Last Known Activity|
Pilot Lt. Francis Bernard McIntyre, USNR, O-099727 (MIA / KIA)
Gunner ARM2 William L. Russell, 6700044 (MIA / KIA)
MIA November 10, 1943
The composite squadron VC-24 intended for USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24) became a SBD only unit and was land based, stationed at Munda Airfield at the time.
Took off from Munda Airfield on a bombing mission against Buka and Bonis. Arrived over the target at roughly 8:10am, as part of a formation of 55 SBD Dautlesses, 34 TBF Avengers and 54 fighter escorts. Armed with a single 1000 lb instantaneous fused bomb. Failed to reutrn. Crew was declared dead on January 1, 1946.
Solomon Air Force November 10 - Complete Reports:
"Buka-Bonis strike at 0810L/10 by 55 SBDs and 34 TBFs indicate an excellent coverage of the assigne targets. The SBDs carried 1000 lb. instantaneous and the TBFs 2000 lb. 1/10 delay bombs. Photos after the strike show 7 bomb craters at Buka and 10 at Bonis on the runways. A SBD bomb hit a possible ammo dump causing large explosion and fire at the southwest end of the Buka runway. Other fires were started at both fields. A total of at least 38 hits by SBDs were made on or near AA positions in the area which appreciately lessened the volume of gun fire. A direct hit was made among a group of buildings located at the south center of the Bonis runway. AA was described as of moderate intensity and light medium and heavy caliber with very intense heavy AA from the north tip of Sohano Island. Escort of 54 fighters had no contacts nor sightings of enemy aircraft. One SBD is missing [this aircraft]."
According to a report in February 2008, the wreckage of this aircraft was discovered near Buka Airport and the town dump. The wreckage included the remains of the crew, a shoe and a dog tag. The discovery was reported to the US Embassy and reported in Post Courier on February 22, 2008, US Aircraft, Remains Found.
According to John Lealai, Senior Technical Officer of PNG National Museum, Modern History stated that thew dog tag reads "Francis Bernard McIntyre" was located at the crash site.
LT McIntyre's remains have been recovered and identified in 2010. His body was released to the family on 9/27/2010 and he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on 9/29/2010. His name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.