|Pilot Lt. Col. Clinton U. True (WIA, survived)
Co-Pilot 1st Lt. Cicero J. Ellen (WIA)
Navigator Captain Joseph P. Mooney (WIA)
Engineer S/Sgt Harry E. Snyder (WIA)
Radio T/Sgt Stewart O. Stevens (survived)
Crashed December 26, 1943 at 2:42pm
Built by North American as a model D-10. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii across the Pacific to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group, 498th Bombardment Squadron on August 10, 1943. Modified to a D-1 strafer at Garbutt Field at Townsville. Assigned to Crabb. nicknamed "Crabb 2nd". Later assigned and flown by True. Crew chief Russell.
On December 26, 1943 took off on a low level strike against Cape Gloucester, this B-25 was part of the second flight, fired on by US Navy anti-aircraft gunners as it over flew the landing craft. The bomber was mistaken for an enemy plane, as Japanese aircraft were attacking the area. Hit in the right engine and bomb bay and caught on fire. The right engine was feathered and the B-25 flew away from the formation, loosing altitude it ditched six miles from Silimati Point into Borgen Bay.
Fates of the Crew
All the crew suffered wounds in the crash, but made it into the life raft and paddled to keep from being swept out to sea. They were not seen by the Navy invasion force that withdrew at night, despite firing several flares. Alone in the dark, the crew opted to risk going ashore at night to try to link up with the Marines, as several of the crew needed immediate medical help and met sentries around 2am and got some help. The next morning, they were evacuated by LST and landed at Buna five days later.
Missing Air Crew Report 1847 (MACR 1847)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25D Mitchell 41-30517
Warpath Across The Pacific pages 51, 105-106, 214, 382
Tuluvu's Air War Chapter IX by Richard Dunn
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
February 4, 2018