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  B-25C-5 Mitchell Serial Number 42-53433  
13th AF
42nd BG
69th BS

Pilot  1st Lt Henry A. Schmidt, O-791245 (MIA / KIA) NJ
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Herman F Birlauf, O-742117 (survived)
Navigator  2nd Lt Jason K. Goldwater, O-790951 (MIA / KIA) NY
Radio  TSgt Raymond S. White, 6854202 (MIA / KIA) PA
Gunner  SSgt Nicholas J. Governale, 6979272 (MIA / KIA) NY

Crashed  July 10, 1943 at 5:09am
MACR  86

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

Wartime History
Assigned to the 42nd Bombardment Group, 69th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engines R-2600-13 Numbers 42-77199 and 42-47433. Weapon serial numbers not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 86 (MACR 86).

Mission History
On July 10, 1943 took off from Carney Field (Bomber 2) on Guadalcanal at 5:09am piloted by 1st Lt Henry A. Schmidt on a shipping sweep over the central Solomon Islands. Weather was good with poor visibility. During take off in total darkness using only instruments, this B-25 impacted a tree that bent the propeller on the right engine and tore off the left tail assembly including the horizontal and vertical stabilizer. Damaged, the B-25 crashed into the sea roughly one mile off Koli Point and sank immediately.

The next day, the left tail assembly, vertical and horizontal stabilizer torn off by the impact were found among trees on near the beach north of Carney Field. The rest of the aircraft sank offshore.

Fates of the Crew
Co-pilot Birlauf survived the crash and regained consciousness while underwater and escaped through the cockpit hatch and surfaced, inflating his "Mae West" life vest and saw the tail of the bomber sinking rapidly. Calling for the other crew members, he heard no reply. Swimming away, he managed to grab onto some debris including a parachute and seat cushion.

The rest of the crew was presumed to have gone down with the aircraft and remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Birlauf was rescued by a US Navy barge and taken aboard USS Formalhaut (AK-22) for medical treatment, then to the Navy hospital at Lunga Point.

The rest of the crew was officially declared dead on July 12, 1943. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. s

Previously, Raymond S. White was a radio operator-gunner with the 22nd Bombardment Group, 18th Reconnaissance Squadron aboard a B-26 Marauder that made a torpedo attack during the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942. For his valor he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC). He also earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Anthony Veneziano (nephew of S/Sgt Nicholas J. Governale)
"We have a few pictures of him that I will attempt to add at a later date."

Missing Air Crew Report 86 (MACR 86)
Military Times Raymond S. White Distinguished Service Cross Citation via Wayback Machine Jan 18, 2012
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Henry A. Schmidt
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Jason K. Goldwater
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Raymond S. White
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Nicholas J. Governale

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
February 4, 2018


Tech Info

4 Missing

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