|Missing In Action (MIA)||Prisoners Of War (POW)||Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)|
|Chronology||Locations||Aircraft||Ships||Submit Info||How You Can Help||Donate|
|Pilot 2nd Lt. J. T. Lackey (KIA, BR) Tyler, TX
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Carl I. Middlebrook, Jr. (KIA, BR) Waco, TX
Navigator-Bombardier 2nd Lt. Leslie H. Anderson, O-717368 (KIA, BR) Stuttgart, AR
Engineer-Gunner Cpl William J. Kozak (KIA, BR) Philadelphia, PA
Radio-Gunner Cpl John Shott, 33421756 (POW, survived) Aliquippa, PA
Crashed May 17, 1945 at 9:20am
Over the target, near Taihoku (Taipei) in the northern portion of the island, this B-25 was flying at low level down a valley east of Komo and was hit by anti-aircraft fire from cliffs on the edge of the valley. At roughly 9:20am, this B-25 crashed roughly 4 miles east of Komo in northwestern Formosa. Last seen by Captain Richard J. Lewis and 2nd Lt. William G. Paukovich.
John Shott recalled on June 11, 2016:
During the mission, Shott was in the tail gunner position and was knocked unconscious but survived the crash. The rest of the crew died in the cockpit section of the aircraft. When this B-25 failed to return, the crew was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
Fates of the Crew
Traveling at night to avoid detection, he walked eastward toward the mountains, where he had been briefed the indigenous people might aid an American aviator. Spotting a garden, he watched for activity then stole a head of cabbage. While sitting down to eat it, he was captured by two Japanese soldiers with rifles and fixed bayonets and became a Prisoner Of War (POW).
The soldiers took his class ring and watch then escorted him to a small military camp where he was interrogated by a Japanese officer who spoke to him in broken English and were aware of his crash. At first, he gave only his name, rank and serial number. Beaten with a bamboo rod, he then lied to giving him false answers. Afterwards, they took his shoes and placed into a hut with his hands and feet bound. The next day, he was transported aboard a truck to a nearby rail road station where he was transported by train to Taihoku (Taipei).
The next morning, he was again interrogated and was beaten when he did not answer quick enough and was told he would be shot if he did not answer. Lying, he said "My base is San Marcelino" and was made to draw a crude picture of the base, which pleased the interrogators and he was given a ball of rice and tea, then was interrogated into the night, including a mock execution where he was blindfolded, marched outside against a wall and soldiers cocked their rifles until he collapsed in fear. When the blindfold was removed, the interrogator said "Are you scared? Are you going to tell the truth now?".
Afterwards, he was interrogated further, placed aboard a truck and transported to the city jail, used as Kempei Tai (military police) headquarters and detained naked in a small cell and fed only a tennis ball size of rice three times a day, occasionally with sweet potato in it with hot tea. Later, four of the crew from B-25J 43-28152 crashed May 27, 1945 were detained in a nearby cell. During captivity, he suffered from dysentery, lice. When he went down, Shott weighed 143 pounds and dropped down to 97 during captivity.
Shott was imprisoned in the city jail for the remainder of the war. At the end of the Pacific War, he and other Allied prisoners were transported to a main camp. He was repatriated via the Philippines to San Francisco and spent a week in the hospital and recuperated at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virgina. After he was discharged, he traveled by train to Philadelphia, PA to visit Helen who had married William J. Kozak two weeks before they departed overseas and had died in the May 17, 1945 crash and later married her.
Recovery of Remains
Lackey is buried at Tyler Memorial Park and Cemetery in Tyler, TX at good shepherd plot.
|Discussion Forum||Daily Updates||Reviews||Museums||Interviews & Oral Histories|