|Pilot Captain George F. Kahle
Co-Pilot Lt. King
Navigator 1st Lt Marvin L. McCrory
Engineer Sgt. David C. Lowe, Jr.
Radio S/Sgt Harold D. Leonard
Top Turret Sgt. Smiraldo
Force Landed January 6, 1943
Built by Martin. Assigned to the 22nd Bombardment Group, 33rd Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Shittenengitten".
Ferried from Hawaii by 2nd Lt George F. Kahle, Jr. and arrived at Brisbane, Australia on March 25, 1942. Afterwards, flown north to Garbutt Field near Townsville and finally to its base at Antil Plains Airfield.
Regular crew members included:
Pilot 2nd Lt. George F. Kahle
Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Lawrence I Werner
1st Lt Marvin L. McCrory
Bombardier: Pfc David C. Lowe, Jr.
Engineer: Pvt. Harold J. Bemrick
Radio: Pvt. Harold D. Leonard
Armor-Gunner: Pvt Louis G. Skeadas
Crew Chief: SSgt Leon S. Crowe
This B-26 was one of the most active in the squadron, flying at least 24 combat missions prior to its loss from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby.
First combat mission was April 15, 1942 this B-26 took off on an armed reconassiance over Rabaul, but aborted due to fuel tranfer pump malfunction and returned to Garbutt Field instead.
On April 18, 1942 one of six B-26 that took took off on a bombing mission over Rabaul. Three aborted due to bad weather before reaching the target. Over Simpson Harbor, this B-26 dropped its four 500 lbs bombs at Komaki Maru, two missed hitting the shore (one did not explode), one 500lbs bomb scored
a direct hit, the forth landed in the water. The ship's stern exploded violently
and the ship settled with only the deck remaining above water.
August 27, 1942 this B-26 was flying on a search mission for over Milne Bay for Japanese shipping and was attacked by A6M Zeros of the Tainan Kokuta and returned to base.
At 13:30 seven 33rd Bombardment Squadron B-26s took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby to bomb a convoy spotted 50 miles south of Gasmata. Two aborted prior to crossing the Owen Stanley Mountains. Reaching the convoy off Lae, the five remaining B-26s attacked from 8,000'. "Shittenengitten" led the second element of three B-26s. Over the target, they encountered anti-aircraft fire and A6M Zeros of the 852nd Kōkūtai.
This B-26 was hit by 20mm cannon fire and lost hydraulics and could not close the bomb bay doors, until the crew worked to close on side by hand. While attempting to close the other door with the remaining hydraulic pressure, but the bomb bay reopened and the landing gear dropped out. Pilot Kahle elected to force land at Milne Bay. There were no injuries to the crew when they successfully landed without gear at Turnbull Airfield.
The nose art of this aircraft was salvaged by the 22nd BG and taken back to their base at Antil Plains Airfield.
The nose art panel was discovered at Antil Plains and was donated to the Australian War Memorial. The rest of the aircraft was presumably stripped for parts and scrapped at Milne Bay,
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-26 40-1404
Revenge of the Red Raiders page 165, 286, 295, 302, 434, 435, 499, 503, 517, 530, 547-548
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
May 11, 2018