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  B-25C Mitchell Serial Number 41-12450  
5th AF
3rd BG
90th BS

Pilot  1st Lt. Bennett G. Wilson, O-384791 (MIA / KIA) MO
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Luther P. Smith, Jr., O-427778 (MIA / KIA) MS
Bombardier  T/Sgt Luther B. Word, Jr., 6973540 (MIA / KIA) Dublin, GA
Engineer  Cpl Leaburn D. Myers, 14029318 (MIA / KIA) TN
Radio  Sgt. Lloyd M. Bailey, 504710 RAAF (MIA / KIA) Southbrook, QLD
Turret Gunner  Cpl. Henry R. Sheppard, 6973526 (MIA / KIA) GA

Crashed  May 25, 1942
MACR  16001

Aircraft History
Built by North American in Inglewood, California, the seventeenth B-25C produced. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 90th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On May 25, 1942 took off from 7-MIle Drome near Port Moresby for a bombing mission against Lae Airfield and installations at Lae. Following the bombing run, the formation was intercepted by A6M2 Zeros of the Tainan Kokutai near Lae. One of five 3rd BG B-25 shot down on this strike.

The entire crew was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). The American crew members were listed as MIA and officially declared dead the day on December 4, 1945 and are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Australian Bailey was declared dead the day of the mission and is memorialized on the Lae Memorial, panel 7.

Crew History
T/Sgt Luther B. Word, Jr. was awarded the Silver Star for actions on April 29, 1942 while a crew member on a reconnaissance mission over Buna. He was the only son of Mr. & Mrs. Luther Word of Dublin, Georgia.

Are you related to the sister of T/Sgt Word?
Are you a relative of Lt. Smith
Are you a relative of Cpl Myers
Are you a relative of Sgt Bailey?
Contact us

RAAF Status Card: "Last seen losing altitude in the vicinity of Lae Airdrome, and it is believed that both engines had been put out of action by Japanese gun fire. Believed to have crashed in the vicinity of the airdrome."
90th Bomb Group History
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell 41-12450
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


Tech Info

6 Missing

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