|Missing In Action (MIA)||Prisoners Of War (POW)||Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)|
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|Pilot 1st Lt. Charles E. Barber, O-725575 (MIA / KIA) Omaha, NE
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Richard R. Vogel O-734282 (MIA / KIA) PA
Navigator 2nd Lt Thomas H. Boots O-733136 (MIA / KIA) PA
Radio T/Sgt John H. Martin, Jr., 34334379 (MIA / KIA) AL
Gunner Sgt Harvey C. Noren, 17026724 (MIA / KIA) MN
MIA September 2, 1943
The 405th Bombardment Squadron approached Wewak Harbor from inland dropping to minimum altitude over Boram Airfield and was targeted by anti-aircraft fire and the Japanese vessels each had a barrage balloon roughly 10' in diameter at a height of 400' above each ship. A total of thirty-six Japanese fighters from the 13th Sentai, 24th Sentai, 59th Sentai (Ki-43 Oscars) and 68th Sentai (Ki-61 Tonys) took off to intercept the American formation.
Eight Zekes [sic Oscars] and Tonys attacked the 405th Bombardment Squadron's first flight led by Captain Garrett Middlebrook bombed and strafed a "Fox Able" (Japanese merchant vessel 5,500-7,500 tons with 3 masts or more, likely Nagato Maru) anchored east of Cape Boram in Boram Bay and claimed a single a near miss with a 1,000 pound bomb and claimed a Zeke [sic, Oscar] shot down.
The second flight led by B-25D "Tokyo Sleeper" 41-12905 piloted by 1st Lt. Roy Gover and this B-25 as wingman attacked the same Fox Able (likely Nagato Maru) and claimed two 1,000 pound bomb hits that left the vessel burning and sinking.
After departing the target area, this bomber was attacked by two Japanese fighters roughly fifteen miles southeast of Wewak, approximately ten miles out to sea. At the time, Lt. Barber was flying in the wing position for Lt. Grover, and was pulling into formation at a low altitude. The airplane was seen to hit the water with its right wing, which caused the aircraft to cartwheel and sink.
When this B-25 failed to return, it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost were B-25D 41-30319 (MIA) and B-25D 41-30247 (MIA) and P-38H 42-66563 (MIA). The Japanese lost four fighters shot down and two pilots killed in action (KIA).
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