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  B-25D-1 "Torrid Tessie The Terror" Serial Number 41-29692  
USAAF
5th AF
417th BG
673th BS

Former Assignments
38th BG

Click For Enlargement
AGRS 1959

Click For Enlargement
Brian Bennett 1999
Pilot  1st Lt Edward V. Atwell, Jr., O-803745 (MIA / KIA) Wilmington, DE
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt Chester N. Burns, O-671634 (MIA / KIA) Oklahoma City, OK
Crew Chief  S/Sgt Wilford F. Schappell, 13045713 (MIA / KIA) South Temple, PA
Passenger Captain Randall M. Dorton Jr., O-724154 (MIA / KIA) San Francisco, CA
Passenger  Sgt Haynes C. Jump, 15019610 (MIA / KIA) Elizebethtown, KY
Passenger  Cpl Dillard Harmon, 34280054 (MIA / KIA) Columbia, TN
Passenger  Cpl Paul T. Donahue, 31152185 (MIA / KIA) South Portland, ME
Passenger  1st Lt Robert J. Arndt, O-669840 (MIA / KIA) Hastings, NB
Passenger  S/Sgt Samuel F. Carter, 34300380 (MIA / KIA) Fayetteville, NC
Passenger  Cpl Norman R. Suhr, 12009668 (MIA / KIA) Rochester, NY
Crashed  May 22, 1944
MACR  6136

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Constructors Number 87-7857. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25-D Mitchell serial number 41-29692. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 38th Bombardment Group. Modified into a B-25D-1 strafer variant at the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field in Townsville.

Later, assigned to the 417th Bombardment Group "Sky Lancers" (417th BG), 673rd Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Torrid Tessie The Terror" and used as a transport with the machine guns removed. When lost engines: R-2600-13 serial numbers 43-24328 and 43-37389.

Mission History
On May 22, 1944 at 2:25pm took off from Nadzab Airfield piloted by 1st Lt Edward V. Atwell, Jr. on an administrative flight bound for Saidor Airfield. When this aircraft failed to arrive it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). In fact, it crashed in the Saruwaged Range between Erap River and Sorop River, north-northwest of Mount Sayapomia at roughly 9,500' elevation.

Wreckage
During May 1959, this crash site was first discovered by natives during May 1959, who reported the site to Lutheran missionaries at Lae, who reported the aircraft to the American authorities.

Recovery of Remains
During June to July 1959 a team from American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) visited the crash site and recovered the remains of the crew.

During 2004, the crash site was revisited by a team JPAC led by Captain Brett Funk with Brian Bennett.

Memorials
The crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Everyone aboard earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

On March 7, 1960 the crew was buried in a group burial at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery at section 81, site 306-307.

Carter also has a memorial marker, location unknown. Likely, in a private cemetery in his hometown.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25D Mitchell 41-29692
"29692 (417th BG) lost May 22,1944. MACR 6136"
Missing Air Crew Report 6136 (MACR 6136)
U. S. Army AGRS Search & Recovery #1-1959 (Australian New Guinea - WWII Dead) Sept 22, 1959
RAAF Survey of Aircraft Wreckage, Papua New Guinea, page 8
"#287 | 06.23-146.39 | Erap River | USAC Mitchell B-25 41-26962 [sic B-25D 41-29692] | Wreckage recovered Erap and Sorop Rivers"
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell 41-29692
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edward V. Atwell, Jr. "remains interred in a group burial"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Chester N. Burns "remains interred in a group burial"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Wilford F. Schappell "remains interred in a group burial"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Randall M. Dorton Jr. "remains interred in a group burial"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Haynes C. Jump "remains interred in a group burial"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Dillard Harmon "remains interred in a group burial"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Paul T. Donahue "remains interred in a group burial"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert J. Arndt "remains interred in a group burial"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Samuel F. Carter "remains interred in a group burial"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Norman R. Suhr "remains interred in a group burial"
FindAGrave - 1LT Edward Victor Atwell, Jr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Edward Victor Atwell, Jr (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT Chester Nelson Burns (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Chester N Burns (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Wilford F Schappell (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Wilford F Schappell (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - CPT Randall M Dorton, Jr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Randall M Dorton, Jr (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Haynes C Jump (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Haynes C Jump (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - CPL Dillard Harmon (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Corp Dillard Harmon (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - CPL Paul T Donahue (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Paul T Donahue (group burial photo)
FindAGrave - 1LT Robert J Arndt (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Robert J. Arndt (photo, group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Samuel F Carter (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Samuel F Carter (group burial photo / memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - CPL Norman R Suhr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Norman R Suhr (group burial photo)
Thanks to Brian Bennett for additional information

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Last Updated
August 20, 2020

 

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B-25

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