|Pilot 2nd Lt. Lee M. Wiggins, O-795447 (rescued) Darlington, SC
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. George E. Nellis, O-798018 (MIA / KIA) Spencer, WV
Navigator / Bombardier 2nd Lt. Bernard Sperling, O-798902 (rescued)
Engineer Sgt Frank M. Zabielski, 36351932 (rescued)
Radio SSgt Domenic Comolli, 31109399 (rescued) Hillsborough, NN
Gunner SSgt Raymond Schutrum, 32138272 (rescued) Rochester, NY
Ditched July 28, 1943
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25G-5 Mitchell serial number 42-64868. Assigned to "Command". When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial number 42-46639 and 42-23856. No weapons were aboard when lost.
On July 28, 1943 took off from Hamilton Field on a ferry flight bound for Hickam Field on Oahu. The weather was high broken clouds at 12,000' with .4 to .6 cumulus with base at 2,000' and tops at 6,500' and winds surface 4,000' 60° to 80° at 14-18 knots. Over the Pacific Ocean, this B-25 suffered engine failure. Last contacted by radio station KSF (CAA Station) with the bomber's position calculated to be at roughly Lat 26.5 N Long 147.8 W. When this B-25 failed to arrive it was declared Missing In Action (MIA).
When this aircraft failed to arrive, the officer in charge of the search was Major D. C. Barrow, Jr., O-295394. Two PB2Ys from NAS Pearl Harbor took off at 8:06pm (GCT) to search the area where this B-25 was reported. Another PB2Y and one Clipper departed Treasure Island at 5:00pm and 8:00pm (PST) respectively to search the last known position, with unknown results.
Fates of the Crew
In fact, the entire crew survived and were rescued. All six returned to duty.
Later, Schutrum was assigned to the 22nd Bombardment Group, 33rd Bombardment Squadron. On September 1, 1944 he went Missing In Action (MIA) as a gunner aboard B-24J "Ole Tomato" 42-100291 over Philippines. He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery at the tablets of the missing.
Later, Nellis was assigned to the 22nd Bombardment Group, 33rd Bombardment Squadron. On February 28 , 1944 he went went Missing In Action (MIA) piloting B-24J Liberator 42-100292 off Queensland in Australia. He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery at the tablets of the missing. He also has a memorial marker at Saint Marys in Pleasants County, WV.
Zabielski passed away on October 16, 1989. He is buried at Crystal Lake Memorial Park in Ridgefield, IL.
Comolli passed away on August 17, 2002. He is buried at Edgewood Cemetery in Hillsborough, NH at Chapel Section, Lot 140, Space 1.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Lee M. Wiggins
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - George E. Nellis
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Frank M. Zabielski
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Domenic Comolli
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Raymond Schutrum
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25G-5 Mitchell 42-64868
"lost Jul 28, 1943, Pacific. MACR 10."
Missing Air Crew Report 10 (MACR 10) created July 29, 1943
FindAGrave - 2Lt George E Nellis (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Lieut George E Nellis (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Frank M Zabielski (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Domenic “Finnie” Comolli (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Raymond Schutrum (tablets of the missing photo)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Raymond Schutrum
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April 22, 2018