|Pilot Major Frank C. Parker, Jr., O-21579 38th BG, HQ (MIA / KIA) Bridgeport, PA
Co-Pilot 1st Lt. William M. McFadyen, Jr., O-427635 (MIA / KIA) Raeford, NC
Crew 2nd Lt. William I. Purdom, O-660901 (MIA / KIA) San Antonio, TX
Crew 2nd Lt. John O. L. Turcotte, O-790427 (MIA / KIA) Plattsburg, NY
Crew SSgt Robert L. Upton, 1403885 (MIA / KIA) Atlanta, GA
Crew Cpl Pedro V. Chaffino, 38013229 (MIA / KIA) Vado, NM
Crew Pvt Joseph W. Richardson, 19003686 (MIA / KIA) Ventura, CA
Crashed November 27 1942
Built by North American in Inglewood, California. Constructors Number 87-7860. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25D Mitchell serial number 41-29699. Ferried overseas to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 38th Bombardment Group, 405th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "White Russian". When lost, engine and weapon serial numbers unknown.
On November 27 1942 took off from Port Moresby piloted by Major Frank C. Parker, Jr. as one of nine B-25s from the 405th Bombardment Squadron and 71st Bombardment Squadron on a bombing mission against Lae. Inbound, the formation encountered heavy clouds and few of the bombers were able to release their bombs accurately. Over the target, another crew witnessed a large flash at the position this aircraft was flying. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Presumed lost due to bad weather or enemy interception.
During 1950, this bomber was located located at Mount Buang near Mumeng.
During September 29, 1950 to October 10, 1950 the crash site was investigated and remains recovered. The remains of Turcotte and
Upton were identified. Other remains were found and recovered.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. On June 24, 1952 the remains of the crew were buried in a group burial at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery at section 85, site 80.
McFadyen also has a memorial marker in Raeford Cemetery in Raeford, NC. The marker reads "Lost over the New Guinea port".
Chaffino (brother of Chaffino)
"Pedro V. Chaffino earned a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for a mission to attack a Japanese convoy off Buna on October 5, 1942 when he served as top turret gunner. Separated from the formation, this B-25 was attacked by ten fighters and Chaffino fired "a steady stream of bullets into one of the enemy aircraft and it burst into flames and crashed." Then, he directed the pilot how to avoid their gunfire and claimed another fighter shot down. During February 1944, his DFC was presented to his brother at Biggs Field."
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25D Mitchell 41-29699
Missing Air Crew Report 15723 (MACR 15723) was created retroactively circa April 1946
El Paso Herald Post "Corporal Chaffino Honored at Biggs" February 12, 1944
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell 41-29699
FindAGrave - Frank C Parker, Jr (grave photo)
FindAGrave - William M McFadyen, Jr (grave photo)
FindAGrave - William Munroe McFadyen, Jr. (memorial photo)
FindAGrave - William I Purdom (grave photo)
FindAGrave - John O Turcotte (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Robert L Upton (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Pedro V Chaffino (grave photo, article)
FindAGrave - Joseph W Richardson (grave photo)
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
February 14, 2020