Re: Searching for information
There are a few disconnects in the cse of PFC Massey--but potentially a great connection can be made.
I was only able to verify one (1) aircraft carrying more than just a pilot lost in the Pacific for 29MAY44.This was in the 11th Bomb Group 431st Squadron.This Group was part of the 7th Air Force.
Aircraft tail number 42-73499.
It was a B-24-J-50-CO.
This plane appears to have originally been on inventory with the 30th Bomb Group 819 Sqn and carried the name BAT OUT OF HELL.At some point it was transfered to the 11th BG still carrying that name, and was soon renamed CLOUDY JOE.
It was this named plane that was lost on 29MAY44.
I was not able to specifically determine if Massey was a member of the crew.That is disconnect 1.
Disconnect 2 is that it was rather unusual for Enlisted personnel below the rank of Sergeant to be on flight status as part of a combat crew.Of course anything is possible, but it is odd.
I was able to associate six (6) other names with the loss of this plane on 29MAY44.Three of these names appear on the NWW2M page with next of kin listed.The other three do not.That would be the great connection if we can determine that Massey was aboard.
Including Massey, that would total seven (7) of a possible 10 man crew.What became of the other two or three?
Disconnect 3 is that the three kin who wrote comments in their memorials all indicate that the plane was shot down on a bombing run over Saipan.I have not studied the operations around Saipan, but the Theater Diary for that date states the following:
MONDAY, 29 MAY 1944
PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA, Seventh Air Force): Operations are restricted to photo missions over Wotje, Mille, and Jaluit Atolls.
These objectives are in the Marshall Islands.Saipan is in the Northern Marianas.
At this time 29MAY44, the 431st Sqn was operating from air fields on Kwajalein.
See Map: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-M-Marshalls/maps/USMC-M-Marshalls-15.jpghttp://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-M-Marshalls/maps/USMC-M-Marshalls-15.jpg
I would recommend acquiring the MACR that can be directly associated with Massey.
I feel confident that he will be included with the names of those listed MIA above.
My reference to the above aircraft loss is MACR #5447.