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  B-25J-10-NC Mitchell Serial Number 43-36160  
USAAF
11th AF
28th BG
77th BS

Pilot  2nd Lt. Robert B. Wolbrink, O-777072 (interned, survived)
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Jerry M. Kroot (interned, survived)
Navigator-Bombardier  2nd Lt Byron F. Field, Jr. (interned, survived)
Engineer  Cpl Matthew M. Glodek, 42020135 (KIA, BR) NY
Radio-Gunner  Cpl Roy A. De Haven, 33764970 (interned, survived)
Gunner  Cpl Roy C. Caris, 33522828
(interned, survived)
Crash Landed  June 9, 1945 at 3:40pm
MACR  14611

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried to Alaska.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 11th Air Force, 28th Bombardment Group (Composite Group), 77th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R-2600-13, R-2600-29 serial numbers 43-23081 and 43-27557. Weapon serial numbers noted in Missing Air Crew Report 14611 (MACR 14611).

Mission History
On June 9, 1945 took off from Attu Airfield on Attu Island on mission 5M3096 at 9:25am on a diversionary strike mission over Araido Island (Atlasov) to the north of Paramushir Island.

The weather was broken stratus from sea level to 1,200' with breaks running north and south and were narrow east and west. The top of the stratus lowered westward becoming ragged and disappearing along the east coast of Kamchatka, Shimushu and over the east coast of Paramushir. To the west over Araido CAVU weather existed.

Five minutes after leaving the target area, B-25 piloted by Captain Irving called to this aircraft and reported his right engine had smoke coming from it. Wolbrink closed formation and reported the engine was alright. At the same time, six Japanese fighters attacked the formation, forcing them to fly over Cape Lopatka, and began receiving ground fire from Russian batteries, including both anti-aircraft fire and small arms tracers. The formation began taking evasive action to avoid the fire. This B-25 was last reported approximately ten minutes south of Petropavlovsk on southeastern Kamchatka.

This B-25 was hit by Soviet anti-aircraft fire including a burst to the right of the B-25, causing a long stream of fire from the top turret and damage to the right engine, requiring it to be feathered. Damaged, this aircraft veered off to the left, then level off before starting a sharp diving left turn before disappearing into the fog below then a smoke column was observed. Aboard, the anti-aircraft fire killed engineer Glodek. The last radio message received from this aircraft was "Tuk in ten minutes - - - salvo - -- (message faded out). After the crash, the surviving crew were interned by the Soviet Union. This was the first time Soviet anti-aircraft fire hits an American aircraft.

Fates of the Crew
The entire crew was captured and interned in the Soviet Union until the end of World War II and then were returned to the United States.

Memorials
Glodek was officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the war, his remains were returned to the United States and he was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, NY.
Wolbrink died on Aug. 15, 1996. He is buried at Taylor Cemetery in Ganges, MI.
Field died in 2005. He is buried at Frontier Cemetery in Frontier, MI.
Caris died in 1979. He is buried at Princess Anne Memorial Park in Virginia Beach, VA.

References
Missing Air Crew Report 14611 (MACR 14611)
List of Americans, British, and French military personnel detained by organs of the Ministry of State Security [Wabring, Kroot, ?, ?, Gladesk]
FindAGrave - Robert B Wolbrink (grave photo, obituary)
FindAGrave - Byron Fiske Field, Jr (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Roy Clifton Caris (grave photo)

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-25
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