Lt. Lloyd D. Spies, O-727793 (MIA / KIA) NY
Lt. George W. Postel, O-796876 (MIA / KIA) Palisade, NJ
Lt. Frederick W. Dunlap, O-663360 (MIA / KIA) MS
Ephraim Dixon, 17040415 (MIA / KIA) Omaha, NB
James V. Riffel, 19102848 (MIA / KIA) OR
Joseph Horvath, 11072667 (MIA / KIA) CT
Crashed October 6, 1943 at 6:48pm
Built by North American as model D-20. Delivered to the U. S. Army. During June 1943, this B-25 was operated from Greenville Airfield in Greenville, South Carolina. Assigned to pilot Lt. Claude B. Simmons, co-pilot 1st Lt. Howard L. Myers, bombardier-navigator SSgt Frank Travis, turret gunner SSgt Philip T. Lewis, radio-gunner SSgt Charles A. Moran and engineer SSgt Homer C. Guise. Nicknamed "Steamin' Jean" on the left side of the nose with "Starlite Room" below the nose escape hatch. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to the South Pacific.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 42nd Bombardment Group, 69th Bombardment Squadron. When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial numbers left 42-76983 right 42-76913. Aboard were twelve .50 caliber machine guns, two .30 caliber machine guns. Also one M1928A1 Thompson submachine gun and six .45 caliber M1911 Colt automatic pistols.
On October 6, 1943 took off from Carney Field on Guadalcanal on a dusk parafrag bombing and strafing mission
against Kahili Airfield on southern Bougainville. Weather was reported as 2,000' ceiling with visibility of 5-10 miles. Over the target, this B-25 crashed into the sea off Moila Point at 6:48pm and was seen to break up on impact. When this B-25 failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
Mark H. Costello, 2nd Lt. 69th BS adds:
"We were about 5 miles out from Moli Point (sic Moila Point) when I looked back and saw Lieutenant Spies airplane hit the water and cartwheel to the left. It's my opinion that no one got out of the wreck."
A History of the 42nd Bombardment Group (October 6, 1943):
"Lt. Lloyd D. Spies and crew were lost on this one when their plane was shot down 300 feet off the target, cart wheeling into the water. There were no survivors."
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Dixon also has a memorial marker at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Omaha, NB.
David Postel (great-nephew of Postel)
"The co-pilot was my great uncle, George Postel. Any more info on the wreck site, pictures, etc would be greatly appreciated by my family. I currently have George Postel's flight log, and some of his other personal affects but really little info otherwise. No pictures from his time there or anything like that. It would be nice to be able to put a location on where he actually is now."
Missing Air Crew Report 786 (MACR 786)
New Rochelle Standard-Star "Lieut. Lloyd Spies B-26 Pilot, Killed" c1943 via Harry A. Biddle via Robert Beasecker
A History of the 42nd Bombardment Group - October 6, 1943 Mission
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lloyd D. Spies
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George W. Postel
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frederick W. Dunlap
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ephraim W. Dixon
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James V. Riffel
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph Horvath
FindAGrave - 1Lt Lloyd D. Spies (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 2Lt George W. Postel (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Frederick W. Dunlap (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Ephraim Williams Dixon, Jr (obituary, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSGT Ephraim Williams Dixon, Jr (obituary, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Joseph Horvath (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt James V. Riffel (tablets of the missing photo)
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January 5, 2018