|Missing In Action (MIA)||Prisoners Of War (POW)||Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)|
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|Pilot F/O John D. Blain, T-120110 (POW, MIA / KIA, BR) Breckenridge, TX
Co-Pilot F/O Charles P. Wells, T-186489 (POW, MIA / KIA, BR) Ashland, KY
Navigator S/Sgt William F. Green, 15104526 (POW, MIA / KIA) Whitehouse, OH
Radio S/Sgt Robert J. Capocefalo, 32377421 (POW, MIA / KIA) Syracuse, NY
Gunner S/Sgt Jack Bowman, 14063635 (POW, MIA / KIA) Johnson City, TN
MIA September 2, 1943 at 9:56am
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.
This B-25 was part of the last flight over the target, led by B-25D pilot Lt. Deptula. Over the target, the pair attacked against a Fox Tare Charlie (Japanese merchant vessel 2,000-4,000 tons with 2-4 masts) between Mission Point and Cape Boram. This B-25 released both 1,000 pound bombs and claimed two direct hits on the vessel and causing it to emit black smoke and burning.
Over the target, this B-25 suffered a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire and was observed with the right engine on fire and the bomb bay doors open and landing gear extended from the nacelles and flames in the fuselage before it crashed into the sea off Wewak Point and rapidly sank. Other B-25s in the formation believed there was little chance the crew survived.
When this B-25 failed to return, it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost were B-25D 41-30255 (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).
Fates of the Crew
Recovery of Remains
After the identification of Blain and Wells, both were transported to the United States for permanent burial.
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