|Pilot 1st Lt. Edgar R. Cavin (rescued)
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Elmer J. Kirkland (rescued)
Crew T/Sgt Fred E. Arnett (rescued)
Crew S/Sgt Lawrence Herbst (rescued)
Crew T/Sgt Michael J. Chorney (rescued)
Crew T/Sgt Robert E. Cross (rescued)
Ditched February 15, 1944
Built by North American as a model B-25D-5 Mitchell. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.
Assigned to the 345th Bombardment Group, 498th Bombardment Squadron during March 1943. Assigned to pilot Edgar R. Cavin and crew chief Burns. Nicknamed "Gremlin's Holiday" with the nose art of a gremlin with a bomb in each hand, about to hurl one. Converted into a strafer variant (B-25D-1) at the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field near Townsville.
On February 15, 1944 took off from Dobodura Airfield piloted by Cavin on a low level mission against Kavieng. Over the target, hit by intense anti-aircraft fire that set the right
engine and turret tank on fire. This B-25 ditched four miles northwest
of Kavieng roughly
400 yards offshore.
entire crew was rescued by PBY "Arkansas Traveler"
by Lt(jg) Nathan G.
Gordon which landed despite rough seas and Japanese fire. Gordon
earned the Metal of Honor for this action.
"After taking, off, we got a call from a B-25 that
was spotting from the air, and was radioing us instructions and coordinates
of ditched planes. He called in the position of a B-25 that had ditched. [The B-25 spotted from the air was piloted by
Major Chester A. Coltharp, C.O. of 498th BS]. I made another stall landing to pick up this crew.
All six were in the water. When we landed, we realized that we would
have to cut the one engine when we picked up the crew. The swells were
so high, they were right up to the engines which as you know are on
the top edge of the wing of the PBY. We were afraid that they might
hit the prop when we got close to them. I turned to Wily, our mechanic
and asked him if we shut off the port engine, would we be able to restart
it? He said yes, so I did."
During 2001, Don Fetterly and Rod Pearce unsuccessfully searched for this aircraft:
"I now believe after studding all the facts from that raid that "Gremlins Holiday" went down in deep water some 4-6 miles NNW of Kavieng. It would take
some pretty sophisticated equipment to find it. The water was quite
murky around the wrecks and we never got better visibility."
345th Bombardment Group Airplane Casualties - "B-25 crashed about 4 miles northwest of the town of Kavieng."
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell 41-30041
Warpath Across The Pacific page 32, 82, 124-126, 128, 197, 381
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February 14, 2020