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  B-25D-20 "Bar-Fly" Serial Number 41-30593  
USAAF
5th AF
38th BG
405th BS

Former Assignments
71st BS

22nd BG
2nd BS

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Bill Thompson 1980

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Richard Leahy 1980

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David Paulley 1982

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Justin Taylan 2000

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Justin Taylan 2003

Pilot  Captain Robert J. Henderson, O-660752 (survived)
Co-Pilot  1st Lt. Chester H. Swenson, O-738287 (survived) Ramsey County, MN
Navigator  1st Lt. Norwood L. Johnson, O-434570 (WIA, died) Lincoln County, MN
Crew  T/Sgt James Kannette, 34304121 (WIA)
Crew  S/Sgt  Sam A. Mazzara, 16093878 (survived)
Crashed  February 29, 1944
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Constructors Number 87-8758. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25D-20 Mitchell serial number 41-30593. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
This B-25 was assigned to pilot 2nd Lt. Robert W. Schalkle and his crew nickname the bomber "Bar-Fly" in yellow lettering with the nose art of a fly with brown arms and green and yellow highlights. The artwork was painted at Greenville, North Carolina by one of the ground crew for $5.00. The crew decided on this name in honor of all the partying they did while in training.

Ferried overseas by pilot 2nd Lt. Robert W. Schalkle with Duvall, McGourty, Hellstrom, Davis and Maddox across the Pacific via Hawaii arriving at Garbutt Field near Townsville during July 1943. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 22nd Bombardment Group, 2nd Bombardment Squadron.

During August 1943, this bomber was modified by the 4th Air Depot at Townsville into a B-25 strafer. Afterwards, assigned to the 38th Bombardment Group, 71st Bombardment Squadron and was flown northward to Port Moresby, first appearing in their records on September 8, 1943. Flown on combat missions until November 22, 1943. Its regular pilot was Lt. Clanton with crew chief Sgt. Duffie.

It is unclear what its assignment was from December 1943 to January 1944. It may have been undergoing repairs, or it even could have been temporarily with another squadron.

On February 3, 1944 assigned to the 405th Bombardment Squadron. The nose was painted with the "The Wolf Pack" motif.

Mission History
On February 29, 1944 took off from Dubodura piloted by Captain Robert J. Henderson on a night mission and crashed after take off. The navigator, 1st Lt. Norwood L. Johnson suffered a severe head injury and died several hours later. Afterwards, this B-25 was written off and abandoned at Dubodura.

Wreckage
Until the 1970s, this composite airframe was abandoned in the kunai grass near Horanda Y. This B-25 was recovered and transported to Girua Airfield near Popondetta for display by the Oro Province Works Department, for display as a war memorial at the airport. The greenhouse nose section of B-25D "Bar Fly" 42-30593 was attached in front of the cockpit to B-25H 43-4450 to make an externally complete aircraft for display.

Traces of the US Star and Bar are present on the fuselage, and traces of its nose art are still visible. The two engines P-47 Thunderbolt engines, also recovered from Girua area are displayed in front of the Mitchell. For display purposes, the left landing gear (from a B-24) is bolted onto left wing.

Memorials
Johnson was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Postwar, he was buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at section C-25 site 14204.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Chester H. Swenson
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Norwood L Johnson
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - James Kannette
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Sam A. Mazzara
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25D-20 Mitchell 41-30593
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell 41-30593
FindAGrave - Norwood L Johnson (grave photo)

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Last Updated
November 19, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-25

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