Last Known Activity
Francis Barlow Duffy was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 25, 1916, the son of Frank Christopher and Rowena Julie Barlow Duffy. His NARA enlistment record states he enlisted as a private in the Army Air Corps on March 25, 1942. It also states he had completed 4 years of high school, was single, and had worked as a general office clerk.
After basic training, he qualified for flight duty, and was sent to Navigator School. He graduated from that course of instruction in 1943 and was assigned to the newly-activated 90th Bomb Group for operational training and combat crew selection. He was assigned to a crew headed by Lt. James S. Riley.
After training at Pocotello, Idaho and Long Beach, California, the crew flew their aircraft to Iron Range, Australia in November 1943, and commenced combat operations against the Japanese. They were assigned to the 319th Bomb Squadron and sent to the forward base at Nadzab, New Guinea.
On Mar 3, 1944, they were tasked for a weather recon mission preceding a strke on the Japanese base at Wewak, New Guinea. Approximately 17 miles from base, the aircraft hit a mountain. The plane crashed in flames and all the crew were killed.
The bodies were recovered and buried in a temporary military cemetery. Lt Duffy was laer returned to the U.S. and buried in Garden of Memories in Metairie, Louisiana.
USAAC-USAAF Aircraft Inventory Records
NARA Enlistment records
Lt Francis B. Duffy was the navigator on B-24J # 42-7279, nicknamed "Naughty Blue Eyes," assigned to the 319th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 15107 and 90th Bomb Group records show the crew was composed of:
1 Lt James S. Riley p
2 Lt Robert J. Carpenter c-p*
2 Lt Francis B. Duffy nav
2 Lt Ormond K. Siron bomb
TSgt Jack L. Sheats flt eng
Sgt Dale A. Edge r/o
SSgt Ralph E. Grau asst flt eng
SSgt John F. Simpson nose gunner
SSgt Franklin K. Higgins gunner
SSgt George W. Webb gunner
SSgt Everett N. Dietrich weather observer*
SSgt Charlie L. Landrum, Jr photographer*
SSgt Arthur G. Clark gunner*
* Lt Carpenter was a substitute for Lt Anderson, the regulat co-pilot, who was ill. SSgt Clark was not a member of the regular crew, andd SSgts Dietrich and Landrum were assigned to make the weather recon.
In the crew photo, Duffy is in back, third from left.
Service photo source: