|Pilot 1st Lt Alfred J Naigle, O-520780 (survived)
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Richard B. Fritzshall, O-735561 (survived) IL
Engineer S/Sgt Carl D. Schultz 16053697 (WIA, survived) IL
Armor-Gunner S/Sgt Wayne W. Hoffman, 17107555 (survived)
Radio-Gunner T/Sgt Morton C. Maish Jr., 35451070 (survived) OH
Ditched October 24, 1943 at 1:40pm
Built by North American as a B-25D-5 Mitchell. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field across the Pacific Australia.
During March 1943, assigned to the 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group, 500th Bombardment Squadron. Assigned to pilot 1st Lt. William A. James. Crew chiefs McKenna and Manthey. Nicknamed "Lil De Icer" (with quotes around "Lil") plus the nose art of a reclining nude female figure on the left and right sides of the nose. On the right side of the nose below the cockpit window "KRAS" for regularly assigned co-pilot 2nd Lt. Alfred R. Krasnickas. The nose had "NORMY" for navigator 1st Lt. Norman Shuber.
During early August 1943 modified into a B-25D-1 strafer by the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field near Townsville. When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial numbers: right 41-28893 left 41-28956. Aboard were ten .50 caliber machine guns and four .30 caliber machine guns, serial numbers unknown.
On October 24, 1943 one of twelve 500th Bombardment Squadron B-25s that took off from Dobodura piloted by Naigle armed with 100 pound bombs on a low level strike mission against Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul escorted by P-38 Lightnings. Weather was scattered clouds with unlimited visibility. Over the target, the B-25s bombed and strafed parked aircraft and sustained anti-aircraft fire and fighter interception.
Returning, the formation passed Kiriwina Island at 1,000' when the left engine began to smoke and vibrate forcing it to be feathered likely due to a severed oil line from damage sustained over the target. This B-25 descended to 100' and was unable to climb or turn higher. Approaching the north coast of New Guinea at 1:40pm, Naigle decided to ditch into Collingwood Bay roughly 30 miles off Hardy Point. During the landing, engineer Schultz was cut in the forehead. Afterwards, the intact B-25 floated for nearly five minutes before sinking. From above, other B-25s observed the crew deploy their life rafts.
Fates of the Crew
Ninety minutes after the ditching around 3:10pm, the entire crew was rescued by a PBY Catalina that transported them to Dobodura. Afterwards, the entire crew returned to duty.
Naigle retired as a LTC from the U. S. Air Force (USAF). He passed away October 4, 1985 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery at section 60, site 3977.
Schultz passed away on January 19, 1992. He is buried at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Osceola, IN.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Richard B. Fritzshall
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
Carl D. Schultz
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Wayne W. Hoffman
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Morton C. Maish, Jr.
Missing Air Crew Report 996 (MACR 996)
Warpath Across The Pacific pages 76-80 (photo), 391 , 403 (photo)
Target: Rabaul page 167 "One B-25 ditched in Collingwood Bay, just eighty miles southwest of Dobodura, but its crew was promptly rescued."
FindAGrave - Alfred James Naigle
Carl D. Schultz (grave photo)
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January 5, 2018