(25 Feb;'44; 447th BS War Diary: A scheduled mission to Spolita L/G was cancelled because of weather. A practice mission to Crotone L/G was scheduled and briefed, but cancelled because of weather. It was reported that Capt. DeMay’s plane may have been found in the mountains east of Salerno. It has now been determined that the crews of the three planes lost on 19 February were as follows” #775, Capt. K.C. DeMay, Cpl D.W. Allender, Sgt. J. Kaiser, Sgt. S.O. Pearson, Cpl. J.P. Lee, S/Sgt. R.C. Cooper)
447th Bomb Squad WAR-DIARY and Capt. Henry Stephenson's Report on their 2 ship Flight ; on Saturday, 19 Febuary, 1944.
Kenneth C DeMay; Capt/Pilot.
Sgt Stanley O Pearson;
James P Lee;
Raymond C Cooper; S/Sgt;
Darrel W Allander; Cpl.
Jacob Kaiser, Jr. Sgt. ;
447th BS: Extracts from Missing Air Crew Report # 2618:
A/C No. 41-29775 ((MACR-2618 - crashed - missing) Pilot; DeMay, Kenneth C., Capt - MIA, KNB E Cooper, Raymond C., S/Sgt - MIA, KNB PAX Allender, Darrel W., Cpl - MIA, KNB PAX Kaiser, Jacob (NMI), Jr., Sgt - MIA, KNB PAX Lee, James P., Cpl - MIA, KNB PAX Pearson, Stanley O., Sgt - MIA, KNB PAX
Eyewitness Account: Olson, Robert C., Capt, pilot, 447th BS
447th BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON (M) AAF
Office of the Operations Officer
360.33-DeMay, Kenneth C. & crew. February 21, 1944
SUBJECT: Missing Air Crew Report.
TO : Headquarters, Army Air Forces, Washington, D. C. (Thru Channels)
1. I flew to Vincenzo Field on the morning of February 19, 1944, to ferry some equipment and men back to Gaudo Field. I took off at 0845 and headed toward NAPLES as there was a large opening in that direction. I climbed to 10,000 feet and took up a heading for NAPLES. I was above the overcast all the way and identified FOGGIA by radio compass. I then flew out to sea a short distance and found a hole, let down, and returned to VINCENZO.
2. Captain STEPHENSON called FOGGIA MAIN about 1230 and asked about the weather to NAPLES. He was told they were clearing ships for NAPLES.
Saturday, 19 February 1944 (continued)
3. My plane was loaded and I was ready for a return trip about 1300 in the afternoon. Captain DEMAY and I decided to fly a two-ship formation so as to be better prepared to combat any weather. He decided to head North and try to climb through a hole which extended over the spur North of FOGGIA. We took off, found the hole, climbed to 9,500 feet and headed for Gaudo Field. We were flying between two layers and heading for a strip of blue. We were about thirty minutes on course when we ran into a solid overcast. Captain DEMAY made a diving left turn. I followed and lost him, then went on instruments and headed North. I climbed to 14,000 feet, making a slow turn South, believing that if I headed South I would break out. At 14,000 feet I was still in the overcast and turned to a heading of approximately thirty degrees (30°) to head for FOGGIA. Still no luck, so I turned again North and broke out. I then headed for GAUDO, found a hole and descended just North of GAUDO Field.
4. Captain Stephenson flew from VINCENZO to GAUDO Field on the afternoon of February 19, between two layers of clouds and encountered only haze. He took off about 1330 hours.
ROBERT C. OLSON Captain, Air Corps,
(Attachment to MAC Rpt, 447th Bomb Squadron (M). Captain DeMay and crew, dated February 21, 1944)
Barbi Ennis Connolly, 319th and 321st Bomb Group Historian PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com and the 57th BW Historical Research Team; John T Fitzgerald, Patti Johnson and Barbi Ennis Connolly.