Last Known Activity
Jimmie Doyle was born on Oct 29, 1918, in Mckinney, TX, the son of Tom and Mamie Doyle.
According to his enlistment record, he enlisted in Lubbock, Texas on August 8, 1943. The record states he was married, had completed grammar school, and was employed as a brick or stone mason. He married Myrle Dean Wells in Lamesa, TX, on September 21, 1940. They had one child, Wells Thomas Doyle, who was approximately 15 months old when Jimmie left the U.S.
After basic training, Jimmie was accepted into Aerial Gunnery training. He must have had additional training because when deployed overseas, he also was assigned as Assistant Flight Engineer, in addition to being utilized as a nose gunner.
He was assigned to the 424th Bomb Squadron, 307th Bomb Group, located in the Southwest Pacific Theater. His unit was known as the "Long Rangers" because of the long missions against the Japanese-held islands. Some of these missions were more than 17 hours in duration.
On September 1, 1944, Doyle and the rest of the 11-man crew took off from Wadke Island to attack the enemy base at Koror. Their aircraft was a B-24J, # 42-73453, nicknamed "Babes in Arms." SSgt Doyle had been switched from tail gunner to nose gunner for this mission, and was still manifested as Assistant Flight Engineer.
As the aircraft settled into the attack heading, the enemy anti-aircraft fire became intense. An eye-witness account of that mission includes the following statement: "Two direct hits were observed in the left wing and #2 engine. The engine burst into flame just as the formation reached the Bomb Release Line. The bomb load was salvoed, the left wing broke off, and the fuselage broke in two as the aircraft plunged toward the waters between Babelthuap and Koror Islands."
Other accounts indicated three of the crew bailed out. However, they were captured and executed by the Japanese. Documents acquired from enemy sources after the war proved this correct. The American Graves Registration Service ruled in 1949 that all remains at the crash site were non-recoverable.
Starting in 200, a team from the POW.MIA Accounting Command mounted several investigations in the area, searching for evidence of mass burials. Although they never found anything of that nature, they were contacted in 2004 by a group called the "Bent Prop Project" that had discovered the wreckage of a B-24 on the ocean floor several miles from where the aircraft had supposedly crashed.
In 2007, after several attempts by the U.S. Navy and other groups, human remains and other evidence was recovered from the wreck. Coincidentally, at his request, the search team was joined by Thomas Doyle, the grandson of Jimmie Doyle.
By use of DNA data and dental records, machine gun serial numbers, and identification tags, the remains of several of the crew were recovered.
According to official news releases, the joint remains of 6 of the crew, including SSgt Doyle, were interred at Arlington National Cemetery on April 30, 2010. However, in Lamesa, TX, the local newspaper has an account of SSgt Doyle being returned to his family for individual burial. In fact, there are several accompanying photographs that show the flag draped coffin, and the burial site, with a description of how a walkway was moved to provide sufficient burial space.
In addition, the article included the information that Tommy Doyle, grandson of SSgt Jimmie Doyle, escorted his grandfather's remains to Lamesa for the funeral. Tommy is a Captain in the Marine Corps, who served two full tours in Iraq.
USAAC-USAAF Aircraft Inventory Records
USAAF Accident Reports
According to Missing Air Crew Report 8641, the crew was:
2 Lt Jack S.M. Arnett p
F/O William B. Simpson
2 Lt Arthur J. Schumacher nav
2 Lt Frank J. Arhar bomb
TSgt Robert J. Stinson eng
SSgt Jimmie Doyle asst eng/ nose gunner
TSgt Charles T. Goudling r/o
SSgt John Moore asst r/o
SSgt Earl E. Yoh gunner
SSgt Leland D. Price tail gun
Sgt Alexander R. Vick photographer
Schumaker, Moore, and Vick bailed out, but were captured and executed by the Japanese.
Arnett, Simpson, and Vick were replacements for regular crew members on this mission.
Service photo source: