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  B-25D-1 "Lucky Bat" Serial Number 41-30058  
USAAF
5th AF
345th BG
499th BS

Click For Enlargement
Guthrie c1944
Pilot  1st Lt. Robert R Hotz, O-668334 (MIA / KIA) New York, NY
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. John C. Grice, O-713411 (MIA / KIA) Hoopeston, IL
Bombardier  2nd Lt. Joseph Ciaramella, O-682069 (MIA / KIA) Pittsburgh, PA
Engineer-Gunner  SSgt Victor J. Goebel, 18184126 (MIA / KIA) Hermleigh, TX
Radio-Gunner  SSgt Russel E. Anuta, 39128338 (MIA / KIA) Contra Costa County, CA
Gunner  SSgt Frederick E. Bennett, Jr., 13068361 (MIA / KIA) Westchester County, NY
MIA  July 30, 1944
MACR  7182

Aircraft History
Built by North American (NAA) Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25D-5 Mitchell serial number 41-30058.

Wartime History
During March 1943, assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 345th Bombardment Group (345th BG), 499th Bombardment Squadron (499th BS) in Savannah, Georgia. Assigned to Captain Julian B. Baird and nicknamed "Lucky Bat" and had the nose art of a bat riding a bomb painted by Cpl John Michalowski at Walterboro, SC.

Ferried overseas by Captain Baird across the Pacific to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA). In the middle of June 1943 arriving in Port Moresby and was often flown by pilot 1st Lt Philip Gath with crew chief TSgt Conrad A. Rose.

During August 1943, converted to B-25D-1 strafer variant by the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field near Townsville. In September 1943 or early October 1943, repainted with the "Bat Outta Hell" nose art and white tail markings.

This B-25 flew at least 66 combat missions including September 27 Wewak piloted by Banz, October 12 Rabaul, October 16 Wewak piloted by Gath, who claimed a "Oscar" shot down with the nose guns. November 27 against Boram Airfield piloted by Gath.

On January 25, 1944 took off piloted by Lt. Baker on a mission against the Admiralties with tail gunner Sgt Otto L. Bowker who was wounded and returning landed at Finschafen, but Baker died an hour later in the hospital. Afterwards, this B-25 flew back to base at Dobodura.

On February 3, 1944 participated in a mission against Dagua Airfield. On February 16, 1944 took off piloted by Cesna on a mission against Kavieng and attacked Subchaser No 39 and was hit by debris from the explosion that caused ammunition to catch fire and created holes in the rear fuselage.

On April 3, 1944 took off piloted by Graham on a low level strafing mission against Hollandia. Over the target, strafed a parked Ki-48 Lily until it burst into flames and machine gun enemy positions.

On July 27, 1944 took off piloted by Hotz on the mission against Galela.

Mission History
On July 30, 1944 took off piloted by Robert R Hotz on a barge sweep. This B-25 disappeared in the Sele Strait (Galowa Strait, Revenges Strait) area near the Raja Ampat Islands after departing formation to attack a target. When this bomber failed to return it was listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead on February 16, 1946. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Hotz earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Grice earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker in Fairhaven Cemetery in Mulberry, IN.

Ciaramella earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Goebel earned the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker in Hermleigh Cemetery in Hermleigh, TX.

Anuta earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Bennett earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Robert R Hotz
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Joseph Ciaramella
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Victor J. Goebel
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Russel E. Anuta
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25D-5 Mitchell 41-30058
Missing Air Crew Report 7182 (MACR 7182) created August 1, 1944
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert R. Hotz
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John C. Grice
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph Ciaramella
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Victor J. Goebel
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Russel E. Anuta
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frederick E. Bennett, Jr.
FindAGrave - 1Lt Robert R Hotz (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 2LT John Calvin Grice (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Lieut John C. Grice (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Joseph Ciaramella (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Victor J Goebel (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Victor J Goebel (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Russell E. Anuta (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Frederick E Bennett Jr. (tablets of the missing photo)
Warpath Across The Pacific (1996) pages 63, 97 (photo) 115-116 (photo), 131-132, 153, 175, 213 (profile) 370, 386, 411

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020

 

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B-25

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