Pilot 2nd Lt. Robert T. Brunson, O-416208 (MIA / KIA) IN
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Richard W. Cromley, O-794383 (MIA / KIA) IN
Bombardier-Navigator 2nd Lt. John O. Lovedahl, O-666051 (MIA / KIA) NC
Crew Sgt John A. Calise, 32421406 (MIA / KIA) NY
Crew Sgt Kelly B. McGary (WIA, rescued)
Crashed April 22, 1943
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) serial number unknown. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to the South Pacific.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 42nd Bombardment Group, 75th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On April 22, 1943 took off from Plaine Des Gaiacs Airfield (De Gaiacs) on New Caledonia piloted by 2nd Lt. Robert T. Brunson on a routine patrol mission. Returning from the mission at 7:15pm, this B-25 overshot Plaine Des Gaiacs Airfield. While circling out to sea for another run to land, the pilot lowered the flaps before ditching into the sea. The entire crew with the exception of McGary died in the crash.
Afterwards, an immediate search for survivors was instituted by U. S. and New Zealand forces.
Fate of the Crew
McGary, injured in the crash managed to deploy the B-25's life raft and floated at sea. On April 23, 1943 he was discovered floating and rescued. He could not give any other information about the crash or fate of the rest of the crew.
The entire crew were declared dead the day of the mission. The entire crew is memorialized at the courts of the missing, court 7 at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).
Brunson is memorialized on the Tippecanoe County War Memorial in Lafayette, IN.
Lovedahl is memorialized at Lower Coward Cemetery Caney Fork in Cullowhee, NC.
Missing Air Crew Report 16254 (MACR 16254) created retroactively circa 1945-1946 number crossed out, included with Missing Air Crew Report 16148 (MACR 16148)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert T. Brunson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Richard W. Cromley
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John O. Lovedahl
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John A. Calise
FindAGrave - Lieut Robert T Brunson (Tippecanoe County War Memorial photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Robert T Brunson (courts of the missing photo)
2Lt Richard W Cromley (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT John Oscar Lovedahl (photo, courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - John O. Lovedahl (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - Sgt John A Calise (courts of the missing photo)
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October 9, 2018