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2LT James L White Jr.

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2LT James L White Jr.

Birth
Death
16 Apr 1943 (aged 25)
Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea
Burial
Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, California, USA
Memorial ID
55071565 View Source

USAAF WORLD WAR II
Co Pilot 2nd/Lt. James L White Jr. KIA
Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA
Squadron: 320th 90th Bomb Group
Service# O-662847
Awards:
Pilot 1st/Lt. Paul F. Sayre MIA/KIA

Target: Japanese shipping off Wewak.
Mission Date: April 16, 1943
Serial Number: #41-24077
Aircraft Model B-24D
Aircraft Letter:
Aircraft Name:
Location: Eastern Highlands Province Papua New Guinea
Cause: unknown.

Mission History
On April 16, 1943 took off from 5 Mile Drome (Wards) near Port Moresby piloted by 1st Lt. Paul F. Sayre on a bombing mission against Japanese shipping off Wewak. Reportedly crashed 40 miles southwest of Bena Bena. In fact, this B-24 crashed into the Eastern Highlands, killing the entire crew. The cause of the crash is unknown.

Wreckage
Between April 20-28, 1943 the crash site was visited by Patrol Officer (Kiap) Captain L. W. Heinicke. He reported the bomber hit trees, ripping off the wings and tail before impacting into the ground. No impact crater was visible and smaller pieces of wreckage were flung away from the site likely when the fuel tanks exploded. He reported the general condition as "everything smashed and burnt beyond any possible doubt of salvage."

Among the wreckage were found the bodies of the crew deemed to be nine individuals and were burnt beyond recognition. No trace of any identification discs or mementos were found, aside from a small photograph found in the butt of one of their M1911 automatic pistol, forwarded to Lt. Snook when he arrived. It was deemed any bombs aboard did not explode and are likely buried at the crash site.

Also during late April 1943, Australian Army troops led by Lt E. R. Snook, Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) No 1 Corps visited the crash site while working to determine the feasibility of a jeep track to Kainantu.

Recovery of Remains
During late April 1943 visit to the crash site, the remains of the crew were buried in five graves with the assistance of 300 Kesikena villagers. Afterwards, a "pull pull" flowering bush was planted atop each grave and the chief of Kesikena promised to look after the graves. Later, these remains were later exhumed by US Army, American Graves Registration Service (AGRS). Postwar, their remains were transported to Manila and the United States for permanent burial.

41-24077 Crew
1st/ Lt. Paul F. Sayre Pilot
2nd/Lt. James L White Jr. Co Pilot
2nd/Lt. Robert R. Null Navigator
2nd/Lt. Robert l. Block Bombardier
T/Sgt. Earl E. Godsey Engineer
T/Sgt. Homer L. Bartlett Radio Op.
S/Sgt. John P. DeMartini Gunner
S/Sgt. Milton E. Barber Gunner
S/Sgt. Harold P. Hetelle Gunner
Sgt. Mark H. Briggs Gunner

USAAF WORLD WAR II
Co Pilot 2nd/Lt. James L White Jr. KIA
Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA
Squadron: 320th 90th Bomb Group
Service# O-662847
Awards:
Pilot 1st/Lt. Paul F. Sayre MIA/KIA

Target: Japanese shipping off Wewak.
Mission Date: April 16, 1943
Serial Number: #41-24077
Aircraft Model B-24D
Aircraft Letter:
Aircraft Name:
Location: Eastern Highlands Province Papua New Guinea
Cause: unknown.

Mission History
On April 16, 1943 took off from 5 Mile Drome (Wards) near Port Moresby piloted by 1st Lt. Paul F. Sayre on a bombing mission against Japanese shipping off Wewak. Reportedly crashed 40 miles southwest of Bena Bena. In fact, this B-24 crashed into the Eastern Highlands, killing the entire crew. The cause of the crash is unknown.

Wreckage
Between April 20-28, 1943 the crash site was visited by Patrol Officer (Kiap) Captain L. W. Heinicke. He reported the bomber hit trees, ripping off the wings and tail before impacting into the ground. No impact crater was visible and smaller pieces of wreckage were flung away from the site likely when the fuel tanks exploded. He reported the general condition as "everything smashed and burnt beyond any possible doubt of salvage."

Among the wreckage were found the bodies of the crew deemed to be nine individuals and were burnt beyond recognition. No trace of any identification discs or mementos were found, aside from a small photograph found in the butt of one of their M1911 automatic pistol, forwarded to Lt. Snook when he arrived. It was deemed any bombs aboard did not explode and are likely buried at the crash site.

Also during late April 1943, Australian Army troops led by Lt E. R. Snook, Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) No 1 Corps visited the crash site while working to determine the feasibility of a jeep track to Kainantu.

Recovery of Remains
During late April 1943 visit to the crash site, the remains of the crew were buried in five graves with the assistance of 300 Kesikena villagers. Afterwards, a "pull pull" flowering bush was planted atop each grave and the chief of Kesikena promised to look after the graves. Later, these remains were later exhumed by US Army, American Graves Registration Service (AGRS). Postwar, their remains were transported to Manila and the United States for permanent burial.

41-24077 Crew
1st/ Lt. Paul F. Sayre Pilot
2nd/Lt. James L White Jr. Co Pilot
2nd/Lt. Robert R. Null Navigator
2nd/Lt. Robert l. Block Bombardier
T/Sgt. Earl E. Godsey Engineer
T/Sgt. Homer L. Bartlett Radio Op.
S/Sgt. John P. DeMartini Gunner
S/Sgt. Milton E. Barber Gunner
S/Sgt. Harold P. Hetelle Gunner
Sgt. Mark H. Briggs Gunner


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