Aircraft B-24D with serial number 42-72963 departed from APO #420 on a combat mission to the Marshall Islands.
Statement from Captain Jesse E. Stay:
The last time I saw Lt. Bechert’s airplane, #42-72963, he followed me directly over the target in formation. We peeled off to make individual runs and to get a better view of the target. The conditions were semi-instrument so lost track of him. As we came back towards the target we saw Lt. Dechert on his bombing run. That was the last time I saw him. We circled the target, made our run and peeled down into the clouds. We had seen no Zeros in the air until we were on our last run. As we cleared the target we were attacked by five Zeros. We saw no Zeros attacking Lt Dechert as he made his run. Static interference on the Command Frequency was strong enough to make reception practically impossible.
Pilot, 2nd Lt George R. Dechert
Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt Robert S. baker
Navigator, 2nd Lt William E. Barwick
Bombardier, 2nd Lt William G. Roy
Engineer, T/Sgt Eugene L. Snodgrass
Assistant Engineer, S/Sgt Robert E. Lipe
Radio Operator, T/Sgt Ralph J. Walbeck
Assistant Radio Operator, S/Sgt David L. Buckles
Armorer Gunner, S/Sgt Carl J. Anderson
Gunner, S/Sgt Willie T. Little
Staff Sergeant Anderson is memorialized at Honolulu.