A B-24 downed in New Guinea during WWII (not assigned to VB-104) was discovered by Project Recover recently. The “Heaven Can Wait” crew was with the 320th “Jolly Rogers” squadron of the 90th Bombardment Group. They were part of a group bombing Hansa Bay on March 11, 1944.
“Unique to this mission was the contact by an extended family group associated with ‘Heaven Can Wait’ while our historians were independently researching the loss of their loved one prior to our departure to Papua New Guinea,” said Eric Terrill, co-founder of Project Recover.
Anyone seeking information about crew losses for our 104 could follow the Project Recover news releases, or contact them directly – particularly with any information collected that might aid their efforts to locate downed crews and aircraft.
Dad’s memorabilia included this list of the names of men serving in VB-104 Squadron as of 4/1/1944. Some of the names are difficult to read, including August Lodato whose first and last names I’m familiar with because he flew with Dad. The others are mostly readable except the last one apparently added out of alphabetical order at the bottom. I hope this list may be helpful to anyone seeking more info on who was in this “first tour” of the 104.
We received this from Dave Calhoun, seeking more info about his great uncle Robert Miller, crew on aircraft #81 second tour (bottom photo):
Here are photos of Whitney Wright’s crews from first tour and second tour. Also a profile of his first tour aircraft. These were provided by the nephew of Tom Dempster who was on his crew in the first tour. I’m still trying to find a full photo of aircraft #869 used in the 2nd tour.
Update: Dave says aircraft #38869 was lost 5/13/45, 2 miles off Lingayen Peninsula, PI. Apparently not Wright’s crew. It had an APS-15 radar in the belly turret.
Please contact us if you have any information to share.
I have a printed copy of a booklet printed up from transcribed original records, titled “VB-104 April 1943 – April 1944” and I’m seeking the digital version it was printed from in WordPerfect or any other electronic format. I’ll add it to this site once someone is kind enough to share a digital version of this book (mentioned inside). Here’s a rather bad reproduction of the cover:
Inside is this longer title and partial description:
After the Table Of Contents is some introductory information describing the nature of the subject matter, and the method of transcribing the original documents in 1995:
It continues on the next page, describing how the originals were transcribed into the WordPerfect application popular in 1995 and which I’m familiar with. In addition to VAdm & Mrs. Sears, the final transcription work was done by H. J. Thompson, A. M. Lodato, and Charlie Ehemann. If you have a copy of these WordPerfect files or know someone who does, please contact me via the Contact Form for this site.
The international Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has just announced that the world’s only flying Consolidated Vultee PB4Y-2 “Privateer” is scheduled to appear at their AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh, WI from July 20 – 26, 2015.
It has been restored to original Navy equipment configuration and is currently in polished aluminum livery. It had served as a forest fire water bomber after the war, and is now based in Casa Grande. You can get more information about this aircraft and event by clicking this EAA link.