|Death: ||Apr. 3, 1942|
East Java, Indonesia
Gunner Pfc. Jack E. Bingham 131st Field Artillery (flying as gunner) MIA/KIA
Squadron: 30th 19th Bomb Group
Awards: Purple Heart
Pilot Captain Ray L. Cox
Target: Test flight
Mission Date: 3-Feb-42
Serial Number: #
Aircraft Model B-17C
Aircraft Name:# 40-2062
The 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery, long with the rest of the 36th Infantry Division, was mobilized for federal service on 20 November 1940. It was soon sent to Camp Bowie at Brownwood.
Earmarked as part of the reinforcements to U.S. Army troops in the Philippines, the battalion was detached from the 36th Infantry and sailed on the USS Republic on 21 November 1941. It arrived at Pearl Harbor on the 28th of the same month. After refueling in Hawaii, the ship sailed escorted by USS Pensacola in a convoy bound for the Philippines, later to be known as the Pensacola convoy, that was diverted at sea to Australia.
On 6 December, the convoy crossed the Equator, and the next morning the unit was informed of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The battalion manned the Republic's four 3-inch guns and one 5-inch gun from this time until their arrival in Australia. After a short stop at Suva, Fiji Islands, the convoy sailed on to Brisbane, Australia, crossing the International Dateline (180th Meridian) on 13 December 1941.
The battalion was among the first American troops ever to land on Australian soil. The battalion spent Christmas 1941 in Brisbane, but before New Year's Day, it was again on the high seas, aboard the Dutch freighter Bloemfontein, bound for the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies, via Darwin, Australia, escorted part of the way by the cruiser USS Houston, and escorted from Darwin by Boise, flagship of Rear-Admiral Glassford, the light cruiser Marblehead and the destroyers Barker, Parrott, Bulmer, Stewart and Pope. It landed on Java on 11 January 1942 (35 days into the war). They were to be the only U.S. ground combat unit to reach the Dutch East Indies before the Dutch capitulated to the Japanese.
A few days after the battalion's arrival in Java, it moved to Singosari Airfield near Malang, Java to support the 19th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps. The 19th had escaped the Philippines on 29 December with a few B-17 bombers, pilots, co-pilots and whatever crew members that managed to get aboard as the planes took off while under attack. The 19th flew B-17s, B-24s, and LB-30s from Java against enemy airfields, shipping, and ground installations during the Japanese offensive against the Dutch East Indies during early 1942. Until this group withdrew to Australia on 2 March 1942, the battalion provided it with mechanics, ground crew, aerial gunners and a semblance of anti-aircraft weapons. Two men (Bingham and Barnes) were killed on 3 February 1942 when they parachuted from one of the B-17s and were gunned down by Japanese fighters. 23 men of the battalion transferred to the 19th Bomb Group and were evacuated with them.
On February 3, 1942 B17# 40-2062 took off from Singosari Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. (Captain) Ray L. Cox (pilot from the 30th BS) on a test flight. Returning, he was jumped by A6M2 Zeros and attempted to outrun them over the ocean, but was shot down. The next day, the wreckage was found shot down and burning roughly 20 miles from Malang Airfield, destroying the last operational B-17C in the theater. All of the crewman appear tablets of the missing their remains not recovered. However records from 1953 indicate that Private Barnes was subsequently recovered and interred in Texas.
# 40-2062 Crew
Captain Ray L. Cox Pilot
1st/Lt. John E. L. Huse Co-Pilot
S/Sgt John U. Sowa
Sgt. Arthur E. Karlinger
Sgt John S. Penny
Pfc. Jack E. Bingham Gunner 131st Field Artillery (flying as gunner)
Pvt. Don H. Barnes Gunner 131st Field Artillery (flying as gunner)
Pvt. Don H. Barnes
Note: Entered the service from Texas.
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial
National Capital Region, Philippines
Plot: Tablets of the Missing
Maintained by: John Dowdy
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56748474
Remembering you on this Memorial DayWeekend 2016|
Added: May. 28, 2016
Along with Pvt Don H. Barnes of the 13st, volunteered to act as gunner on a B-17 making a test flight out of Malang, Java.While on this flight, the bomber was shot down by Japanese Zeros and crashed with the loss of all seven aboard.|
Added: Nov. 18, 2010