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  B-25C Mitchell Serial Number 41-12455  
5th AF
3rd BG
90th BS


Pilot  2nd Lt John J. Keeter, Jr, O-404019 (KIA) TX
Co-Pilot  Capt Glenwood G. Stephenson, O-23128 (KIA) WI
Navigator  Lt Eugene T. Tisonyai (KIA)
Bombardier  T/Sgt William H. Lancaster, Jr (KIA) Nashville, TN
Engineer  S/Sgt James P. English, 7000452 (KIA) LA
Rear Gunner  Sgt George C. DeArmond (KIA)
Gunner  Sgt J. P. Morris (KIA)

Crashed  April 21, 1942
MACR  none
Aircraft History
Built by North American in Ingelwood, California, the twenty-second B-25C produced. Assigned to the 3rd Bombardment Group, 90th Bombardment Squadron on April 6, 1942. No noseart or nickname. This aircraft was the first combat loss of the 3rd Bombardment Group.

Took off on a search mission to locate the Japanese fleet which would later take part in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Crashed into Mount Bartle Frere, Queensland, when returning from the search mission. All on board were killed in the crash.

Recovery of Remains
The mutilated bodies of the crew were buried in temporary graves on Mount Bartle Frere. During early December 1942, Australian Ted Richards, took a pack of mules to the crash site and recovered the remains of the crew who were temporarily buried at Townsville Cemetery on December 14, 1942.

The wreck of this aircraft can still be found on Mount Bartle Frere. In 1994, members of the Australian Army, RAAF and civilians visited the site as part of 'Exercise Relic Search' - an operation which intended to locate the wreck for the potential future recovery of parts to the Australian War Memorial.

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. The following crew members were buried at Honolulu Cemetery (Punchbowl) - Keeter at Plot Q Row 0 Grave 625, Stephenson at Plot E Row 0 Grave 841 and English at Plot A Row 0 Grave 544. Lancaster is buried at Woodlawn Memorial Park. The graves of the other crew were likely buried in private cemeteries.

Thanks to Mark Wilson and Daniel Leahy for additional information
FindAGrave - William H. Lancaster
Australia @ War - Crash of a B-25 Mitchell on Mount Bartle Frere, Qld

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Last Updated
October 1, 2014


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