On the afternoon of April 19th, the crew took off on a mission against Numa Numa  Japanese enclave  on Bougainville Island.  On liftoff something went wrong, the plane crashed and everyone on board was killed instantly.

Each member of the crew was awarded the Purple Heart.

The airmen were buried at a military cemetery on the Island until after the war.  Russell is interred at Memorial Park cemetery in Oklahoma City.

Russell’s family was notified of the loss by Telegram.

 
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April 19, 1943

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