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  B-25D-1 "Potent Cock" Serial Number 41-30060  
USAAF
5th AF
345th BG
501st BS

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
November 15, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by North American as a B-25D-5. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group, 501st Bombardment Squadron on April 4, 1943.

Nicknamed "Potent Cock" with the nose art of rooster perched on a bomb on the left side of the nose, also a white horizontal stripe across the tail stabilizers. Also, a star on the nose wheel hub.

Assigned to regular pilots Lt. Orbry H. Moore and Lt. John B. Nusbaum. Crew chiefs assigned were Cowell and Cloyd.

Converted to a D-1 strafer at Townsville during early August 1943, then returned to Port Moresby.

Regular crew included:
Pilot  1st Lt. John B. Nusbaum
Co-Pilot  1st Lt. Orbry H. Moore, O-793431 (MIA / KIA B-25D 41-30094 Nov 2, 1943)
Bomb/Nav  2nd Lt. John Scalzon
Engineer  SSgt Lawrence B. Avant
Radio  TSgt Everett N. Vernon
Tail Gunner  Thomas J. Vincent

Wartime History
On October 12, 1943 took off piloted by 1st Lt. John B. Nusbaum on a mission against Rabaul.

On October 24, 1943 took off piloted by 1st Lt. John B. Nusbaum on a low level strike over Vunakaunau Airfield near Rabaul. Over the target, top turret gunner fired at a Zero and claimed it as a probable. By November 14, 1943, this B-25 had flown 11 combat missions (four with stars).

On November 15, 1943 took off from 7-Mile Drome (Jackson) near Port Moresby on a mission over Wewak, along with B-25s all four squadrons of the 345th Bombardment Group, plus two squadrons of B-25G's from the 38th Bombardment Group. An escort by P-47s was planned, but were not met at the rendezvous point at Mount Yonkie. Instead, approximately 15 "Zeros" (actually Ki-43 Oscar fighters) were encountered at roughly 10:00am. The fighters made 15 firing passes. The B-25 continued as far north as Dumpu, and observed Japanese twin engine bombers escorted by fighters intercepted by friendly fighters, and bombing damage at Gusap Airfield that was bombed. At roughly 10:17, the bombing mission was aborted, since the element of surprise was lost and returned to Port Moresby.

On December 29, 1943 participated in a low level strike over Cape Gloucester Airfield.

On April 23, 1944 took off piloted by 1st Lt. John M. Kirmil on a mission against Hansa Bay, returning from the mission, this B-25 suffered a nose gear collapse when landing at Nadzab Airfield, without injury to the crew.

By May 29, 1944, this B-25 had flown 73 combat missions, and claimed four ships sunk, and the nose art repainted to refresh the color and slightly different design.

While based at Biak, damaged by Japanese bombing and was written off on September 1, 1944. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

References
Warpath Across The Pacific pages 58 (photo) 77, 91-92, 107 (photo) 157 (photo) 163 (photo) 396
Mark Forman - SSgt Joe Forman footage prior to November 15, 1943 mission
248th Hoku Sentai "Hard Luck" Fighter Unit, Part 2 by Richard Dunn

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-25

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