|Pilot 2nd Lt. Howard C. Wood, O-664709 (MIA / KIA) CA
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Marcos A. Baggese, O-689185 (MIA / KIA) TX
Observer 2nd Lt. Robert C. Hagerstrom, 1180195 (MIA / KIA) IA
Armour/Gunner Sgt Virgil C. Harrelson, 38197434 (MIA / KIA) LA
Radio/Gunner SSgt Frank J. Brunk, 16087489 (MIA / KIA) Chesterton, IN
Photo/Gunner Sgt Robert E. Bodi, 15374006 (MIA / KIA) OH
MIA June 8, 1944
MACR 16311 (16160)
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army, serial number unknown. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 17th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On June 8, 1944 one of ten B-25s that took off from Wakde Airfield (mission #160 B-310). This B-25 was leading a strike to attack six Japanese destroyers bound for Biak during "Battle of Cape Waios". The formation flying in a "V of V's" located the convoy headed due east at 00 50' E 132 50' E, then broke up into two ship elements to attack. According to the B-25s, the convoy consisted of two cruisers and four destroyers and met intense anti-aircraft fire.
This B-25 was hit and sank before reaching the target. This B-25 was last seen 50 miles north of Cape Waios (False Cape) on the Vogelkop Peninsula on Dutch New Guinea. Approximate location 0045 S and 13245 E.
Also lost over the convoy was B-25D piloted by Tennille and B-25D piloted by Lind.
Four destroyers were claimed by the B-25s, but in fact only Destroyer Harusame was sunk.
After the mission Maj. William Tennille was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (posthumously). After the mission, General MacArthur commented on the B-25s: "The job was magnificently done," General Ennis Whitehead who said, "This squadron has this date performed one of the finest military feats of the war." Of the seven B-25s that returned, five were damaged.
The entire crew was presumed dead the day of the mission. Memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
Afterwards, Wood was posthumously promoted to 1st Lieutenant. Brunk also has a memorial marker at Chesterton Cemetery in Chesterton, IN.
Andy Tennille (Grandson of William Grant Tennille)
"My grandfather was Major William Grant Tennille, squadron commander of the 17th Reconnaissance Squadron."
Missing Air Crew Report 16160 (MACR 16160)
Missing Air Crew Report 16311 (MACR 16311) - co-pilot Baggese is misspelled "Brggesse"
"How Jap Flotillas Sank" by Spencer Davis, AP Staff Writer, CALL-BULLETIN June 13, 1944
17th Special Operations Squadron History - June 8, 1944 reference
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Howard C. Wood
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Marcos A. Baggese
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert C. Hagerstrom
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Virgil C. Harrelson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frank J. Brunk
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert F. Bodi
1Lt Howard C Wood (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Marcos A Baggese (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Robert C Hagerstrom (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt Frank J Brunk (tablets of the missing, obituary, news article)
FindAGrave - Frank J Brunk (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Robert F Bodi (tablets of the missing)
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February 4, 2018