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  B-25C "Boomerang" Serial Number 41-12499  
5th AF
3rd BG
13th BS

Pilot  Capt James L Orr, O--023098 (MIA / KIA) Davisboro, GA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt Charles Y. Berdine, O-725487 (MIA / KIA) NJ
Crew  2nd Lt Mark P. Hubert, O-659551 (MIA / KIA) NC
Crew  2nd Lt Norman K. Miller, O-725897 (MIA / KIA) IL
Turret Gunner  Sgt Nelson A. Boyd, 14017184 (MIA / KIA) MS
Radio/Gunner  Sgt John Crockett Patton, 405646 RAAF (MIA / KIA) Mackay, QLD

MIA  August 25, 1942
MACR  none

Pilot History
James Lawson Orr, was born 24 December 1915 in Davisboro, Georgia. Entered Service from Dekalb County, Georgia and Graduated from West Point, class of 1940. Married Helen Deckman on April 16, 1941. Are you a family member of James Orr? .

Aircraft History
Built by North American in Inglewood, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia arriving on April 26, 1942. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 13th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Boomerang".

Wartime History
On July 26, 1942, one of five B-25s from the 13th and 90th Bombardment Squadrons that took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by 1st Lt John R. Linn with co-pilot  F/Sgt Robert John Fergie (RAAF) on a mission to attack enemy seaplanes anchored off Gasmata, on the south coast of New Britain. En route the formation was attacked by approximately 10-15 Zeros from the Tainan Kōkūtai, when they passed over the Buna area, recently seized by Japanese ground forces. The B-25's jettisoned their bombs and fled to Port Moresby.

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 "Fat Cat" 41-12449 piloted by Lt. Johnson continued a running fight all the way back to Port Moresby. The plexiglass on Lt. Johnson's plane 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. One A6M2 Zero strafed airplanes at 14 Mile (Laloki) before departing. Reaching Port Moresby, Linn circled 7-Mile while Johnson landed with one engine smoking. After the mission, an inspection of Lt. Linn's B-25 after landing revealed 20mm cannon holes in the wings, one engine and the fuselage.

Mission History
On August 25, 1942 took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby as part of a formation of to bomb Japanese shipping off Milne Bay. Over the target, other B-25s in the formation reported seeing a large flash near the target area. It was presumed this aircraft dropped its bombs too low or was hit by anti-aircraft fire. This aircraft failed to return from the mission and the entire crew was declared Missing In Action (MIA).

The entire crew was officially declared dead on December 12, 1945 and are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell 41-12499
CWGC - John Crockett Patton
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


Tech Info

6 Missing

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