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|Pilot 1st Lt. Glenn Willard
Smith "Smitty", O-21855 (MIA / KIA) Inglewood, CA
Co-Pilot 1st Lt. Ralph Milton Jones Jr., O-25395 (MIA / KIA) Griffin, GA
Navigator Sgt. John Slingluff Little, 452483 (MIA / KIA) Norristown, PA
Radio Sgt. George Dewey Herbst, Jr., 489222 (MIA / KIA) Pottstown, PA
Gunner Cpl. Michael F. Mazepa, 425132 (MIA / KIA) New York, NY
Gunner Cpl. Ferris Robert Gillen, 421734 (MIA / KIA) Muncie, IL
Passenger Cpl. Robert S. Bleir (MIA / KIA)
Crashed May 5, 1944
Flying at medium altitude over Tobera Airfield, this B-25 was hit by anti-aircraft fire in the left engine that damaged the engine and partially dislodged it from the mount. Another bomber in the formation photographed the damaged PBJ Mitchell while still in flight. Moments later, it crashed three miles west of the runway into a Japanese camp area. This bomber impacted at high speed, killing the entire crew in the impact.
During the late 1990s plantation owner Rick Ray discovered human remains were discovered under armor plate and machine gun wreckage.
Rick Ray adds:
During March 2001 portions of the wreckage were reportedly scrapped by a local.
Recovery of Remains
In 2000, CILHI continued investigations, led by recovery leader Dennis Danielson, and excavated the area with the engines and tail wreckage.
There is a memorial marker for the crew at Arlington National Cemetery, section 34 site 4900. According to Arlington Cemetery, they do not have a record recording when this stone was place (sometime postwar) nor can they confirm if any remains are buried there.
Little also has a memorial marker at Saint John Episcopal Church Cemetery, Norristown PA with the inscription: "He Gave His Life for His Country May 5, 1944 Over Rabaul New Britain S.W.P. Requiescat in Pace".
Navy Serial Number Search Results PBJ-1D Mitchell 35143
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