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|Pilot Captain Edwin J. York, O-21151 (interned, RTD) Batavia, New York
Co-Pilot 1st Lt. Robert G. Emmens, O-24104 (interned, RTD) Medford, OR
Navigator-Bombardier Lt. Nolan A. Herndon, O-419328 89 RS (interned, RTD) Greenville, TX
Engineer S/Sgt Theodore H. Laban, 6559855 (interned, RTD) Kenosha, WI
Gunner Sgt David W. Pohl, 6152141 (interned, RTD) Boston, MA
Landed April 18, 1942 "Doolittle Raid"
Built by North American. Constructors Number 62B-2911. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25B Mitchell serial number 40-2242.
Assigned to the 12th Air Force, 17th Bombardment Group, 95th Bombardment Squadron. Nose number 3. No known nickname or nose art. One of sixteen B-25's assigned to the "Doolittle Raid".
On April 18, 1942 at 8:46 took off from the USS Hornet CV-8 as as aircraft number eight of sixteen bombers on the "Doolittle Raid". Aboard was a mixed crew from the 37th Bombardment Squadron and the 89th Reconnaissance Squadron. Just prior to take off, the top turret of this bomber failed and was inoperative during the entire flight. Also, the aircraft was experiencing engine problems.
Following the mission, pilot York realized he did not have enough fuel to reach China and elected to land at 5:45 pm at Primorskrai Airfield (Primiori) near Vladivostok. After landing, Soviet forces confiscated the aircraft and the crew were interned.
Fates of the Crew
Next, the crew was escorted by a Soviet officer aboard a train to Penza (roughly 350 miles southeast of Moscow) where they were held for two and a half months and were visited by U.S. Military Attache, Colonel Joe Michela who reported their health and condition to U.S. authorities.
On March 25, 1943, the crew was transported from Okhansk (Оха́нск) to Ashkabad (Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) near border with Persia (Iran).
On May 29, 1942 the crew bribed a smuggler, who helped them to cross the border and arrived at Mashhad (Mashhadi) in Persia (Iran). In fact, their "escape" was staged by the NKVD, since the Soviet Union was unable to legally repatriate the crew due to their neutrality pact with Japan. The crew reached the British Consulate in Tehran then were returned to the United States.
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