|Pilot 1st Lt Robert H. Miller, O-659996 (MIA / KIA, BR) Providence, RI
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Robert L. Hale, O-795731 (MIA / KIA, BR) Newtonville, MA
Radio S/Sgt Joseph A. Berube, 11024162 (MIA / KIA, BR) Fall River, MA
Engineer / Top Turret S/Sgt Glendon Harris, 11013668 (MIA / KIA, BR) North Monmouth, ME
Crashed October 24, 1943 at 11:11am
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 8th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed
"We Dood It", a play on comedian Red Skelton's character "Mean Widdle Kid" Junior from his Raleigh Cigarette radio program, whose favorite phrase: "I dood it!" became part of the American lexicon. When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial numbers 41-29311 and 41-29345.
On September 6, 1943 took off on a low level sweep against Japanese barges along
the coast of New Britain.
On October 24, 1943 took off from Dobodura on a bombing mission against Rabaul. Just before reaching its target at 11:11am, this B-25 was attacked by four A6M Zeros and hit, possibly in a collision with a Zero. On fire, a portion of the right wing fell off before it crashed into the waters edge in a grove of coconuts at Kabanga Point.
Postwar, scattered wreckage remained at the crash site, although portions were scrapped. During 1946-1947 a RAAF Searcher Team visited the crash site and recovered some of the crew's remains.
Brian Bennett adds:
recall that i first saw the crash site at Kabanga way back in late 1972. There was quite a lot of the aircraft then but as i mentioned later by the time it was scoped by CILHI for remains recovery there was damn all of it left as youths had been at at for some time (scraping it). It was a difficult site to work as there were bits of aircraft and remains all up and down the cliff. A very old Tolai elder said that at the time of the crash the aircraft had exploded and burnt and that Japanese soldiers quartered nearby had picked up body parts scattered around the burning aircraft and had thrown them into the fire. There is a large Japanese coastal defense position nearby with two large coastal defense guns."
Recovery of Remains
During 1946 to 1947 a RAAF Searcher Team visited the crash site and recovered some of the crew's remains.
During 1999, a US Army CILHI team visited interviewed villagers who claimed to observe the crash and to have located remains at the crash site in the middle 1990s and buried them at the site.
In late December 2000 into January 2001, another US Army CILHI team including Brian Bennett returned to the the crash site and located more remains.
Brian Bennett adds:
"At time of the CILHI 2000 recovery exercise there was little left. The aircraft crashed half on cliff and half on upper slope. I did push the site for recovery and it was on the recovery list and the site was done properly in 2001. I don't have any site photos at all even though I was on the recovery."
During 2004, in conjunction with this investigation, the unknown burials associated with this crew at Manila American Cemetery were exhumed and mDNA tested against samples provided by family members.
Berube was identified using mDNA from his brother, Normand Berube. Harris was identified using mDNA supplied by his mother Eleanor Harris Roberts and brother Emory Harris.
Sadly, his brother passed away before news of a positive identification was released. Berube was identified through DNA donated by his brother Normand Berube. During May 2006, the entire crew was officially identified by the Department of Defense (DoD).
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.
The remains recovered during 1946 to 1947 by the RAAF Searcher Team were
During September 1947 these remains were buried as unknowns (X-Files) in American Cemetery at Finschafen. Identifications were not possible at the time. During 1949-50 they were reburied as unknowns at Manila American Cemetery.
After the May 2006 identification, the remains the crew was buried in a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery at section 60 Site 8449. The individually identified remains were returned to their families for burial in their hometowns.
Robert Miller was buried at Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter, RI at section I-4 row 8 site 414.
Hale was buried with his family burial area at Rowley Burial Ground in Rowley, MA.
Berube was buried on October 28, 2006 at Saint Patricks Cemetery in Natick, MA.
Harris was buried during October 2006 at Glenside Cemetery in Winthrop, ME at lot 770, grave 3, north.
Elsie Miller (sister of Miller)
James D. Borcuk (nephew of Miller)
Ann M. Borcuk (niece of Miller)
Normand Berube (brother of Berube)
Eleanor Harris Roberts (mother of Harris)
Emory Harris (brother of Harris)
Larry Roberts (nephew of Harris)
Missing Air Crew Report 979 (MACR 979)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert H. Miller "His remains were recovered"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert L. Hale "His remains were recovered"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph A. Berube "His remains were recovered"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Glendon Harris "His remains were recovered"
FindAGrave - 1Lt Robert H Miller (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 1LT Robert H Miller (Arlington group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Robert H. Miller (Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Robert L Hale (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 2LT Robert L Hale (Arlington group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Lieut Robert L. Hale (photos, grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Joseph A Berube (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Sgt Joseph A. Berube (Arlington group burial photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Joseph A. Berube (Saint Patricks Cemetery photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Glendon E Harris (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Glendon E Harris (Arlington group burial photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Glendon E Harris (Glenside cemetery photos)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25D Mitchell 41-30376
Obituary Robert H. Miller
CNHI News "63 years later, pilot's remains will return to Massachusetts" October 25, 2006
Thanks to Brian Bennett, Edward Rogers and Bill Swain for additional information.
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February 14, 2020