The Texas Terror

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Date: 18 Dec 1942 [unknown]
Location: Mount Stralock, Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, Australiamap
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B-24 Liberator - "Texas Terror"

B-24D-7-CO - Serial Number 41-23825
5th Air Force, 90th Bombardment Group, 400th Bombardment Squadron.


The aircraft was being flown from Amberley to Iron Range and was being piloted by Captain James E. Gumaer, Jr. The aircraft departed Garbutt Field in Townsville, Queensland, Australia at 8:15 a.m. 18 December 1942. It was one of six B-24's on a flight bound for Port Moresby, New Guinea. When the formation got to Cairns, Queensland, Austraila they ran into a violent storm. The Texas Terror was last seen heading out to sea believed to have had mechanical problems. Upon the Texas Terrors failure to return, the plane, crew and passengers were listed as Missing In Action. Subsequent searches of the regions were unsuccessful in locating any trace of the aircraft, crew or passengers.

One of the passengers on the ill fated B-24, Lt. Raymond F. Dakin, was carrying payroll for US soldiers in New Guinea who had not been paid since August.


It wasn't until 1943, when two Aboriginals prospecting for stream tin in the upper gullies of Mount Stralock on Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, Australia, found the evidence of the wreckage of the Texas Terror and made a report to the local authorities. Experienced climbers were dispatched and it was discovered that the aircraft had crashed into the south slope of Mount Stralock at about 3,000 feet during the storm. Navigation error is listed as the cause of the crash.

Not long after the discovery of the crash site the Australian Federal Police recovered the US payroll funds from two men in a nearby town.


A recovery mission was undertaken after the discovery of the site in 1943. Later in 1959 climbers discovered more human remains from the crash. US Army CILHI undertook the recovery of those remains.


Originally buried in the USAF Military Cemetery, in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. Later exhumed and transported to the USA for permanent burial at Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Lincoln, Nebraska in a group burial.


Maple Grove Cemetery, Munising, Alger County, Michigan, USA
Mount Stralock, Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, Australia: A six-foot aluminum cross (made by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) cadets) at the crash site bearing the names of those who were killed in the crash.
Ingham (beach at Lucinda), Queensland, Australia: Stone memorial with a propeller blade recovered from the crash site.


Crew - 90th Bomb Group
Captain James E. Gumaer, Jr., pilot
2nd Lt Dewey G. Hooper, copilot
2nd Lt David B. Lowe, navigator
T/Sgt Waldo W. Kellner, flight engineer
Staff Sergeant Walter E. Haydt, radio operator
Colonel Carroll G. Riggs, 197th Coastal Artillery
Captain Peter E. Kiple, 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group
Lt Raymond F. Dakin, 197th Coastal Artillery
Captain Carl H. Silber, 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group
Lt John E. Cooper, Jr., 22nd Bomb Group, 19th Bomb Squadron
Robert C. Trevithick, Representative of Pratt & Whitney division of United Aircraft Corp
Tec4 Michael M. Goldstop, 1156th QM Co.


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