B-17 Flying Fortress "Hoomalimali"Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Huth / Richard Rudd

A monument commemorates the crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress "Hoomalmali" which crashed at Mareeba airfield in 1942.

In the early hours of the 14th of September 1942 a series of tragic events occurred along the Mareeba Airstrip of the Far North Queensland’s Australian airfield. USAAF, B-17 Flying Fortress 41-24391 nicknamed "Hoomalimali" with a crew of 9 US Servicemen was preparing to take off. The B-17 was one of many B-17’s based at Mareeba at the time attached to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 63rd Bombardment Squadron that were carrying out a bombing mission on targets near Rabaul.

As the B-17 Flying Fortress "Hoomalimali" was taking off with a heavy bomb load, as well as being overloaded it crashed at the end of the airstrip into large trees and exploded on impact. All on board perished in the tragic crash.


Address:Vicary Road, Mareeba Airfield, Mareeba, 4880
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -17.070278
Long: 145.433056
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event STart Date:14-September-1942
Actual Event End Date:14-September-1942


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 17th September, 2011
Front Inscription

In memory of the crew and the
United States Army Air Forces
B-17F Flying Fortress, Serial 41-24391 nicknamed
attached to the Fifth Air Force, 43rd Bombardment Group, 63rd Bombardment
Squadron, that crashed on the 14th September 1942 during take-off at
Hoevet Field, Mareeba.

At 03 30 hrs "Hoomalimali" was one of the many B-17's that were destined for 7 Mile Field Port Moresby for a bombing mission.  With its heavy bomb and fuel load, the aircraft began to taxi along the strip.

The aircraft began its take-off late along the airstrip, full power was applied, causing the plane to lift off but due to its overloaded cargo and lack of power the aircraft flew for aprrox 1/2 mile off the end of the airstrip crashing into a thick woodland causing it to explode on impact, tragically killing all aboard.

Captain Herschell R Henson  Pilot          Serial No 0-403853
2nd Lt Francis Kritzmacher   Co-Pilot      Serial No 0432236
1st Lt James S Bastion        Navigator    Serial No 0434953
T/Sgt John P. Doran             Bombardier Serial No 6584679
T/Sgt John A. Samara          Engineer     Serial No 6845149
Sgt Lawrence W Donker       Asst Eng    Serial No 6979514
S/Sgt Louise N Camp Jr       Radio Op    Serial No 6958735
Corporal Robert G Case        Radio Asst Serial No 16014470
Private Jack C Kaynor          Tail Gunner Serial No 20631158

Their dedication to duty and honout paved the way for freedom for all

Donated by Mareeba RSL Sub-Branch

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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