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  B-25D-1 "Quitch" Serial Number 41-30518  
USAAF
5th AF
345th BG
501st BS


Nusbaum January 30, 1944

Pilot  1st Lt. John J. Nolan (survived)
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Edward L. Bina (survived)
Navigator  1st Lt. James L. Johenning (survived)
Engineer  Sgt John L. Davis (WIA, survived)
Radio  Sgt Raymond F. Kohout (survived)
Gunner  SSgt Donald M. Holland (survived)

Ditched  August 15, 1944
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by North American as model B-25D-15. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force and modified to strafer D-1 by the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field at Townsville. On August 22, 1944 assigned to 345th Bombardment Group, 501st Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Quitch". Regular pilot Symens and crew chief Andersen.

On January 30, 1944 took off from Horanda No. 4 (Dobodura 4) piloted by 1st Lt. Milford M. Symens on a low level strike mission against Japanese shipping in Hansa Bay. Over the target, hit by 75mm anti-aircraft fire from guns commanded by Japanese Army Captain Umanosake Mitatera on shore nearby. This B-25 sucessfully skip bombed a Japanese ship in Hansa Bay hitting the starboard midship and was credited with sinking the vessel.

Mission History
On August 15, 1944 took off from Mokmer Drome on Biak Island piloted by 1st Lt. John J. Nolan on a strike mission against the dock at Ternate. Leading the formation was B-25D 43-3383 piloted by 1st Lt. Eugene Nirdlinger.

Over Ternate, the lead bomber, B-25D 43-3383 suffered a bomb rack malfunction and instead proceeded to make a second bomb run against a a small ship tied up to the jetty at Dodinga on the western side of Halmahera Island, with this bomber flying on its left wingman.

Approaching the jetty, anti-aircraft fire opened up. After dropping its bombs, both B-25 pulled up to climb over the hills surrounding the target. While pulling up, the tail of B-25D 43-3383 impacted this bomber's wing knocking off a six foot section and bending the edge downward, creating drag. The other bomber's tail and causing it to immediately crash and exploded on impact.

Damaged, this B-25 struggled to maintain control and brushed the tree tops of the hills before clearing the elevation with both pilots struggling at the controls. The right engine's power was reduced to nearly idle and the left engine throttled to full power, with the controls to full right aileron with full right rudder to maintain level flight and managed to climb to 5,000' and flew eastward back towards base.

This B-25 attempted to make an emergency at Kamiri Airfield on Noemfoor Island. At 1,000' on the approach to land, the left engine died and the B-25 nearly went out of control, but the pilots managed to raise the landing gear and attempted to ditch into the sea instead. The crew elected to stay aboard instead of bailing out and ditched into shallow water off Kamiri and the lower surface scraped across coral reef and rocks before coming to rest in roughly 3' of water near shore.

Rescue
The next day, a B-25 flew over to pick up the crew and returned them to duty. Afterwards, Nolan returned to the United States.

References
Warpath Across The Pacific page 178-180, 398

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-25

SCUBA
3'

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