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  B-25C "Fat Cat" Serial Number 41-12449  
5th AF
3rd BG
90th BS

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July 9, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by North American in Inglewood, California, the sixteenth B-25C produced. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 90th Bombardment Squadron on April 30, 1942. Converted to a B-25 strafer. Nicknamed "Fat Cat", painted with a shark mouth on the nose.

Wartime History
Based at 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby and flew combat in New Guinea and participated in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. During March - August 1942, flown by a variety of pilots. "Fat Cat" was frequently flown by 1st Lt. William R. "Red" Johnson, 90th Bombardment Squadron.

On June 9, 1942 flew a bombing missiom over Lae. Over the target, slightly damaged by Tainan Kōkūtai A6M2 Zeros, sustaining 7.7mm bullet holes to the tail cone and left rudder.

On July 26, 1942, this B-25 piloted by W. R. Johnson was one of five B-25s from the 13th and 90th Bombardment Squadrons that took off 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby, to attack enemy seaplanes anchored off Gasmata, on the south coast of New Britain.

Following the loss of B-25C 41-12470 piloted by Lt. Schmidt's and B-25C "Aurora" 41-1279 piloted by Capt. Bender, the two remaining B-25s: this aircraft and B-25C "Boomerang" 41-12499 piloted by 1st Lt. John R. Linn continued a running fight all the way back to Port Moresby. The plexiglass on this B-25 was shot away by an exploding 20mm shell. All but three Zeros turned back when the bombers were within ten minutes of 7-Mile Drome. By now only one gun would fire out of the four turrets on the two planes. Lt. Linn’s turret gunner fed ammunition from his right gun to his left in order to cover both planes as best as possible. Reaching Port Moresby, Linn circled 7-Mile while Johnson landed with one engine smoking.

Afterwards it was repaired and converted to a strafer during January 1943 and returned to combat.

Later, this B-25 was , flown as a fat cat on supply runs to Australia. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped.

Flying Buccaneers page 62
Oz@War "Fat Cat" of the 3rd BG"
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018


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