|Pilot 1st Lt. Robert V. Lockhart, Jr. (KIA, BR) NC
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Robert H. Chapin (KIA, BR) IA
Crew 1st Lt Abraham Soffer, O-791005 (KIA, BR) New Haven County, CT
Crashed October 29, 1943 at 9:03am
Built by North American. Constructors Number 87-8485. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 90th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
October 29, 1943 took off from Dobodura Airfield piloted by Lockhart at 9:03am. Immediately after take off, this B-25 experienced a double engine failure and made a force landing and exploded near Dobodura. The entire crew was killed in the explosion. The bomber burned for over an hour.
The exact cause of the accident is unknown, but possibly caused by the pilot trimming the bomber without feathering the engine that failed. When the faulty engine fired, the B-25 turned into a roll and crashed before the trim could be corrected. Previously, Lockhart flew a total of ninety-five missions including forty-nine combat missions and forty-five non-combat missions.
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of the crew were recovered and buried in New Guinea. Postwar, their remains were exhumed and transported to the United States and Philippines for permanent burial.
Lockhart is buried at Eastview Cemetery in Wadesboro, NC.
Chapin is buried at East Lawn Cemetery in Sheldon, IA.
Soffer is buried at Manila American Cemetery at plot N, row 15, grave 96.
Missing Air Crew Report 15778 (MACR 15778)
FindAGrave - Lieut Robert V Lockhart, Jr (grave photo) "Gave his life for his country in World War II in New Guinea South West Pacific Area on his ninety-fifth aerial mission."
FindAGrave - Robert Harry Chapin (grave photo)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
FindAGrave - 1LT Abraham Soffer (Manila American Cemetery grave)
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August 10, 2019