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  B-26 "Hell's Angel / Murder Inc. II" Serial Number 40-1428  
USAAF
5th AF
22nd BG
19th BS

Aircraft History
Assigned to the 22nd Bombardment Group, 19th Bombardment Squadron during February 1942. Assigned to 1/Lt Winfred O. Craft with crew chief Gernard. Nicknamed "Hell's Angel". Ferried to Australia by Craft arriving at Archerfield Airfield March 22, 1942.

On April 24, 1942 at 6:00am, took off from 7-Mile Drome to bomb Lae Airfield, but aborted due to bad weather, and returned to the airfield to reschedule the raid for the afternoon, but instead an incoming Japanese air raid forced the bombers to take off so as not to be caught on the ground. Twelve A6M2 Zeros of the Tainan Kōkūtai attacked, six intercepting RAAF 75 Squadron P-40s in the air, and six attacking the bombers and a PBY Catalina, including a claim by PO2C Hideo Izumi, who intercepted this B-26 over Port Moresby's harbor. Their attack was interrupted by two P-40s that drove off the Zeros, one P-40E A29-76 was damaged and ditched. Anti-aircraft gunners also fired at the Zeros, and allowed the B-26s to withdraw and circle until the air raid was finished.

On November 3, 1942 this B-26 bombed Dili, piloted by 1/Lt Walter R. Wenk. Damaged by Ki-43 Oscars of the 59th Sentai, and returned with a bullet hole through the propeller and left inboard wing and a broken aileron cable, but successfully landed at Darwin.

On November 30, 1942, this B-26 was damaged by anti-aircraft fire over Buna Airfield.

This B-26 flew at least 43 combat missions, 25 with the "Silver Fleet".

Sometime during 1943 stripped to bare aluminum as part of the "Silver Fleet", and re-named "Murder Inc. II", after the original "Murder Inc.", with crew chief T/Sgt Gernand.

During January 1944, flown back to Brisbane and scrapped.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-26 40-1428
Revenge of the Red Raiders page 81, 151 (photo), 152, 156, 495, 522 (photo)

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Last Updated
May 11, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-26

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