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  B-25C "Salvo Sadie" Serial Number 41-129??  
5th AF
3rd BG
90th BS

Pilot  Captain Frank Peter Bender, O-392735 (survived)
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Glover (survived)
Crew  S/Sgt T. Coward (survived)
Gunner  S/Sgt Arnold M. Thompson (survived)
Gunner  Sgt C. V. Hastie (survived)
Gunner  Cpl. R. A. McNamara
Ditched  April 24, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by North American in Inglewood, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army as serial number 41-129?? the last two digits are unknown. Ferried overseas via Hawaii across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 90th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Salvo Sadie".

Mission History
On April 24, 1942 took off from Charters Towers via Cairns as one of three B-25s bound for Port Moresby to fly a combat mission planned for the following day against Lae. The group reached the New Guinea coast, headed west, but unable to find Port Moresby, and turned around to fly east. At dusk and short on fuel they jettisoned their bombs into the sea. Ditched near Baibara Island east of B-25C "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and B-25C "Tojo's Nitemare" that ditched into Mullins Harbor.

Fates of the Crew
The crew made their way ashore and were rescued by Mr. Eglestaff, a plantation owner. Captain 'Mac' Rich of ANGAU located them on April 30, 1942 and took them by truck back to Fife Bay where they boarded his ship the Marek, and continued to search for any of the other crew from B-25C "Tojo's Nitemare" unsucessfully and attempted to salvage the wreckage of B-25C "Chattanooga Choo Choo" 41-129??.

The survivors of the triple ditching left the area on May 3 aboard the Marek to Milne Bay, where they held a memorial service for the crew of "Tojo's Nitemare". On May 4, 1942 departed aboard MV Matoma traveling westward via Abau Island before arriving at Port Moresby ten days later and were sent back to Australia.

Later on July 26, 1942 Captain Frank Peter Bender bailed out of B-25C "Arora" 41-12792 after being shot down by Zeros.

PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell piloted by Bender
Flightpath Magazine "Underwater Trio" by Michael Claringbould

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Last Updated
June 29, 2019


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