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|Pilot Major Herman F.
Lowery, O-21622 (MIA / KIA) Hattiesburg, MS
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt, Sidney W. Jacobson, O-431455 (MIA / KIA) Shreveport, LA
Bombardier T/Sgt William B. Wherry, 6246992 (MIA / KIA) Tennessee Colony, TX
Engineer Sgt Carlos E. Spillers, 6970874 (MIA / KIA) Monroe, LA
Lower Gunner Cpl Noah Fresquez, 19012349 (MIA / KIA) Oakland, CA
Crew Sgt Wesley J. Hayes, 6579604 (MIA / KIA) Douglas County, OR
Passenger S/L Maxwell Vernon Lewis, 224 RAAF (MIA / KIA) Perth, WA
MIA May 25, 1942
By midday, one of eight B-25s that took off from 7-Mile Drome piloted by Major Herman F. Lowery on a bombing mission against Lae Airfield. Aboard was Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) S/L Lewis who was selected by the air office to be the air liaison officer in conjunction with the Australian Army commando raid at Salamaua.
Attacking Lae Airfield at 2:50pm, the first flight of four B-25s from the 13th Bombardment Squadron led by Lowrey attacked first, followed by the second flight of four B-25s from the 90th Bombardment Squadron. Their plan was to attack from the west to east finishing their attack over the Huon Gulf then turning right over Salamaua then back to Port Moresby.
Over the target, the formation experienced heavy anti-aircraft fire and was intercepted by thirteen A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kōkūtai intercepted, including six A6M2 Zeros that had taken off on a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) then joined by seven more A6M2 Zeros that intercepted the B-25s. Lost was A6M2 Zero piloted by Watanabe (MIA).
This B-25 was last seen on fire and likely crashed into the sea in flames. Witnesses reported that none of the crew was seen to parachute out before the crash.
When this B-25 failed to return the entire crew was declared Missing In Action (MIA). In total, five B-25s were lost, this aircraft plus B-25C Mitchell 41-12448 (MIA) and B-25C Mitchell 41-12450 (MIA) and B-25C Mitchell 41-12466 (MIA, 1 rescued) and B-25C Mitchell 41-12498 (rescued).
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