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  B-25G-1 Mitchell Serial Number 42-64766  
5th AF
38th BG
823rd BS

Click For Enlargement
38th BG Jan 8 1944

Click For Enlargement
38th BG Jan 8 1944

Pilot  1st Lt Leo B. Braun, O-796771 (MIA / KIA) Melrose, MN
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Robert C. Bloxam, O-748329 (MIA / KIA) MN
Navigator  2nd Lt. Donald S. Hockensmith, O-673169 (MIA / KIA) KS
Radio  SSgt Walter E. Strauser, 33234176 (MIA / KIA) PA
Engineer  SSgt Edward L. Sayers, 39240936 (MIA / KIA) CA
Gunner  SSgt Jacob L. Wanamaker, 34247495 (MIA / KIA) FL

MIA  January 8, 1944
MACR  16398

Aircraft History
Built by North American in Inglewood, California as a B-25C-25 model. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried oversea via Hawaii to Australia.

Wartime History
This B-25 was retrofitted to the specifications of a B-25G-1 Mitchell armed with a 75mm nose cannon. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 38th Bombardment Group, 823rd Bombardment Squadron nicknamed "The Terrible Tigers" during October 1943. No known nickname or nose art. This aircraft was known as "766" for the last three digits of the serial number.

This B-25 was assigned to regular pilot 1st Lt. Anderson Williams and co-pilot 1st Lt. Anderson Williams. Likely, the nose was painted with the 823rd Bombardment Squadron's tiger motif.

On November 3, 1943 this B-25 flew its first combat mission on a sweep over Odrobeg village two and a half miles north of Alexishafen. Returning, the formation passed over Madang and Bil Bil. During the flight, the formation sustained anti-aircraft fire.

Mission History
On January 8, 1944 took off from 17 Mile Drome (Durand) near Port Moresby piloted by 1st Lt Leo B. Braun armed with 300 pound bombs on a bombing mission against Uligan and Uligan Harbor. The B-25 formation rendezvoused over Gusap with escorting P-38 Lightnings.

At 10:00am the B-25 formation dropped to low level and attacked in three plane formations with the 822nd Bombardment Squadron attacking first. Next, the 823rd Bomb Squadron attacked.

Before reaching the target, this B-25 was hit by large caliber anti-aircraft fire in the right engine causing it to catch fire. Both pilots struggled to maintain control of the bomber and continue the bombing run. Fifteen minutes later, the B-25 was engulfed in flames, the pilots deliberately pointed the damaged B-25 at a Japanese anti-aircraft gun position at the southern end of Uligan.

This B-25 was observed to fire several cannon rounds at the target before crashing into the ground. On impact, the bomber slid through the area causing extensive damage. Another B-25 photographed a large column of black smoke rising from the southern end of Uligan Mission Township where this bomber crashed.

The entire crew was killed in the crash and all were listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

This B-25 crashed into the nirthern end of Uligan Harbor on land. In 1996, a radial engine, presumably from this B-25 remained on land among Japanese gun pits.

On May 27, 1946 a RAAF Searcher Party led by S/L Keith Rundle visited Uligan Harbor and interviewed native people about aircraft losses in the area. The team located the wreckage of B-25D "Stickey Kitty" 42-87286 in shallow water and also claimed to have located this aircraft on the "norther side of Uligan Harbor". It is unclear if Rundle visited the wreckage of this aircraft or another crash site, possibly B-25G 42-64827.

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.

Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 16398 page 2 incorrectly lists aircraft as B-25D 42-87286 [another aircraft] page 23 references this crash as B-25 42-64766.
Royal Australian Air Force Survey of Wreckage in Papua and New Guinea, B-25D 42-64766 number 312, page 9
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25 42-87286 (incorrect serial number)
Sun Setters of the Southwest Pacific Area pages 265-267, AII-7 lists aircraft as B-25G 42-64766, AIII-30 lists aircraft as B-25G 42-64766
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Leo B. Braun
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert C. Bloxam
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Donald S. Hockensmith
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Walter E. Strauser
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edward L. Sayers
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Jacob L. Wanamaker

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


Tech Info

6 Missing


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