Lt. Walter "Ken" Kenneth Barber, O-773067 (survived)
Co-Pilot F/O Donald E. More (survived)
Navigator 2nd Lt. Tasos P. Dermousi (WIA, survived)
Engineer Sgt Lewis J. Huffaker (survived)
Radio Sgt Ned P. Stevens (survived)
Tail Gunner Cpl James J. Brown (survived)
Crash Landed February 11, 1945
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25D-25 Mitchell serial number 42-87281. Nicknamed "Little Joe" at Hunter Field in
Savannah, Georgia on the left side of the nose, and small letters beneath
it the phrase "Hard to Hit". This B-25 was flown overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific before arriving in New Guinea during
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 17th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. On the tail was the 17th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron motif and the lower portion of the tail was white. Assigned to pilot Captain Jowell Wise.
Walter "Ken" Kenneth Barber adds:
pilot I believe was Capt. Jowell C. Wise who became a Major and
squadron commander by the time I arrived on Mindoro on January
6, 1945. In fact, I flew one mission with him in the #4 flight
a medium altitude bombing strike in January 1945. Wise left for
shortly after that. All of my other missions were low level strafing
and skip bombing."
On February 11, 1945 took off from Hill Airfield on Mindoro piloted by 2nd
Lt. Walter "Ken" Kenneth Barber on a strike mission against Coron
City. Returning to land, the hydraulics were shot out and the crew had to lower the landing gear by hand. After landing at Hill Airfield, this B-25 ran into a ditch without brakes. Afterwards the damaged bomber was written off. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.
Walter "Ken" Barber adds:
"I was the last one to fly "Little Joe" a
of Hill Airfield (a
dirt airstrip we called Hammer Tower). We crashed into a ditch in
that there were no brakes. The hydraulics were lost,
I believe probably shot out on a low level strafing and skip bombing
mission over Coron
City. The landing gear had been pumped
down by hand and I made a no flap landing. We did manage to get on
the ground. This occurred on February 11, 1945 on the Island of Mindoro."
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25D-25 Mitchell 42-87281
Walter "Ken" Barber for additional information
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June 29, 2019