]

3]there are at least 10 twin engine or bigger planes missing along this general route. None have been seriously looked for by anyone

4] villagers ,after 60 years know where most of these MIA planes are

5] I had several reports of a large plane with human remains a little south of this route near a mine site [2 days walk in difficult country] in the Ramu valley.I sent a camera out but it never came back………..I know where to contact people who claim to know where this wreck is It would take about $US 500 to get a few photos of this wreck, and about 6 months time.

6] I think the wreck is a 4 engine bomber, but it could be a B24. Thers a 40% chance its the wreck in Question

 

for a hobby, I hunt out aircraft wrecks in PNG from WW2. When I hear a story about a wreck , I usually send a disposable camera out with the local people to take pictures of it for me.I try and get the serials and a description of the wreck as well,when I can.Because of many conplicating factors I get photos about 25% of the time. I dont have much good maps I can send you, but I spent some time on Google earth looking at Satillite photos; so if you go to that website you can follow the details below. Nadzab A/S is at 6.33.47S;146.43.43E;Tadji A/S at 3.11.45S;142.25.31E, while the wreck site is approximately 5.31.06S;145.08.38[within a 10 mile radius]. This is very difficult country to travel through, being steep forest and I estimate it would take the local people about two days to walk from the nearest roadhead[and two more to return,] if they know where to go. Communications are difficult, and the local people sometimes hard to motivate which is why I estimate 6 months and $500. success cannot be assured unfortunately as greed , laziness, tribal battles etc sometimes get in the way. The nearest town is Madang.on the north coast.you can drive to the mine site [in a 4WD in good weather] Tadji is road accessable ,and is still used as a light strip.There are other light strips used by missionaries nearer the wreck site once I know more precisely where it is. Any site report I do get will only say how many days walk from the nearest village. The mine was hiring local people for unskilled labour and the story emerged from some of these people about the wreck. The US Military are supposed to be looking for such wrecks , but WW2 planes are a low priority for them. Off approx 20 wrecks with human remains that I have reported to them I think they have recovered only one wreck The Ramu/Markham rift valley runs from Nadzab NW and opens to the NW into a large swampy area which is the Ramu Sepik river mouth complex. Tadji is on the other side of the Sepik river and over a lower range. The middle Ramu area where the wreck is has steep mountains to the south and is very weakly explored, except by the locals who hunt there. There are several B24s C47s and other smaller planes missing in this general area, often on flights between Nadzab and Hollandia, Biak and Noemfoer, lost not in battle but due to poor weather or mechanical failure. cheers

Looking at the info above and using a few map servers, I found the general area listed

As you can see from the images above, the plane could have hit the side of a hill??

and givin the heavy jungle and such a report area no wonder it was missed by S&R

Before John Douglas, emails with the great tips above, I talked with a member of 58th Air Service Group, who replaced Lt John Campbell and is living in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Jeff Adams info of flight routes they used when moving from Nadzab to Biak Island on 23-25th of July.

“We used the valley made up of two ranges as a guide until they hit a major river which could be seen clear from high in the air and started a new mountain range near the coast”

Showing Mr Adams a map of PNG he pointed out the only landmark that he could remember which was the Bismark Range and ran his finger over his groups flight path.

But he did state it was the best to his knowledge after 60 odd years

Using Douglas and Adams info.

The large plane getting reported to Douglas seems to be off the flight path a few degrees taking it out of the valley and into hills.

0mage4

If the wreck with human remains is not 41-2464 then who?
4) Time of loss

0641-1300 (6:41am-1:00pm) giving the plane flight time as under 11min uptil 6hr30min

B-17E maximum speed was 317 mph at 25,000 ft, cruising speed 226 mph, with the maximum ferry range of 3,200 miles.

at 0641, the plane should have gone between 47-50 miles and at 1300 around 1469 miles.

Nadzab-Tadji is about 287 miles and Tadji-Biak 422 miles, total 709 miles.

Tadji is located to the east of Aitape, and west of the Driniumor River it serves as the airport for the province today. During the war, it was a Japanese airfield. Liberated by US Army on April 26, 1944. It became a major Allied air depot for American and Australian forces.

 

 

map2

Note:

BEAL, S.Sgt Cortez A

 

DOB is listed as 7 Dec 1915 and is tomestone reads “WW II, son of Ben & Eva Beal, MIA in B‑17 flight from New Guinea to B. Island.” Dixon Springs Cemetery

My good buddy Patrick Ranfranz, has a site setup at missingaircrew.com

which covers his uncle,T/Sgt John R. McCullough, who was the Assistant Radio Operator on the missing B-24 that went missing over Yap.

Patrick has pics and personal interviews tooken on Yap from a trip in 2005.

Another good bud Justin Taylan, who is the grandson of a Pacific veteran, has a site called http://www.pacificwrecks.com

GREAT site with tons of info and photos.

Leondus.com Est. 8/13/1998