71st TRS c1944
71st TRS c1944
|Pilot 2Lt William N. Hatcher, O-764991 (KIA, BR) Albany, TX
Co-Pilot 2Lt Virgil S. Johnson, O-764954 (MIA / KIA) Malvern, AR
Navigator 2Lt Lawrence R. Hertweck, O-765491 (MIA / KIA) Glenshaw PA
Gunner SSgt Herbert C. Hedgecock, 38405264 (MIA / KIA) Chickasha, OK
Radio SSgt Edward J. Krigier, 32732938 (MIA / KIA) Buffalo, NY
Engineer SSgt Robert R. Rogers, 38413800 (MIA / KIA) Beaumont, TX
Crashed December 26, 1944 at 2030
Built by North American. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 17th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. Nicknamed "The Mad Mizurian" with the nose art of an American Indian chief with a head dress on each side of the nose. On the right side was the name "Giradamc" below the artwork. When lost, engines R-2600-18 serial numbers 41-28791 and 41-28980. Weapon serial numbers not recorded.
On December 26, 1944 took off from San Jose Airfield on a strike against the Japanese task force off Leyte. Shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Lipcore Bay.
The entire crew was declared dead the day of the mission. The following crew members are listed on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery: Johnson, Hedgecock and Rogers. Hatcher is buried at Manila American Cemetery Plot D Row 1 Grave 8. Details for Hertweek are unknown.
Lilian Fain (mother of Robert R. Rogers)
Tammy Brown (cousin of Robert R. Rogers)
Tom Brown (cousin in law of Robert R. Rogers)
"Robert R. Rogers had flown 23 combat missions totaling 125.25 hours. Robert Rogers was an only child, his mother died about 10 years ago. My wife Tammy and her mom (Sarah Tubbe) were the only relatives left of Rogers. When they went through his mothers belongings after she passed away every letter they ever wrote to each other during WWII was saved by each of them, so when Rogers was MIA then declared dead they returned his belonging to his mom. She put her letters and pictures from him, with his saved letters, pictures, training manuals, and many other things all in a big box. Once she learned he was MIA she continued to write for months. Of course the army returned the letters stamped MIA 12/26/1944. I found the letter she wrote the day she received the Western Union dispatch from the Adjutant Generals office informing her of Rogers missing in action. We also have the Western Union dispatch."
Thanks to Tammy Brown, Sarah Tubbe and Tom Brown for additional information.
Other sources incorrectly list the nickname of this B-25 as "The Mad Missourian".
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - William N. Hatcher
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Virgil S. Johnson
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Lawrence R. Hertweck
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Herbert C. Hedgecock
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Edward J. Krigier
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Robert R. Rogers
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May 22, 2017