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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 141674
Last updated: 22 November 2021
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Date:07-DEC-1941
Time:morning
Type:Silhouette image of generic B24 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Consolidated B-24A Liberator
Owner/operator:88th PRSqn /1st PRGp USAAF
Registration: 40-2371
MSN: 3
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Other fatalities:2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Hickam Field, HI (Pearl Harbour raid) -   United States of America
Phase: Standing
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Hickam Field, HI
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Consolidated B-24A Liberator 40-2371, 88th Reconnaissance Sqn, 1st Photo Group, USAAF: destroyed on the ground at Hickam Field, Hawaii December 7, 1941. First US aircraft to be destroyed in WW 2. This was one of the two planes that had been earmarked for a secret flight over Japanese bases on Jaluit and Truk in the South Pacific. It had arrived at Hickam Field on December 5,1941 to have their guns installed before continuing on to the Philippines. It should be made clear that, although there were two aircrew fatalities, neither crew member was aboard 40-2371 at the time of its destruction.

According to eyewitness testimony:

"My grandmother's cousin, Edmund R "Ted" Faulkner (1914-1970) was the pilot of 40-2371 and he was standing nearby when the bombs starting falling. 2 of his crew were killed and several more wounded. One of those killed, Gustav Moslener, is often credited as being the first US Airman to die in WWII- the bomb (one of the first to fall) killed him immediately while he was standing inside of Hangar 15".

Find A Grave adds: "2nd Lt Louis Gustav Moslener Jr., was the navigator on B-24A Liberator 40-2371. He and his crew belonged to the 88th Reconnaissance Squadron, andarrived at Hickam Field, Hawaii on December 5, 1941 to complete final preparations for a secret project to photograph Japanese military bases in the Marshall and Caroline Islands. Problems were encountered in installing the machine guns and the aircraft was still there on the morning of 7 December. That morning, Moslener and his crew were at hangar 15 preparing their plane for a short check flight before leaving on the next leg of their journey when the Japanese attack began. A bomb hit the hangar, killing Moslener along with another crew member and wounding four more of the crew.

Moslener was one of the first Americans killed in World War II, and the plane was the first US aircraft destroyed in the war. The other aircrew fatality was Pvt Daniel J Powloski:

"Private in the Army Air Corp and crewman on B-24A 40-2371. He and his crew belonged to the 88th reconnaissance Squadron, and arrived at Hickam Field, Hawaii on December 5, 1941 to complete final preparations for a secret project to photograph Japanese military bases in the Marshall and Caroline Islands. Problems were encountered in installing the machine guns and the aircraft was still there on the morning of 7 December. That morning, Powloski and his crew were at hangar 15 preparing their plane for a short check flight before leaving on the next leg of their journey when the Japanese attack began. A bomb hit the hangar, killing one of Powloski's crew mates and wounding four more. Powloski was not killed by the initial blast, but at some point later during the attack.


Sources:

1. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1940.html
2. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougsheley/5295483040
3. https://www.findagrave.com/virtual-cemetery/290781
4. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/71965895/louis-gustav-moslener
5. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56119554/daniel-j-powloski


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
06-Jan-2012 13:04 Uli Elch Added
23-Jun-2021 20:34 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
26-Jun-2021 09:11 Anon. Updated [Operator, Operator]

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