CRASH OF A B-24D LIBERATOR
INTO A HILL 15 MILES SOUTH WEST
OF CHARTERS TOWERS, QLD
ON 26 JANUARY 1944

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On 26 January 1944, B-24D-150 Liberator #42-41226 "Double Trouble" of the 19th Bomb Squadron, 22nd Bomb Group piloted by 2nd Lieutenant Joseph M. Finn crashed into a hill 15 miles south west of Charters Towers in north Queensland on 26 January 1944 during a training flight. 2nd Lt. Finn (0-737045) died in the crash, and the other two crew members were injured. They were co-pilot 2nd Lt. James R. Markey and flight engineer Sgt. John A. Sadler.

Burial records show that 2nd Lt. Joseph M. Finn was buried at the US Cemetery in Ipswich on 2 July 1945. I assume he was initially buried in the US Military Cemetery in Townsville and exhumed for reburial at Ipswich. He was later exhumed again with all the others at Ipswich to be returned by ship to Hawaii after the war.

 


Photo:- Bob Livingstone Collection

B-24D-150 Liberator #42-41226 "Double Trouble"

 


Photo:- Curtis Bertrand

The Nose Art for B-24D Liberator #42-41226 "Double Trouble". Curtis took
 the photo while the artwork was being done. You can barely see the stencil
outline of the name "Double Trouble" before the artist had painted it.

 


Photo:- Frederick German

The completed nose art on B-24D Liberator #42-41226 "Double Trouble"

 

B-24D Liberator #42-41226 was initially assigned to the 65th Bomb Squadron of the 43rd Bomb Group on 8 September 1943.

By mid-January 1944, "Double Trouble" had probably run up a total approaching 50 missions, and was reaching the end of its useful combat life. The bomber was thus selected as one of a dozen, mostly “war-weary” B-24s, transferred from the 43rd Bomb Group to the 22nd Bomb Group in Australia.

Roger Marks told me in early 2018 that he had visited the site of what he believed to be a B-24 Liberator crash south of the highway near Southern Cross. The position that Roger advised is in the right general area. It is therefore most likely that this is the crash site of B-24D-150 Liberator #42-41226 "Double Trouble" of the 19th Bomb Squadron, 22nd Bomb Group.

 


Photo:- Roger Marks

A serial number can just be seen on this part of the Horizontal Stabiliser Trim Tab
from the wreck site near Southern Cross. It appears to read "22T 50?-3.26 L-B24 D"

 


Photo:- Roger Marks

Part of the Horizontal Stabiliser Trim Tab from the wreck site near Southern Cross

 


Photo:- Roger Marks

The Horizontal Stabiliser Trim Tab from the wreck site near Southern Cross

 

REFERENCES

"Dad's War Photos - His Journey Through the South Pacific" by Neal Bertrand

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Roger Marks and Bob Livingstone for their assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

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©  Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 22 April 2018

This page last updated 01 May 2018