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  B-26 "Shittenengitten" Serial Number 40-1404  
USAAF
5th AF
22nd BG
33rd BS

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
January 6, 1943

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

Aircraft History
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
Navigator 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.

Mission History
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.

Wreckage
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,

References
Revenge of the Red Raiders page 165, 286, 295, 302, 434, 435, 499, 503, 517, 530, 547-548

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-26
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