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Lieut Robert Glenn McDonald

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Lieut Robert Glenn McDonald

Birth
Brewster, Polk County, Florida, USA
Death 7 Sep 1943 (aged 25)
Port Moresby, National Capital, Papua New Guinea
Burial Hopewell, Hillsborough County, Florida, USA
Memorial ID 42163436 View Source
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Glen was first buried in Ipswich, Australia at the US Armed Forces Cemetery. When the War was over he was brought home and buried at Hopewell Memorial Gardens
Killed in Service of His Country
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B-24D-85-CO "Pride of the Corn-huskers" Serial Number 42-40682

USAAF
5th AF
43rd BG
403rd BS

USAAF Sept 1943
Pilot 2nd Lt. Howard J. Wood (KIA, BR) NB
Co-Pilot 1st Lt Howard R. Thomas, O-790734 (KIA, BR) NY
Crew 2nd Lt Ralph M. Hart, O-675188 (KIA, BR) Oklahoma City, OK
Crew 2nd Lt Robert Glenn McDonald, O-738996 (KIA, BR) FL
Engineer S/Sgt John Hrywnak, 33345669 (KIA, BR) PA
Crew T/Sgt Charles P. Seip, 7033077 (KIA, BR) PA
Crew T/Sgt Hyman Silverstein (KIA, BR) MA
Crew S/Sgt Joel L. Herndon, 34082449 (KIA, BR) GA
Crew S/Sgt Donald F. Wilcott, 16075243 (KIA, BR) IL
Crew S/Sgt Samuel M. Wilkinson, 33277954 (KIA, BR) PA
Crew S/Sgt Samuel B. White, 14044815 (KIA, BR)
Crashed September 7, 1943 at 4:25am
MACR none

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated for $297,627.00. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 43rd Bombardment Group, 403rd Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Pride of the Cornhuskers".

Mission History
Took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby on a reconnaissance mission. Soon after take off, this B-24 crashed at 4:25am, impacting into a truck convoy loaded with Australian soldiers on the eastern end of the runway.

In the crash, 59 were killed and 92 injured from the Australian Army 2/33rd Infantry Battalion, D Company. These soldiers were in trucks awaiting orders to board C-47 Dakotas to be flown northward to Nadzab Airfield via Tsili Airfield.

Veteran William Bentson recalls:
"I was in Port Moresby at the time of this crash. It happen at Jackson Air Strip. The B-24 was fully loaded with fuel and bombs. I went out to Jackson Air Strip, late that afternoon and even by then the crash site was really a mess. Recovery of the dead and aid to injured went on into the night. There were 134 Australian troops, of the 2/33rd Australian Infantry Battalion AIF, in trucks, waiting to board other aircraft to fly to Nadzab and the B-24 crashed right into the trucks the men were setting in. 73 men were killed and 91 injured. The accident and loss of life was so appalling, it was kept secret from the Australian public for morale purposes. Even after the war it was rarely mentioned. It was the worst loss of the war suffered by the 2/33rd Battalion, which had fought in the Middle East, before campaigning in New Guinea. The the sad part of this crash, these men had survived battles in the Middle East and upon returning to Australia, were sent directly to New Guinea. The survivors were simply loaded on the next available plane and flown off to war, and less than two days later they were fighting the Japanese."

After the crash, a rumor surfaced that "Mexican Saboteurs" caused the B-24 to crash. Investigators found no evidence of sabotage and instead ruled the crash was due to pilot disorientation in the darkness.

Wreckage
Wreckage remained until the 1980s, until the construction of a runway extension, when the remaining wreckage was removed or otherwise disappeared.

Michael Claringbould adds:
"In 1967 myself and several school friends tried to remove one of the main under carriage legs which was still there. The crash site was built over by a runway extension in the 1980s."

Memorials
The crew of the B-24 were recovered. Initially, they were buried at Ipswich Cemetery in Australia. Postwar, they were exhumed and transported to the United States for final burial.

Buried at National Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) are Seip at plot A grave 552. Also Herndon and Wilcott (grave details unknown).
Wood at Fort McPherson National Cemetery at plot Q, 0, A-5.
Hrywnak at Gettysburg National Cemetery in Gettysburg, PA at section 2, site 346.
McDonald at Hopewell Memorial Gardens in Plant City, FL
Thomas at Maple Grove Cemetery in Horseheads, NY
White's burial is unknown, likely in a private cemetery in the United States.

Wilkinson is buried at Belle Vernon Cemetery in Belle Vernon, PA at section 4 lot 35 grave 3. A memorial marker was established on December 2, 1943. During March 19,1948, his body was buried at the site.

References
FindAGrave - Howard J. Wood (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Howard R Thomas
FindAGrave - Lieut Ralph M. Hart
FindAGrave - Robert Glenn McDonald (photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - John Hrywnak (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Charles Seip (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Hyman Silverstein (grave photo, photo)
FindAGrave - Joel L. Herndon (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Donald F. Wilcott (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Samuel M. Wilkinson (grave photo)

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Last Updated
May 30, 2013






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  • Created by: Donna McPherson
  • Added: 20 Sep 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 42163436
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/42163436/robert-glenn-mcdonald : accessed ), memorial page for Lieut Robert Glenn McDonald (5 Mar 1918–7 Sep 1943), Find a Grave Memorial ID 42163436, citing Hopewell Baptist Church Cemetery, Hopewell, Hillsborough County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Donna McPherson (contributor 46906329) .