|Pilot 1st Lt. Harold F. Watts, O-738305 (MIA / KIA, BR) IL
Co-Pilot 1st Lt. Francis S. Dunigan, O-813349 (MIA / KIA, BR) DC
Engineer-Gunner SSgt Stanley M. Mettz , 39236139 (MIA / KIA, BR) CA
Radio-Gunner TSgt Jerry G. Leath, 6968243 (MIA / KIA, BR) GA
Armor-Gunner S/Sgt Joseph E. Brough, 15107703 (MIA / KIA, BR) IN
Crashed October 20, 1944 at 12:40pm
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to the South Pacific.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 42nd Bombardment Group, 70th Bombardment Squadron. No known noseart or nickname. When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial numbers left 33447 and right 33463. Weapon serial numbers unknown.
On October 20, 1944 took off from Sansapor Airfield (Mar) on a medium bombing mission against Ambon. Weather was intervening cumulus 7-8/10 coverage with an undercast at 3-8,000'. A minute into the bomb run over Cape Seri, hit by anti-aircraft fire that set the right engine on fire. Last seen over the open sea. Crashed off Batoegantoeng on the Laitimor peninsula on Ambon.
Aboard another B-25, SSgt Pushnik believe he observed three of the crew bailing out prior to the crash. No parachutes were seen to open due to the undercast below the formation.
Immediately ater the loss, other 70th Bombardment Squadron B-25s began searching and Squadron leader Lt. Stevens contacted the PBY Catalina "Dumbo" in the area to search for the loss. Lt. Johnson left the formation and searched for athe aircraft and investigated what was possibly a dark green-blue color in the sea that might have been dye marker. Also, Major Smith remained in the area for an additional 30-40 minutes, searching with a PBY Catalina "Dumbo" escorted by four P-38 Lightnings over the Latimore Peninsula area and noticed a fire in the vicinity of Mount Tola, but was found to be a brush fire.
After the war, this crash site was found by the Australian Army 16 Graves Registration Unit and remains were recovered.
Officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the recovery of remains, the crew were permanently. buried.
Two of the crew are buried at Manila American Cemetery. Leath at plot L row 12 grave 70. Dunigan at plot N row 6 grave 195.
Watts is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Pontiac, IL.
Mettz is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at plot I, grave 334.
Brough was buried in 1950 at Mount Hope Cemetery in Peru, IN.
is unknown, likely a private cemetery in the United States.
Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 11061
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Jerry G. Leath
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Francis S. Dunigan
FindAGrave - Harold F. Watts (grave photo)
Stanley M. Mettz (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Joseph E. Brough
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January 5, 2018