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  sB-25C-5 Mitchell Serial Number 42-53404  
USAAF
13th AF
42th BG
69th BS

Pilot  1st Lt. Eugene R. Brogan, O-664510 (MIA / KIA) MI
Co-Pilot  1st Lt. Melvin R. Van Dyke, O-732597 (MIA / KIA) CA
Navigator  1st Lt. Hugh D. McNeil, O-731173 (MIA / KIA) DC
Engineer  SSgt Leo E. Hamilton, 36055197 (MIA / KIA) IL
Radio  SSgt William Pierce, 19081433 (MIA / KIA) CA
Gunner  Sgt Frank Spognardi, 31137933 (MIA / KIA) MA
Photographer  1st Lt. Harold C. Moran, O-922782 13th AAFCCU
(MIA / KIA) Santa Monica, CA
MIA  June 22, 1943 at 9:20am
MACR  16529

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field to the South Pacific.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 42nd Bombardment Group, 69th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R-2606-13 serial number 42-119630 and 42-119615. When lost, weapon serial numbers unknown.

Mission History
On June 22, 1943 took off from Carney Field on Guadalcanal piloted by 1st Lt. Eugene R. Brogan on a bombing mission against Rendova Island. Aboard was photographer 1st Lt. Harold G. Moran from the 13th Army Air Force Combat Camera Unit (13th AAFCCU). Weather was bad with rain squalls and storms. Off Rendova Island, the formation was flying in close formation at 5,000' - 6,000' when it entered a solid overcast. Inside the overcast, instrument flying was necessary and the formation climbed to 8,500' to clear the clouds. As the formation exited, this bomber was missing from formation.

When this B-25 failed to return from the mission the entire crew was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). As no enemy action was involved and the B-25 was last observed under control, it was deemed possible this bomber might have made a safe landing.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead on February 7, 1946.

Two of th crew are memorialized on the courts of the missing at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). Brogan and Moran on court 7. Brogan also has a memorial marker at Mount Hope Cemetery  in Lansing, MI.

Five of the crew are memorialized on the courts of the missing at Manila American Cemetery including Van Dyke, McNeil, Hamilton, Pierce and Spognardi. Hamilton also has a memorial marker at New Robinson Cemetery in Robinson, IL.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Leo E. Hamilton

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25C-5 Mitchell 42-53404
Missing Air Crew Report 16529 (MACR 16529)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Eugene R. Brogan
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Melvin R. Van Dyke
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Hugh D. McNeil
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Leo E. Hamilton
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William Pierce
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frank Spognardi
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harold C. Moran
FindAGrave - 1Lt Eugene R Brogan (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Eugene R. Brogan (memorial marker photos)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Melvin R Van Dyke (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Hugh D McNeil (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Leo E Hamilton (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Leo E. Hamilton (memorial marker photo - date of death listed as June 23, 1943)
FindAGrave - SSgt William Pierce (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Sgt Frank Spognardi (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Lieut Harold Chadwick Moran, Jr (photo, courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Harold C Moran (courts of the missing photo)

Contribute Information
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Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-25

MIA
MIA
7 Missing

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