I would recommend utilizing Mike at the accident report email you gave.Yes, it is a fee paid service--but you can TALK to him and know precisely what you are getting rather than relying on the Gubmint worker to try to figure it out.Mike is much quicker and reliable--I use his service frequently.
Mike has a monumental personal investment in the films of the MACRs--I do not begrudge him the fee--it is pocket change to the customer considering the benefits of qualified direct service.
In viewing the initial question posed by Teresa about Massey, I have accumulated a significant amount of information on the crew.This morning I have qualified three additional names of individuals that can be associated with this aircraft loss.TWO OF THEM ARE STILL LIVING!
I think it would be worthwhile to QUALIFY Massey on this aircraft--then Teresa should plan at least two weeks of telephoning and letter writing and even video interviews to get input from these two men.There will never be another opportunity.
I found it interesting that one of the new three was listed as Special Services. (He is still with us)This could very well be indicative of the photographic nature of the mission as detailed in the note on 7th AF ops of 29MAY44. It is also one of those curious facts of WW2 paperwork that "other than aircrew" might NOT be listed on the manifest of the flight--because Massey and this Special Services officer were not"members of the family" ie: personnel of the numbered unit that "owned" the plane. One needs to say a silent prayer that the ground chief had the foresight to list Massey on the manifest and that will connect the two ends of the story.
Therefore it is possible that Massey--as a PFC--could have been a member of this Special Services unit--thus having a reason to be aboard the plane other than being one of the assignedcombat air crew.
Things are beginning to fall into place.We just need to connect the ends of the story.
I would wish to offer a suggestion of caution at this point as the nature of this story begins to come together.The plane was obviously lost--whether shot down or otherwise is TBD.It is a fact that six of the crew disappeared with the plane--whether in the sea or in the jungle is also TBD.Three additional men were captured.One of these died in prison camp on the Japanese mainland.Massey is listed as KIA.
Only the two survivors of this ordeal can tell the story of the loss of the plane and might possibly shed some light on Massey's death.Teresa's initial contact should be couched in this knowledge that these two survivors endured the crash of an airplane, and over a year of existance in a Jap POW camp.This was not Hogan's Heroes.
At the risk of putting a pall on this story before it even begins, I noted in my search for data on this plane, that there were several reported instances of POWs being executed by the enemy (in a manner that we have seen on recent newscasts)--specifically on the three island atolls indicated in the Operations Diary. These islands were never consolidated by Allied forces, and remained in enemy hands until the war ended.This is something to keep in the back of one's mind as the story progresses.