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  B-25J-20/22-NC "30,000 North American Airplane" Serial Number 44-29544  
5th AF
345th BG
499th BS

Click For Enlargement
USAAF c1945

Pilot  1st Lt. Jame E. Slaughter (rescued)
Radio   T/Sgt Otto J. Taylor (WIA, rescued)

Ditched  January 29, 1945

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Nicknamed "30,000 North American Airplane" in yellow at the factory. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to the Pacific.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group, 499th Bombardment Squadron on January 13, 1945 as one of the first B-25J-22 models to arrive. Assigned to pilot Slaughter with crew chief TSgt James E. Salzman.

Mission History
On January 29, 1945 took off from Tacloban Airfield on a bombing mission against Cabcaben Airfield on Bataan. Returning from the mission on the landing approach, the preceding aircraft was caught in turbulence and drove off the marston matting, temporarily blocking the runway. To avoid hitting it, Slaughter pulled up and tried for another landing attempt, but one engine cut out and it ditched off Tacloban into the sea about 2 miles from the runway. Radio operator Taylor was knocked unconscious in the crash.

The entire crew successfully deployed life rafts and removed Taylor from the sinking plane. Within an hour of the ditching, the entire crew was rescued by an LST and returned to duty.

Warpath Across The Pacific page 258 (photo) 390

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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