-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-9218
Pilot Lt. Rush E. McDonald, O-417028 (MIA / KIA) TN
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. John J. Heard, Jr., O-433843 (MIA / KIA) TX
Bombardier Cpl Joseph H. Wood, 6932097 (MIA / KIA) KS
Navigator 2nd Lt. Homer W. Vail, O-433013 (MIA / KIA) MN
Engineer Sgt William L. Hammack, 6983892 (MIA / KIA) IN
Asst Engineer Sgt Richard C. Inman, 6933768 (MIA / KIA) NB
Radio Cpl Leroy Payne, 6923702 (MIA / KIA) AL
Gunner SSgt James E. Briggs, 6151603 (MIA / KIA) MA
Gunner SSgt Daniel L. Cross, 6977309 (MIA / KIA) NY
Crashed August 4, 1942
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Assigned to the 11th Bombardment Group, 26th
Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
Took off Espiritu Santo on a bombing mission against Tulagi. Over the target,
attacked by seven A6M2-N Rufe of the Yokohama Kôkûtai. B-17 gunners claimed one
shot down another damaged and on fire collided with this bomber over Sealark
Channel. Both aircraft crashed into the sea with no survivors. This B-17 was the
first aerial combat casualty of the Guadalcanal air campaign.
Officially declared dead the day of the mission. The entire crew is memorialized
on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
He has another stone erected in the family lot at Hillside Rest Cemetery Bombay, New York.