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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 (survived)
Co-Pilot  Lt. King (survived)
Navigator  1st Lt Marvin L. McCrory (survived)
Engineer  Sgt. David C. Lowe, Jr. (survived)
Radio
 S/Sgt Harold D. Leonard (survived)
Top Turret  Sgt. Smiraldo (survived)
Force Landed  January 6, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Martin in Baltimore, Maryland. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-26 Marauder serial number 40-1404.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 22nd Bombardment Group, 33rd Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Shittenengitten". Ferried from Hawaii by 2nd Lt George F. Kahle, Jr. flying via Hickam Field then across the Pacific before arriving at Brisbane on March 25, 1942. Afterwards, flown north to Garbutt Field near Townsville and finally to its base at Antil Plains Airfield.

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.

The regular crew of this B-26 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

On April 15, 1942 this B-26 flew its first combat mission, an armed reconnaissance over Rabaul, but aborted due to fuel transfer pump malfunction and instead returned to Garbutt Field.

On April 18, 1942 took off on as one of six B-26 on a bombing mission over Rabaul. After take off, 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.

On August 27, 1942 this B-26 was flying on a search mission for over Milne Bay for Japanese vessels and was attacked by A6M Zeros from the Tainan Kokuta and returned to base safely.

Mission History
On January 6, 1943 at 1:30pm took off from 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by Captain George F. Kahle as one of seven 33rd Bombardment Squadron B-26s on a mission to bomb a Japanese convoy spotted 50 miles south of Gasmata. Two aborted before crossing the Owen Stanley Mountains. When the remaining five B-26s reached 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
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

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Last Updated
October 1, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-26
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