|Pilot 1st Lt Bernard L. Foley, O-677699 (MIA / KIA) Lexington, KY
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Wade Westfall, O-747932 (MIA / KIA) Portland, OR
Bombardier 2nd Lt Richard A. Hochadel, O-681887 (MIA / KIA) Albien, PA
Engineer S/Sgt William T. Branstad, 37424438 (MIA / KIA) Leland, IA
Radio T/Sgt Orville H. Diedrichs, 20919827 (MIA / KIA) Glendale, CA
Gunner S/Sgt Leon Monteith, 33325829 (MIA / KIA) Delaware County, PA
Photographer S/Sgt James J. Beattie, 31191049 (MIA / KIA) Bristol, CT
Crashed March 29, 1944
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.
Assigned to 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group, 498th Bombardment Squadron during March 1944. Assigned to pilot Hitt with crew chief Radke. Nicknamed "Hitt and Miss". When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial numbers left 41-30697 and right 42-273136. Weapon serial numbers noted in Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 4110.
On March 29, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield No. 4 piloted by Foley on a medium altitude bombing mission against Dagua Airfield. Weather was scattered alto cumulus clouds at 6,000' with unlimited visibility. Over the target, while making the bomb run, this B-25 was observed to leave the formation and was seen going down in the Dagua area and disappeared into a cloud, but it was not observed to have crashed. When it failed to return, the entire crew was declared Missing In Action (MIA) and later declared Killed In Action to unknown circumstances.
The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 27, 1946. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Branstad has a memorial marker at Forest Home Cemetery in Leland, Iowa at plot: 44-4
John G. Foley (brother Bernard L. Foley)
Missing Air Crew Report 4110 (MACR 4110)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell 41-30040
Warpath Across The Pacific page 148, 369, 381
FindAGrave - William Ted Branstad (grave photo)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Bernard L. Foley
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Wade Westfall
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Richard A. Hochadel
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William T. Branstad
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Orville H. Diedrichs
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Leon Monteith
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James J. Beattie
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
January 5, 2018