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|Pilot 1st Lt. Ralph L. Schmidt,
O-403818 (MIA / KIA) Greenville, IL
Co-Pilot F/O Edward Tompson Mobsby, 407799 RAAF (MIA / KIA, BR) Toorak Gardens, SA
Bombardier T/Sgt. Robert L. Barlow, 6922345 (MIA / KIA) OH
Turret Gunner Cpl. Walter N. Cook, Jr., 6973551 (MIA / KIA) GA
Radio Cpl. Richard M. Wallace, 7002908 (MIA / KIA) TX
Crashed July 26, 1942
Assigned ML-KNIL serial number N5-127. After being test flown at Inglewood Airport, flown to the Chicago & Southern Airlines modification center in Memphis, TN for final outfitting and had the NEI national insignia and ML serial number were painted.
On April 12, 1942 ferried across the Pacific to Australia by a Royal Air Force (RAF) Ferry Command aircrew. Delayed en route before arriving in Australia on May 6.
In Australia, transfered to the 3rd Bombardment Group, 90th Bombardment Squadron during April 1942. No known nose art or nickname.
Meanwhile, nine A6M Zeros from Tainan Kōkūtai of the Sasai Chutai took off from Lae Airfield on a patrol mission over Buna. The first Chutai was led by Lt(jg) Jun'ichi Sasai with wingmen FPO1c Toshio Ota and FPO3c Masuaki Endo. The second chutai WO Tora'ichi Takatsuka with wingmen FPO3c Noboru Sato and F1c Yoshio Motoyoshi. The third chutai was led by FPO1c Saburo Sakai with wingmen FPO2c Masayoshi Yonekawa and FPO3c Yoshio Mogi.
At 8:15am, the Zeros spotted the B-25 formation and attacked. The B-25s believed they were under attack by approximately 10-15 enemy fighters and immediately jettisoned their bombs, aborted the mission and turn back for Port Moresby.
This bomber was last seen going down on fire from nose to tail with F/O Mobsby attempting to escape from the top hatch. Also shot down was B-25C "Aurora" 41-12792 (two survived, four killed).
The other three B-25s were damaged and chased by Sasai, Ota and Sakai back to Port Moresby. Over 7 Mile Drome, Sakai strafed a P-40 Kittyhawk from 76 Squadron before the trio withdrew at 8:50am. Afterards, all nine Zeros landed safely at Lae Airfield and claimed three enemy bombers shot down.
Afterwards, they notified the 15th Australian Graves Registration and Engineering Unit of their find and the fact that they recovered the remains and identity disc of F/O Edward Thompson Mobsby, as well as three other sets of remains in aircraft wreckage over a distance of 800 yards. In the final section describes B-25C 41-12792 but doesn't clarify which remains it is associated with. The report appeared to have been prepared by SSgts Halpin and Seaton, who were to go from the site to Popondetta for extraction. Australian authorities contacted Fifth Bomber Command in late May 1943 to inquire about their classification of the American crew members of Mobsby's aircraft and received an emphatic response that they were still considered MIA.
After the recovery of remains from the crash site, Australian Mobsby was buried at Soputa Cemetery on May 7, 1943. On November 11, 1946 he was permanently buried at Bomana War Cemetery at grave A.7.B.26.
The four American crew members were likely recovered by the U. S. Army during 1943. All four remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Cook also has a memorial marker at Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery in Barrow County, GA.
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