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  B-25D-25 "Charmin' Lady" Serial Number 42-87444  
5th AF
71st TRG
17th TRS

Pilot  Lt. Frederic E. Kluth, O-760869 (WIA / KIA) WI
Co-Pilot  Lt. Young (WIA / KIA)
Engineer  Sgt Harold Ford (survived)
Navigator  Sgt John Hawk, 16186535 (KIA) MI
Tail Gunner  Sgt Peter Eliot Rice, 16056440 (KIA) WI

Crashed  May 18, 1945
MACR  14458

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Assigned to the 17th Tactical Recon Group, 71st Tactical Recon Squadron. Nicknamed "Charmin' Lady" with a seated woman on the right side of the nose.

On May 10, 1945 this B-25 flew a combat mission against Formosa (Taiwan).

Mission History
On May 18, 1945 took off from Lingayen Airfield on a ground attack mission against targets near Divisoria in the Cagayan Valley. A bomb hung up on its first pass, requiring it to make another run. At low level it was hit by ground fire, setting the right engine on fire and cause the bomber to crash. On impact, the B-25 broke into two pieces over a long debris field. Other B-25s dropped supplies on the crash site, and observed several members of the crew alive or wounded on the ground.

Amazingly, the engineer, Sgt Harold Ford survived the crash and gave morphine and assistance to the two wounded pilots. Soon after the crash, Filipino guerillas located the crash and assisted the survivors, removing them in makeshift stretchers to the safety of hills and got more medical attention. The two pilots died of their wounds the next morning. Ford was behind enemy lines and reached US Army rangers who assisted him back to Lingayen Airfield five days later.

The remains of the crew were buried at Manila American Cemetery. Kluth at Plot D Row 15 Grave 29. Hawk at Plot A Row 7 Grave 89. Rice at Plot L Row 15 Grave 78

Combat Recon, page 118-119

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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