yes, I understand your point about Lamade being forced down and the fact that he didn't report it. Now that I look at it again, it does appear to be something heard, misinterpreted and then put into concrete form until it becomes "fact."
As for the B-24A, it was 40-2374 "Arabian Knight", not "Arabian Nights"--a small point to be sure, but one that needs to be made for accuracy. And there were indeed only 20 persons on the plane. Both the Missing Air Crew Report and later correspondence from 1943 establishes a list of 20: 4 flight crew (pilot, co-pilot, navigator and engineer--who may indeed have acted as a tail gunner, if the guns were installed), 7 armorers and crew chiefs of the 17th PS, and nine personnel from various units on Java with their doctor. I haven't been able to establish whether all those nine were actually wounded, or just being evacuated.
I don't know where the figure of 30 or 33, mostly wounded, personnel being aboard the B-24A. It looks either a simple accounting error, or perhaps an embellishment by contemporary news media. I have read in one account that the story of Beatty 's long swim and subsequent passing shortly after reaching shore might be a similar case, and that his body merely washed ashore a couple days later--the only one to do so (the original MACR says any survivors were "drowned or devoured by sharks," which suggests first-hand knowledge.
If the new Broome book does indeed state there were only 20 aboard this B-24A, it bodes well, and I look forward to reading it. Too many long-standing "facts" from this time period, minor as they might be in the greater picture, need to be corrected, or at the very least explored in more detail. It's apparent a lot of the information about Broome is derived from older sources like Edmonds and Craven & Cate, without any critical inquiry into primary sources.
Dave W (trying to hone his skills a bit more...)