|Pilot 2nd Lt. Alfred R. Krasnickas, O-734241 (MIA / KIA) CT
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Robert L. Guy, O-448995 (MIA / KIA) VA
Radio SSgt Francis F. Frietas, 31018577 (MIA / KIA) MA
Engineer Sgt John A. Buffo, 36353700 (MIA / KIA) IL
Gunner Edward M. Imperato, 32411855 (MIA / KIA) NY
Crashed November 2, 1943 at 1:48pm
Built by North American. as a model D-5. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25D-5 Mitchell serial number 41-30039. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field across the Pacific to Australia.
Converted to a strafer version (B-25D-1) by the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field near Townsville. Assigned to the 345th Bombardment Group, 499th Bombardment Squadron during March 1943. Assigned to Captain Carl R. Conant and crew chief Gamblin. Nicknamed "Miss Ellen".
On October 12, 1943 this B-25 piloted by Conant on a bombing and strafing mission against Rabaul. On that mission, the bombs failed to release due to a faulty bomb rack, and was only able to strafe the target. When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial numbers right 41-28611 left 51-28533. Aboard were .50 caliber machine guns serial numbers 375613, 361618, 379867, 468058, 561323, 114119, 414254, 562089, 186521, 473012. Also aboard were .30 caliber machine guns in the 20510 and 66701 (tail gun left and right)
On November 2, 1943 took off from Dobodura Airfield piloted by 2nd Lt. Alfred R. Krasnickas on a bombing and strafing mission against Rabaul. Although this bomber was assigned to the 499th Bombardment Squadron, it was on temporary loan to the 500th Bombardment Squadron for this mission. Over the target, this bomber was flying the number 2 position in the lead element of the formation.
On the bomb run with bomb bays open, as this bomber began dropping its bombs, it was hit by an anti-aircraft shell below the bomb bay, causing the phosphorous bombs in the bomb bay to explode, catch fire and smoke. The bomber broke formation, attempted to climb but instead plunged into the ground and exploded at Vuvu Plantation near Malaguna to the west of Rabaul. The crash was observed by the crew of B-25D 41-30061. When this B-25 failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
Postwar, this B-25 was located by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) at Lat 4.20 Long 152.06. This aircraft is also listed in th "Port Moresby Log" listing known aircraft wrecks.
The entire crew was declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. The entire crew earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.
Guy also has a memorial marker on his parent's grave at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA at section D, lot 222. Guy is also memorialized on a memorial plaque in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Richmond, VA.
Frietas also has a memorial marker at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, MA at plot M/B, 0, 113.
Buffo also has a memorial marker at Sunset Hill Cemetery in Harrisburg, IL.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25D-5 41-30039
Missing Air Crew Report 1071 (MACR 1071)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Alfred R. Krasnickas
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert L. Guy
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Francis F. Frietas
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John A. Buffo
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edward M. Imperato
FindAGrave - 2LT Alfred R Krasnickas (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Robert Lancaster Guy (tablets of the missing, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT Robert Lancaster Guy (memorial marker Hollywood cemetery)
FindAGrave - SSgt Francis F Frietas (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Francis F Frietas (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - Sgt John A Buffo (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - John Buffo (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - Sgt Edward M Imperato (tablets of the missing)
Port Moresby Log - B-25D 41-30039
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell 41-30039
Warpath Across The Pacific, pages 85-86, 366-367, 386
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
August 10, 2019