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  B-25D-1 "Hell's Belles" Serial Number 41-30019  
5th AF
345th BG
499th BS

Pilot  1st Lt William A. Selby, O-738263 (MIA / KIA) OH
 2nd Lt Robert M. Gribble, O-829004 (MIA / KIA) PA
  T/Sgt Merton E. Voigt, 39236540 (MIA / KIA) CA
  S/Sgt George I. Whittier, 11021886 (MIA / KIA) MA
  S/Sgt David P. McManus, 13136948 (MIA / KIA) MD

Crashed  June 16, 1944
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by North American as a model D-5. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group, 499th Bombardment Squadron in March 1943. Ferried overseas to Australia by pilot Lt. Owen A. Hawver. Assigned to pilot Hawver with crew chief Rapp.

Nicknamed "Hell's Belles" with the nose art of a skull with horns and extended tongue. Nose number "140". Bomb markings were painted on the nose indicating missions flown. Below the the navigator's position was painted "Rollo".

Wartime History
This B-25 first flew bombing missions as a medium bomber operating from Port Moresby. Modified by the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field near Townsville into a model D-1 strafer. Other known pilots include 2nd Lt. Kenneth D. McClure, 2nd Lt. Paul T. Luttrell who completed his tour of duty piloting this B-25.

On November 2, 1943 flown on the mission against Rabaul. Over the target, the tail was damaged, and a Zero claimed by gunners. Afterwards, flown by 1st Lt. Robert W. Spear. Finally 2nd Lt. William Selby.

Wartime History
On June 16, 1944 took off on a mission to bomb and strafe Jefman Airfield and Samate Airfield. Over Jefman Island, this B-25 was hit by anti-aircraft fire and was last seen veering off to the north at low level, then crashed into the sea upside down and exploded.

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

Warpath Across The Pacific pages 370, 386, 416

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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