|Pilot 1st Lt. Hubert J. Rapp (KIA, BR)
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Robert J. Hand, Jr, O-724612 (KIA, BR) WA
Crew Sgt Francis M. Fowler (KIA, BR)
Crew Sgt Francis H. Pryor (KIA, BR)
Crew Sgt Marlon K. Smith (KIA , BR) LA
Crashed September 4,
Built by North American in Inglewood, California. Purchased by the Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEIAF)
with serial number N5-128. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia, arriving in early 1942.
Assigned to the U.S. Army Air Force with serial number 41-12480. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 13th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. Officially, this B-25 was condemned on September 7, 1942.
On September 4,
1942 one of six B-25s that took off from 7 Mile Drome (Jackson) near Port Moresby at 4:00pm on a mission to bomb Japanese warships in Milne
Bay, but found nothing. Returning in darkness, this B-25 developed problems with the left engine and was last seen between Samarai Island and Hood Point. Also lost was B-25C "The Queen" 41-12472 (MIA).
This B-25 crashed into shallow water at Kupiano Harbor.
Recovery of Remains
The next day, natives recovered all five bodies and delivered them to a Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGAU) representative. All five were temporarily buried in New Guinea. Postwar, they were transported to the United States for permanent burial.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Rapp is buried at Norton Cemetery in Norton, KS. Hand is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at Plot P, grave 331. Smith is buried at Ellis Cemetery in Franklinton, LA.
13th Bombardment Squadron History
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell 42-12480
FindAGrave - Hubert Rapp
FindAGrave - Robert D Hand, Jr (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Marlon K. Smith (grave photo)
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional research and analysis
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January 5, 2018