B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 41-24429 / Dumbo

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 41-24429 / Dumbo


MACR: 15685


History of
B-17 41-24429 / Dumbo

Delivered Cheyenne 1/7/42; with Capt Jim Ellis to Australia 29/6/42; Assigned 63BS/43BG Mareeba, Aus 3/8/42; t/o 7 Mile Drome, Port Moresby, Missing in Action Finchhaven, NG 4/12/42 with Lewis A. Anderson, Co-pilot: Bill Box, Navigator: Bob Schleh, Bombardier: Joe Conde, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Archi Hodge, Radio Operator: Vernon Kaylor, Ball turret gunner: Rich Keeley, Waist gunner: Milton Kelkey,Tail gunner: Albert Nies (9 Killed in Action);. Written off 5/12/42. Crew remains found by RAAF in 1946 in wreck. Missing Air Crew Report 15685. DUMBO.

Last updated: 31. July 2021


B-17 41-24429 / Dumbo Details

Narrative on Missing Crew

  1. On the night of 3 December 1942, 1st Lt. Lewis A. Anderson, with eight (8) other crews of the 63rd Bomb Sq (H), took off from Jackson Airdrome at Fort Moresby, New Guinea, for an interception and strike on an enemy cruiser, reported in the vicinity of Buna, New Guinea.
  2. The first of the flight departed from Jackson at 11:25PM, and the first ship reached the search area at approximately 12:25AM, 4 December 1942. Lieutenant Anderson reached the search area, as his plane was seen as well as contacted by radio. The weather in the vicinity of Buna was good and the search for the reported cruiser was unsuccessful.
  3. The secondary target was Lae, but the weather at that area was very bad, with low ceiling, poor visibility end thunderstorms.
  4. Lieutenant Anderson’s plane was novor seen or contacted by radio after it left the Buna area. A thorough search of the area was made on 4th and 5th December, and no sign of the crew or the aircraft were seen.
  5. The only indication of Lieutenant Anderson’s fate was the sighting of large flash and resulting fire that was seen burning thirty (30) minutes later, eight (8) miles southwest of Finschhafen The cause of the flash and fire has naver been confirmed or determined.
  6. The aros in which Lieutmnant Anderson would have crashed is now in allied possession and the wreckage has never been found.

Source: MACR 15685


B-17 41-24429 / Dumbo Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Lewis A. Anderson KIA
CP 2LT William K. Fox KIA
BOMB SGT Joseph J. Conde KIA
ENG/TT S/SGT Archibald B. Hodge KIA
RO S/SGT Vernon R. Kaylor KIA
BT SGT Richard M. Keeley KIA
WG M/SGT Milton Kelkey KIA
TG T/SGT Albert C. Nies KIA

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