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  B-25C "Hellzapopin II" Serial Number 41-12464  
5th AF
17th TRG

Former Assignments
3rd BG
13th BS

Pilot  1st Lt. George W. Dixon, O-25595 (MIA / KIA) Aberdeen, SD
Co-Pilot  2nd Walter M. Tibbits, Jr., O-726603 6th PRG, HQ (MIA / KIA) OH
Observer  Captain Ralph E. F. Meyerhein, O-406432 (MIA / KIA) OH
Engineer  S/Sgt Oran Koontz, 19067522 (MIA / KIA) CA
Radio  S/Sgt Walter J. Vaughn, Jr., 13045933 (MIA / KIA) PA
Passenger  Captain Donald R. Seitz, O-342239 Dental Corps (MIA / KIA) MT
Passenger  Cpl Kermit B. Cox, 36055867 (MIA / KIA) IL
MIA  February 18, 1944
MACR  2549

Aircraft History
Built by North American in Inglewood, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25C Mitchell serial number 41-12464. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 13th Bombardment Squadron . Assigned to pilot Ellis. Nicknamed "The Nip Clipper" with tail letter "S". Later, it was converted to a B-25 strafer. Renamed "Hellzapopin II". Afterwards, this B-25 was transferred to the 17th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron or Headquarters Squadron. When lost, engines were R-2600-13 serial numbers 41-30717 and 41-30322. Weapon serial numbers not noted in Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 2549.

Mission History
On February 18, 1944 took off from North Borio Airstrip (Dobodura No. 15) piloted by 1st Lt. George W. Dixon on an administrative flight between Dobodura and Kiriwina. Last sighted on take off by Captain Frederick J. Northway. Weather was low ceiling with rain along the route.

Afterwards, a search was conducted by 5th Air Force Sea and Ground Rescue under the supervision of Lt. Garner. Two units of L-5s searched along the probable route, but no traces of the missing aircraft was found. 5th Fighter Command was also notified, but failed to report anything.

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Another source states B-25C 41-12464 was assigned to the Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEIAF) with serial number N5-151.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25C Mitchell serial number 41-12464
"12464 (MSN 82-5099) to Netherlands East Indies AF Feb 7, 1942 as N5-134. Ferried to Australia and assigned to 18 Squadron, NEIAF, Canberra, Australia. Renumberd N5-123 Jun 1942. Returned to USAAF as 41-12464. (71st RG) lost Feb 18, 1944. MACR 2549."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell 41-12464

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


Tech Info

7 Missing
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