This is an interesting exchange on a request submitted to our website. We thought it worthy of publishing here. ~ Webmaster
I do research into WW-II in the SW Pacific and on a mission to the Solomon Islands in 2009, I came across the dog tag of: Lt. Kenneth Caisse, of which I returned to his family in Portland Oregon in early 2010. I am curious, just recently looking at the 71st "Forever Honored", the crew are not on the static non-moving list, has there been an update on their MIA status ?
If you Google search: "Shane Elliott dog tags" you can see some of the work I have done with locating plane wrecks and/or families.
Orland Gage, Secretary/Treasurer of the 38th Bomb Group Association responds:
When I started to research Shane Elliott's email I ran into a can of worms. The date of being shot down did not match what was on the KIA list. Research yielded this and please be patient.
I will start with Lt Caisse first. He and the rest of the crew were shot down over a convoy in the Buna-Gona area on 5 October 1942. They were flying in B-25 C #41--29701 called BATTLIN BIFFIE of the 71st squadron. The crew list was as follows:
Carey, 1st Lt. Terrence J. Pilot
Meader, 2nd Lt. Lauren S. Co-pilot
Germain, 2nd Lt. Phillip E. Navigator
Caisse, 2nd Lt. Kenneth M. Bombardier
McElory, Sgt. Paul D. Radio Operator
Conlon, Pfc. Richard J. Gunner
Pagliuso, S/Sgt. John A. Photographer-- This man was from the 405th Sqdn.
I found too many men killed on 12/1/42 and had to research very hard to come up with this:
B-25D 41-29707 named THE 'SUNSETTERS" SON was shot down by Zero's over a convoy in the Buna Area on 1 December 1942. The crew list follows:
Menoher, 1st Lt. Ross G. Pilot
Savely, 2nd Lt. Lloyd l. Co-Pilot
Purkey, 2nd Lt. Roland A. Naviigator
Hindman, 2nd Lt. Roy E. Bombardier
Kelley, T/Sgt. Edward A. Radio Operator
Dennis, Sgt. Peter R. Gunner
Wolcott, Pvt. George V. Aerial Gunner.
Shane says he found Lt. Caisse's dog tag in the Solomon Islands. The Buna-Gona area is a long ways from the Solomons. This indicates to me that Lt. Caisse may have survived and been captured by the Japanese and transported to the Solomons as a prisoner and later executed. This is only a conjecture on my part but fits what we know about the Japanese and the men of the 38th who were captured. Remember that we only recovered one man of many men that the Japanese captured who was returned alive at the end of the war.
Orland Gage, Secretary/Treasurer
38th Bomb Group Association