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  B-25D-15 Mitchell Serial Number 41-30532  
5th AF
3rd BG
90th BS

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RAAF Searchers 1961

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Wilkinson Egimbari 2001
Pilot  1st Lt. Walter R. Gerry, O-798481 3rd BG, 90th BS (MIA / KIA / BR) Providence, RI
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Angelo C. Dellisante, O-796333 3rd BG, 90th BS (MIA / KIA / BR) Corning, NY
Passenger  Captain Rudolph W. Johnson, Jr., O-454104 27th Air Depot (MIA / KIA / BR) Ionia, MI
Passenger  Captain Lamar S. Russell, O-427867 3rd BG, HQ (MIA / KIA / BR) Gold Hill, NC
Passenger  >SSgt Raymond F. Greene, 110242389 3rd BG, 90th BS (MIA / KIA / BR) MA
Passenger  SSgt Milton S. Miller, 11019883 3rd BG, 13th BS (MIA / KIA / BR) Norwood, CT
Passenger  SSgt Marvin E. Culbreth, 6973582 3rd BG, 13th BS (MIA / KIA / BR) Dearing, GA
Passenger  SSgt Charlie L. Fann, 14029330 3rd BG, 13th BS (MIA / KIA / BR) Murfreesboro, TN
Passenger  Sgt Harold B. Davis, 15070329 3rd BG, 13th BS (MIA / KIA) Zanesville, OH
Passenger  SSgt Jack E. Beals, 13048390 3rd BG, 90th BS (MIA / KIA / BR) Rochester, PA
Passenger  SSgt Edward R. Howard, 11042384 3rd BG, 90th BS (MIA / KIA / BR) Bingham, MA
Crashed  February 1, 1944
MACR  2565

Aircraft History
Built by North American Aviation (NAA). Constructors Number 87-8697. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25D-15 Mitchell serial number 41-30532. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group (3rd BG), 90th Bombardment Squadron (90th BS). No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial numbers 42-76989 and 42-76979. Weapon serial numbers not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 2565 (MACR 2565).

Mission History
On February 1, 1944 at 7:10am took off from Horanda Airfield near Dobodura piloted by 1st Lt. Walter R. Gerry on a flight bound for 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby. Aboard were several passengers from the 27th Air Depot (27th AD). At 8:00am, pilot Gerry last radioed Port Moresby advised he was returning due to bad weather, but was never heard from or seen again. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). In fact, this B-25 crashed near the peak of Mount Kenevi at an elevation of 10,500'. Everyone aboard was killed on impact.

On April 29, 1961 the crash site was located at roughly Lat 9.06 Long 147.44 by accident during a joint Australian Administration patrol between a RAAF Searcher Team led by S/L Keith Rundel with a U.S. Army Search and Recovery Team (#2-1961). At the time, the team was searching for Anson LT294 which they later located elsewhere in the vicinity.

Recovery of Remains
At the crash site, the remains of the crew, plus an unopened parachute was located 200 meters behind the crash site, with attendant human remains, indicated that at least one crew member might have bailed out before the aircraft impacted.

The recovered remains and personnel effects were designated Unknown X-6052 (X-File 6032). The skeletal remains recovered included "Skeletal portions consist of part of at least five (5) individuals based on the presence of portions of five left femurs. All the remains were commingled and segregated precluded due to shattering and deterioration of the recovered bone... All the recovered remains were placed into a single casket. In addition, wet remains were recovered described as "The skin and subcutaneous muscle tissue recovered with eight vertebrae attached was excavated from below 12" to 18" of dirt that had kept the flesh preserved without decomposition since the crash. These wet remains were embalmed in formalin and placed in the same casket with the skeletal portion of the rest of the group."

The recovered personnel effects recovered included one graduation ring class of 1938 with the initials "C.L.F" [Charlie L. Fann], one metal social security tag for Harold B. Davis, one metal bracelet for Jack E. Beale, one metal bracelet for Milton S. Miller, one Timex wristwatch and two other wristwatches, maker unknown without inscriptions. Also coins including 3 shillings, 1 florin and 2 sixpence. Also, four identification tags (dog tags) for Milton S. Miller.

During December 2001, Wilkinson Egimbari visited the crash site and found personal effects and significant human remains among the wreckage. The report of his trip is described in Journey to Mount Kenevi by John Douglas.

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. None of the crew or passengers earned the Purple Heart, posthumously as crash was on a non-combat flight over what was deemed a non-combat area.

The entire crew is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. After the partial recovery of remains, a rosette were added next to the names of the recovered crew members including: Gerry, Dellisante, Johnson, Russell, Culbreth, Fann, Beals and Howard.

Gerry earned the Silver Star, Air Medal, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster.

Russell earned the Legion of Merit.

After the 1961 recovery of remains, the recovered crew members were buried in a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery at section 34 site 4286.

Three of the crew have not been found and remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA): Greene, Miller, Davis.

Amanda Baird (niece of Charlie L. Fann):
"The article on your website, Journey to Mount Kenevi has sparked renewed interest by my family. I am the youngest of Charlie L Fann's nieces and nephews and am very interested in this segment of our family's history."

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25D-15 Mitchell 41-30532

"30532 (3rd BG) lost Feb 1, 1944, SW Pacific. MACR 2565"
Missing Air Crew Report 2565 (MACR 2565) created February 7, 1944
U.S. Army Search & Recovery Team (#2-1961) April 29, 1961
Unknown X-6032 (X-File 6032) S&R #2-1961, Mount Kenevi, Papua dated December 13, 1961
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Walter R. Gerry "His remains have been recovered"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Angelo C. Dellisante "His remains were recovered"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Rudolph W. Johnson, Jr. "His remains have been recovered."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lamar S. Russell "His remains have been recovered"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Raymond F. Greene
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Milton S. Miller
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Marvin E. Culbreth "His remains were recovered"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charlie L. Fann "His remains were recovered"
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harold B. Davis
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Jack E. Beals "His remains were recovered."
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Edward R. Howard "His remains have been recovered"
FindAGrave - Lt. Walter R. Gerry (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Lt. Angelo C. Dellisante (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Capt Rudolph W Johnson, Jr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Capt Rudolph W. Johnson, Jr (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Capt Lamar S Russell (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Capt Lamar S. Russell (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Raymond F Greene (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Raymond F. Greene (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Milton S Miller (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Milton S Miller (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Marvin E. Culbreth (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Marvin E. Culbreth (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Charlie L Fann (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Sgt Charlie L. Fann (Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Harold B Davis (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Sgt Harold Burton Davis (photos, article, Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Jack E Beals (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Jack E. Beals (photo, Arlington grave photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Edward R Howard (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Corp Edward R. Howard (photo, Arlington grave photo)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell 41-30532
Journey to Mount Kenevi by John Douglas December 2001
Thanks to John Douglas, Brian Bennett and Michael Claringbould for additional information

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Last Updated
November 2, 2022


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