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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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Old 17th February 2019, 18:22
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Lost US airmen, confirmation please

Hello,
Lost airmen, confirmation please.

It is my opinion that airmen whether aircrew or ground crew who were reported as MIA were covered by an MACR.

If they were lost by - say while being transported by sea and the ship was damaged by bombs or even sunk ( by bombs or submarines ) - which resulted in their loss, would there then be an MACR issued ?

My thinking is that there would not be an MACR for them.

If my thinking is correct, then how was their loss recorded ?

Thanks
Alex
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Old 17th February 2019, 22:06
Luc Vervoort Luc Vervoort is offline
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Re: Lost US airmen, confirmation please

Hi Alex,

Found only 1 MACR concerning a vessel:
Macr 15091 is for Lt.Robert Granger who was aboard the vessel Maria del Pilar with destination Australia. His arrival was never reported.

Best regards

Luc
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Old 17th February 2019, 22:12
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: Lost US airmen, confirmation please

Thank you Luc, the men I have in mind were not officers though, maybe that makes a difference ?
Alex
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Old 19th February 2019, 01:26
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Lost US airmen, confirmation please

MACR were designed to cover a loss occuring in an aircraft (with notions of aircraft serial, take off hour and so on). AFAIK only the one referred above was for a loss not involving an aircraft. There are several MACRs for RAF Bomber Command aircraft having an American crew.

But MACR does not cover all missing aircrew. If an aircraft was based in the USA and went missing during a patrol or a training sortie, no MACR was issued.

As for losses occurring at sea, you can check US Navy war diaries available on fold3 if you have a pay account. Or you can check the IPDF for each casualty.

All USAAF personnel lost in WWII are supposed to be listed in the database available at http://www.usaafdata.com/search. I have found some men to be missing but would say that over 95% of the USAAF deaths, including in the USA, in ground incidents or in ship sinkings, were there in the case I studied. You can try to type the name of your ship in the details field with the "contain" search option. It works well for the Dorchester and the Paul Hamilton. On the other hand the troopships Cape San Juan sunk in November 1943 with USAAF troops aboard is not listed. Most of the casualties were from 855th Engineer Battalion -Aviation, and typing "855th" in details give you 13 casualties for 11 November 1943, while ABMC has 98 for the same day. Most of the USAAF casualties aboard Cape San Juan are missing in the http://www.usaafdata.com/search database, the biggest missing number I have met so far using it.

Best it to search with the airman name still, as many entries are lacking for a details field (or show only BG or FG).
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Old 20th February 2019, 01:28
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: Lost US airmen, confirmation please

Hello Laurent,
Thanks for your replies, most welcome.
As I thought an MACR is for "aircrew" but there are some who were lost under other circumstances that do have an MACR, cannot name them right now without searching but there were.
I do have the ships name and the names of the airmen on board who were as said not officers, so just wondered if an officer would that have warented an MACR ?
As I have previously believed that rank made no difference.
Maybe an MACR was not made because the ships name and their fate and place ( Lat/Long) of loss was known as happened in Europe when they came down in allied territory ?
Again Many thanks
Alex
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Old 20th February 2019, 03:44
Frank Olynyk Frank Olynyk is offline
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Re: Lost US airmen, confirmation please

The MACR form was intended to be used starting on July 1, 1943. Aircrew losses before that point may or may not (usually not) have a MACR. If there is an earlier one it is usually because someone wrote the Army asking for information on a loss, and the request was passed back to the unit to "prepare something like a MACR." If you look through the MACRs numbered say from 15000 up you will find many of them refer to much earlier dates (last MACR # is about 16607). A number of these appear to be losses which should have been covered by a MACR at the time.

MACR 15725 is for the loss of the SS Paul Hamilton, but is just a list of the men lost; there is no actual MACR form.

MACRs were assigned numbers when they arrived in Washington, not by the sending Air Force. There was no way for 8th and 14th Air Forces (for example) to coordinate the numbering.

MACRs were mailed to Washington by the originating command, consisting of anything from one to 20-30 MACRs (the cover letters for such shipments can frequently be found among the MACRs). It is possible that a MACR package could get lost. I have never attempted to compare the list of aircraft serials and pilots given in the cover letter to the collection of MACRs to see what is missing. The 332nd FG lost five P-51s on August 12, 1944, for which there is only one MACR (pilot DED). Three of the others were POW and should obviously have had a MACR prepared, while the fifth pilot is noted as KIA (I have no locations on these as yet; that is a task for MAW6).

MACRs were prepared without regard to the rank of the casualty. If an enlisted man bailed out of a damaged aircraft which none the less managed to return to Allied territory, a MACR would be prepared for him.

In addition to the MACR form, units were also supposed to prepare a Battle Casualty Report for any injured, wounded, or lost aircrew. These sometimes show up in the unit records. But I have never found a collection of these reports, which would be rather large.

Enjoy!

Frank.
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Last edited by Frank Olynyk; 20th February 2019 at 19:10. Reason: Additional notes.
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Old 20th February 2019, 14:24
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: Lost US airmen, confirmation please

Thank you Frank for your full explanation, it is welcomed.
Alex
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