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  B-25D-1 "Hell's Belles" Serial Number 41-30019  
USAAF
5th AF
345th BG
499th BS

PacificWrecks.com
PacificWrecks.com
499th BS c1943
Pilot  1st Lt William A. Selby, O-738263 (MIA / KIA) Akron, OH
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt Robert M. Gribble, O-829004 (MIA / KIA) Shiremanstown, PA
Radio  T/Sgt Merton E. Voigt, 39236540 (MIA / KIA) MI

Engineer  S/Sgt George I. Whittier, 11021886 (MIA / KIA) PA

Gunner  S/Sgt David P. McManus, 13136948 (MIA / KIA) Baltimore, MD
Crashed  June 16, 1944
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Constructors Number 87-8184. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25D-5 Mitchell serial number 41-30019. Ferried overseas by pilot Lt. Owen A. Hawver flying via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
During March 1943, assigned to the 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group, 499th Bombardment Squadron. Assigned to pilot Hawver with crew chief Rapp. Nicknamed "Hell's Belles" with the nose art of a skull with horns and extended tongue. Nose number "140". Bomb markings were painted on the nose indicating missions flown. Below the the navigator's position was painted "Rollo".

This B-25 first flew bombing missions as a medium bomber operating from Port Moresby. Modified by the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field near Townsville into a model D-1 strafer. Other known pilots include 2nd Lt. Kenneth D. McClure, 2nd Lt. Paul T. Luttrell who completed his tour of duty piloting this B-25.

On November 2, 1943 flown on the mission against Rabaul. Over the target, the tail was damaged, and a Zero claimed by gunners. Afterwards, flown by 1st Lt. Robert W. Spear. Finally 2nd Lt. William Selby.

Wartime History
On June 16, 1944 took off on a mission to bomb and strafe Jefman Airfield and Samate Airfield. Over Jefman Island, this B-25 was hit by anti-aircraft fire and was last seen veering off to the north at low level, then crashed into the sea upside down and exploded.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Whittier also has a memorial marker at Massachusetts National Cemetery in section M/B site 52.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25D-5 Mitchell 41-30019
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William A. Selby
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert M. Gribble
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Merton E. Voigt
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George I. Whittier
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - David P. McManus
FindAGrave - 1Lt William A Selby (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Robert M Gribble (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - TSgt Merton E Voigt (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt George I Whittier (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt George I Whittier (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt David P McManus (tablets of the missing photo)
Warpath Across The Pacific pages 370, 386, 416

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Last Updated
June 29, 2019

 

Tech Info
B-25

MIA
MIA
5 Missing
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