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  B-25C Mitchell Serial Number 41-12501  
5th AF
3rd BG
13th BS

Click For Enlargement
John Douglas 1990s

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Daniel Leahy 2005
Pilot  2nd Lt. Harold J. Heinbuch, O-789161 (survived) OH
Navigator  Lt. Walkur (survived)
Bombardier  Lt. Owen (survived)
Engineer  Sgt Jack R. Keith (survived)
Gunner  Sgt Glenn F. Crawford Jr., 14047825 (survived) GA
Crashed  October 13, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by North American in Inglewood, California. Constructors Number 82-5136. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25C Mitchell serial number 41-12501. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 13th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On October 13, 1942 one of two B-25s that took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by 2nd Lt. Harold J. Heinbuch on a mission against a Japanese submarine off Goodenough Island. Over the target, the bombers failed to locate the submarine and instead attacked the secondary target, a Japanese landing party at Waytutu Point.  Returning in bad weather, the crew was unable to locate their airfield and the entire crew bailed out to the northwest of Port Moresby.

Fates of the Crew
The entire crew landed unhurt and later returned to duty. Later, Heinbuch and Crawford went Missing In Action (MIA) as pilot and radio aboard B-25D Mitchell 41-29733 on December 31, 1942. Keith went Missing In Action (MIA) aboard B-25C Mitchell 41-12962 on July 23, 1943.

This B-25 crashed near Lea Lea. The crash site included both engines, propellers, machine guns and other wreckage. The tail had the last three digits of the serial number '501' visible in yellow. Between the 1990s and 2005, most of the wreckage and aluminum was scrapped. It is unclear if any wreckag remains to this day.

Daniel Leahy visited the site in August 2005:
"Today, all that is left is the crash crater, two engines and two machine guns at the site."

USAF Serial Number Search Results - North American B-25C Mitchell 41-12501
"12501 (MSN 82-5136) to Netherlands East Indies AF as N5-161 Feb 26, 1942. Ferried to Australia and renumbered N5-126 Jun 21, 1942. Assigned to 18 Squadron, NEIAF, Canberra, Australia. To USAAF Sep 1, 1942. In accident Oct 15, 1942."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell 13 October 1943
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harold J. Heinbuch
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Glenn F. Crawford Jr.
FindAGrave - 2Lt Harold J Heinbuch (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Harold J Heinbuch (memorial marker)
Thanks to Edward Rogers and Daniel Leahy for their assistance with this profile

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


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