|Pilot Captain Alden W. Thompson, Jr., O-727804 (KIA, BR) WV
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt George W. Cagle, Jr., O-734189 (KIA, BR) Bartlett, TX
Navigator Captain Walter E. Bader, O-792426 (KIA, BR) MD
Radio-Gunner TSgt Walter A. Malone, 6577782 (KIA, BR) MT
Gunner SSgt Norman J. Zinda, 16023751 (KIA, BR) WI
Crashed September 9, 1943 at 01:45pm
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group, 499th Bombardment Squadron. Assigned to pilot Alden Thompson with crew chief TSgt Aaron B. Croop.
Nicknamed "Jelly Belly 2nd" after the loss of B-25D "Jelly Belly" 41-30013.
On September 9, 1943 one of nine B-25s that took off from Port Moresby piloted by Captain Alden W. Thompson, Jr. leading the formation on a low level strike against Japanese barges in Bostrem Bay near Alexishafen on the north coast of New Guinea.
Over the target, the formation split up into three plane flights and began searching for targets. Spotting supplies in a small village, this B-25 made a shallow dive to strafe the area but misjudged their altitude. While attempting to pull up, the bomber clipped the top of some palm trees, damaging the tail and causing the plane to barrel roll over and crashed into the ground, exploding on impact and killing the entire crew instantly.
As smoke rose from the burning crash site, other B-25s in the formation mistakenly strafed the area, believing the smoke was from an enemy dump that had been set on fire.
Recovery of Remains
Postwar, the remains if the crew were recovered.
The crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Four of the crew are buried at Manila American Cemetery. Thompson at plot C row 7 grave 68. Cagle at plot F row 5 grave 5 Bader at plot F row 13 grave 92 Zinda at plot D row 12 grave 75. Malone is buried at Custer County Cemetery, Miles City, Montana.
Cagle also has a memorial marker at Bartlett City Cemetery in Bartlett, TX at section 3, row 10.
Missing Air Crew Report 15469 (MACR 15469)
345th BG, 499th BS Weekly Status and Operations Report for September 1943
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Alden W. Thompson Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George W. Cagle, Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Walter E. Bader
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Norman J. Zinda
FindAGrave - Capt Alden Wilbur Thompson, Jr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 2Lt George W Cagle, Jr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - George W. Cagle, Jr (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Capt Walter E Bader (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave Walter A. Malone (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Norman J Zinda (tablets of the missing)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25D Mitchell 41-30516
Warpath Across The Pacific pages 30 (map), 43, 365, 387
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February 14, 2020