Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
  B-25D-1 "The Wolf Pack" Serial Number 41-30099  
USAAF
5th AF
345th BG
501st BS

Click For Enlargement
"War Weary" Jack Fellows

Click For Enlargement
Fabale c1944

Click For Enlargement

USAAF c1944

Click For Enlargement
Beardsley Sept 12, 1944

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Richard Leahy 2000
Pilot  1st Lt. John Fabale, O-799548 (survived) New Britian, CT
Co-Pilot  F/O. Harrison T. Beardsley, T-637737 (survived)
Engineer  S/Sgt Robert G Simmons, 33723545 (survived)
Radio  Sgt Joe S Lopez, 38121892 (survived)
Passenger
  Captain Leroy F. Puthoff, O-669107 (survived)
Passenger
  1st Lt Robert F Kuechler, O-1108791 (survived)
Passenger  2nd Lt Robert A. Prentice, O-765067 (surived)
Passenger  2nd Lt Robert E. Buchanan , O-76003 (survived)
Passenger  S/Sgt William M. Collier, 32385394 (survived)
Passenger  Sgt William Kelly, 35035859 (survived)
Force Landed  September 11, 1944
MACR  13263

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25D-5-NA Mitchell serial number 41-30099. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
On April 5, 1943 Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group, 501st Bombardment Squadron. Converted to a B-25D-1 strafer by the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field in Townsville. Nicknamed "The Wolf Pack". In total, this B-25 flew over 100 combat missions in New Guinea before it was lost. Regular pilots included Marston, McKenney and Milton N. Harper who completed his tour of duty flying this aircraft. Assigned to crew chief was Mike H. Juroshek. When lost, engines: left 42-77543 and right 42-77628. Weapon serial number not listed in Missing Air Crew Report 13263 (MACR 13263).

Mission History
On September 11, 1944 took off from Mokmer Airfield on Biak piloted by 1st Lt. John Fabale with B-25 #014 on an administrative flight transporting a load of laundry bound for Nadzab No. 4 Airfield (Newton Field). Aboard were six passengers from the 501st Bombardment Squadron (501st BS). The weather had a cumulus cloud base at 2,500' to 10,000' with visibility of roughly 30 miles.

During the flight, the pair of B-25 flew at 8,500' until pilot Fabale broke formation in clouds and suffered an engine failure and was last seen over the upper Keram portion of the Sepik River. When this aircraft failed to arrive, it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). In fact, Fable made a wheels up force landing into a kunai grass swamp approximately fifty miles from Annenberg at roughly Lat 4°  40' S Long 144° 21' E.

Fates of the Crew
Aboard, everyone survived the landing unhurt and spent the night with the bomber. The next morning, the crew removed as much survival gear and equipment from the B-25 and with the help of native people who found them began trekking to Annenberg.

Before departing, co-pilot Beardsley used his Brownie camera and took a photograph of the downed B-25, the crew and natives preparing for the trek. With the help of native people, the crew walked to Annenberg where they were flown to Madang and later returned to base on September 18, 1944. The crew were missing for seven days before returning safely.

Sometime afterwards, the crash site was located and investigated by Japanese Army soldiers who located Fabale's diary and recovered other materials from the aircraft. Postwar, the diary was recovered from a Japanese Prisoner Of War (POW) and returned to Fabale.

Wreckage
During 1948, visited by a RAAF Searcher Team led by S/L Keith Rundle. At the time, he mistakenly believed the crew were still Missing In Action (MIA) and entered the co-ordinates into the records of the New Guinea colonial government as a missing plane in error.

Today, this B-25 remains in situ in swamp it force landed. Over the years, instruments have been taken by visitors. The cockpit canopy frames and top turret are missing or removed.

Relatives
John Fabale, Jr. (son of John Fabale) adds:
"After the war, we got a package from the U.S. Government with Dad's diary in it.  Apparently, it had been captured from a Japanese prisoner at the end of the war at Wewak, and he has used some of the paper inside it.  Since it had my Dad's name on it, they were able to return it to us."

Linda McMasters (daughter of John Fabale)

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25D-5 Mitchell 41-30099
"30099 (498th BG) lost Sep 11, 1944, New Guinea. MACR 13263"
Missing Air Crew Report 13263 (MACR 13263) created April 10, 1945 retroactively
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25D Mitchell 41-30099
Warpath Across The Pacific pages 38, 62 119, 121, 164, 167, 186-187, 397
War In Pacific Skies (2003) page 88 "War Weary" by Jack Fellows
Flightpath "Swamp Mitchell" by Michael Claringbould
Thanks to John Fabale, Jr. and Linda McMasters for additional information

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
August 10, 2019

 

Tech Info
B-25

Map
Map
Sept 11, 1944

Photos

Photo Archive
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram