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  B-25D-5 "Blunder Bus" Serial Number 41-30028  
5th AF
345th BG
499th BS

Pilot  1st Lt. Claude W. Burger (survived)
Co-Pilot  Captain Edison K. Walters C. O. 499th BS (WIA, survived)
Navigator  2nd Lt. Louis E. Higgins (WIA, survived)

Crashed  July 8, 1943
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried via Hickam Field across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group, 499th Bombardment Squadron during March 1943. Assigned to pilot Claude W. Burger and crew chief Bright. Nicknamed "Blunder Bus".

Mission History
On July 8, 1943 took off from Durand Airstrip (17 Mile) near Port Moresby. After take off, the pilot lowered the nose gear incorrectly, believing the co-pilot had already raised the gear. It hit the runway and ended up in the swamp, and the bomber's fuselage had broken. Three crew members were hospitalized in the crash. The aircraft was abandoned.

Probably, this aircraft was scrapped sometime in the early 1980s.  It has not been located recently, and the area described appears to be empty.

Burger retired from the U. S. Air Force (USAF) as a Lieutenant Colonel. He passed away November 1, 1993. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery at columbarium 3 HH-6-4

Walters graduated West Point (class of 1941) and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He passed away May 8, 1956. He is buried at Daytona Memorial Park in Daytona Beach, FL.

Higgins passed away December 16, 1995. He is buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring, MD.

FindAGrave - Claude Wirt Burger, Jr (Arlington grave)
FindAGrave - Edison Kermit Walters (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Louis E. Higgins (grave photo)
Warpath Across The Pacific page 32-33, 386

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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