B-24: 44-42329 lost near Saigon on June 12, 1945 ( 380th BG)

Discussion in '380th BG' started by RSwank, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    In the “long running” thread we have on Gross Gerau, AirWar (Jaap), on post #287 gave the following link:


    It is to a document called a “Synopsis of War Crime Trials”.
    I started paging through it and on pdf page 25 was struck by the following:

    110-J Trial of W/O Tomono Shundo, Kempei Tai,
    Date & Place of Trial: 28 March 1946 at Singapore.
    Charge: Execution of two United States airmen at Saigon in July, 1945.
    Verdict: Guilty.
    Sentence: Death by hanging. Sentence executed 23 May 1946.
    A little searching turned up this website: http://www.singaporewarcrimestrials.com/
    and further investigation in their “illegal killings” section leads to a man called “Tomono Shunio”.

    When you follow up on him you find a write-up in a section called “Case Information” (click on it), which has some further links: http://www.singaporewarcrimestrials.com/case-summaries/detail/015
    But In Summary:
    “Tomono Shunio was a Warrant Officer employed at Saigon Kempeitai Headquarter in prese. On 12 June 1945, an American bomber crashed about 30km from Cholon, French Indo-China, while on a mission from Philippines to bomb the railway at Saigon. The 2 survivors of the crash, Allen W. Nicks and Joseph A. De Maria, were taken to the Kempeitai prison in Saigon, where they were subjected to various forms of torture and beatings.”

    “Early in July 1945, Tomono Shunio ordered the Americans to be transported blindfolded and marched barefoot to a secluded spot near Long Thanh Airfield. There, Tomono Shunio went into the nearby jungle with his subordinate. Tomono Shunio had the smaller of the Americans brought to him, made the American kneel down beside a dug hole and decapitated him with a sword. The other American was then executed by Tomono Shunio's subordinate in a similar fashion. Both bodies were then buried.”

    “Tomono Shunio was then charged and found guilty of the killing of both men and sentenced to death by hanging. His subordinate committed suicide before the British could arrest him.”

    On fold3.com we can find the crash of B-24: 44-42329 on June 12, 1945 from the 380th BG, 539th BS.
    Allen W Nicks and Joseph A De Maria were gunners on the plane.

    The MACR starts here for those with fold3.com access. https://www.fold3.com/image/29029838

    The MACR says the plane was hit by flak behind the #2 engine. The plane went into a left bank and the engine was feathered. The plane continued down very fast and it looked like it made a belly landing in a rice paddy, but it had broken up and was seen burning. Three chutes were open on the ground to the right and behind the wreckage, but the bodies were still in the harness and lying prone.

    The MACR lists the entire 11 man crew as KIA with no mention of the War Crimes. Also it appears that while the 380th BG websites have some info on the plane and crew they don’t have any War Crime info either. I will follow up with them.

    All of the crew have “linked” find-a-grave postings including:
    Nicks: https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56749966
    De Maria: https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56759831

    I will point the find-a-grave creator (Russ Pickett) to this thread, as he may want to update the write-ups.
    Airwar, AACS45 and 25Kingman49 like this.
  2. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  3. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Rolland,thats why I post the whole page,so someone start some research and you did,great.


    Attached Files:

    RSwank likes this.

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