Execution of Aviators at Rabaul
October 8, 1942

Rabaul    Main Camp List    Home
Source: RG 331 Box 943- Rabaul documents & cannibalism- Mansell NARA #7; IMG_0008
Subject: Men moved from 6th Kempei Tai to Tunnel Hill 2 Mar 1944 and other details; Correct names of executed men [in red] have been determined by the Center For Research, Roger Mansell, Director. See also PacificWrecks site re this B-26.

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In reply please quote No. 5180

Heindorff House
Queen Street

18th September, 1945.
From: Supervising Intelligence Officer, North Eastern Area.
To: Deputy Controller, Allied Intelligence Bureau
Subject: Information concerning U.S. Army personnel captured at Rabaul.

1. Information has been received, from Lieut. Commander H.A. Mackenzie, R.A.N. [Royal Australian Navy] , who is at present at Rabaul, that the following U.S. Airmen were captured by the Japanese and taken to Rabaul and interned in Military Camp there until A.M. 8th October, 1942.

Pilot MAISEY (or Massey) {true spelling is Massie} of Chicago [and] Bdr. KING, home not known:
Survivors from B-17 {actually a B-26} which crashed at Wide Bay, south coast of New Britain 24 May 1942.

Massie, Harold L., 1st Lt, O&421276, 22nd Bomb Group (H) 408th Bomb Squadron; Pilot, Silver Star (photo courtesy of Jim Opolony)

King, Arthur C., 1st Lt, O&432982, 22nd Bomb Group (H) 408th Bomb Squadron; Bombardier, Silver Star
Photo courtesy of Bruce Radebaugh: "Arthur C. King's hometown was Cleveland, Ohio. He was married to my Aunt, Sue Radebaugh. He and Massie survived the ditching of their B-26 (40-1474), not a B-17, on May 24, 1942."

Capt. PEACE of New England and Photographer CHIKOWSKY of Chicago:
Baled out of a B-17 near KABAKUAL, near Rabaul. Aircraft crashed near KOKOPO, Rabaul.
Pease, Harl Jr., Captain, O&395206, 19th Bomb Group (H) 93rd Bomb Squadron, Medal of Honor 7 Aug 1942, DFC with Oak Leaf [picture]

Czechowski, Chester M., Sgt., 6915712, 19th Bomb Group (H) 93rd Bomb Squadron, DFC

2. MAISEY (or MASSEY), KING, PEACE, AND CHIKOWSKY, together with two Australian P.O.W. [unknown at present] were removed from the Military Prison on the morning of the 8th October 1942 ostensibly to work on the new air strip (location of strip not stated.) Some of their clothing was returned to the prison that night. As these six men were never seen again by the remainder of the prisoners they considered that the six had been executed P.M. 8th October 1942.

3. Of the remainder of the crew of the B-17 which crashed at Wide Bay on 24th May 1942, four are believed to have escaped to New Guinea and two to have been killed in the aircraft. The remainder of the crew of Captain PEACE's aircraft were killed when the aircraft crashed. These men were buried behind the copra drying kiln at MAKURAPAU plantation (near Rabaul) by Father OBEREITER, a missionary at Kakakaul.

4. The above report is graded B2.

/S/ J.C. McManus
Commander, R.A.N.
Supervising Intelligence Officer

Certified a true copy:
Lt Colonel, CE
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President Franklin D. Roosevelt awarded Pease the Medal Of Honor in December, 1942. No one knew he had been captured and executed by the Japanese.