90th Bomb Group Message Board

Message No. 495
Subject: Iron Range Memorial Wall
Date: Sun Mar 20, 2005 01:19

Further to my posts - I have enclosed three incidents that occurred at Iron Range in 1942. A Memorial wall is now in place with the names of the men that were tragically killed at this location. A dedication is occurring 25th April 2005 at this airstrip.

This plaque is in memory of the United States Army Air Force B24 Liberator, named "Bombs to Nippon" Serial
41-23942, 400th Squadron 90th Bombardment that crashed during takeoff on 16th November 1942 at Gordon Strip, Iron Range, Qld Australia.

This aircraft was attempting to take off at night for a bombing raid on Rabaul. The dust blown up by the first
B-24’s taking off obscured the dim airfield lights. Bombs to Nippon veered off the runway, crashing into two parked
B-24 Liberators and a B-17 flying Fortress. The B 24 caught fire and its bomb load exploded. Eleven US Servicemen were killed;
They are;
Paul R Larson Serial No 023854
William J Dee Serial No 16067297
Lewis A Dilotti Serial No 35376226
Claude D Red Serial No 18063101
Axel J Halgreen Serial No 12033336
David C Meuthirg Serial No 0726929
Ernest I Irving Serial No 6116757
William F Sipple Serial No 0791004
Lester L Picker Serial No 35268447
Herbert R Bassman Serial No 0725576
Harry L Patty Serial No 3316669
On the same bombing mission a B – 24D Liberator named’ PUNJAUB” Serial No 41-11902 vanished without a trace. It was piloted by the Commanding officer of the 320th Squadron Major Raymond S MORSE. Also on board was the group Commander Colonel Arthur W Meehan as co – pilot. All crew including Lt Wallace SORENSON and seven other men perished on this mission.
The second bronzed plaque is established for the United States Army Air Force B 24 Liberator, 400th Squadron, 90th Bombardment Group that crashed during takeoff on a bombing mission to Rabaul on the 26th day of December 1942 at the Gordon airstrip, Iron Range.

The aircraft crashed on the side of the runway narrowly missing one of the Anti Aircraft Gun emplacements of E Battery of the 197th Coastal Artillery Anti Aircraft Regiment.

The liberator crew that were tragically killed
Roy B KENDRICK Serial No 0724626
Chalmers D Yeilding Serial No 34163144
Lee C Castille, Serial No 14058967
Donald E McAndrew Serial No 36318118
Wendel V Sokolovic Serial No 12057423
George Sarrat Serial No 34079295
Walter B Packwood Serial No 0435523
Paul S Shrives Serial No 35350256
David C Constant Serial No 33265823
Joe F Compton Serial No 0433352

If you are a relative of any of these names, please make contact with me urgently. I would again like to invite all veterans of Iron Rnage to this event, occurring on 25th April 2005. I can be contacted at


If you require anything to be officially stated on the day, please make contact to me as soon as possible.

Michael Musumeci,
Senior Constable of Police
Lockhart River Police Station
Iron Range, Qld, AUSTRALIA 4871

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