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  B-25D-20 "Mexican Spitfire" Serial Number 41-30592  
5th AF
345th BG
500th BS

Former Assignments
3rd BG
498th BS

Click For Enlargement
345th BG c1944
Pilot  2nd Lt. Lloyd B. Bardwell, Jr., O-761500 (MIA / KIA) AR
2nd Lt. Millard W. Israel, O-706061 (MIA / KIA) MS
2nd Lt. Robert C. Feuerstein, O-738545 (MIA / KIA) Tacoma, WA
Cpl Wyman D. La Rose, 32490740 (MIA / KIA) IL
 Pfc Calvin D. Simansky, 39556139 (MIA / KIA) CA
 SSgt Lacy B. Hall, Jr., 34316566 (MIA / KIA) Alamance County, NC

Ditched  September 2, 1944
MACR  8636

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
Likely served with the 3rd Bombardment Group. On November 26, 1943 assigned to the 345th Bombardment Group, 500th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Mexican Spitfire". Regular pilots included Bruce and Landon. Crew chiefs H. D. Smith and Pratt.

Wartime History
On February 15, 1944 piloted by 1st Lt. Francis P. Doman flew the mission against Kavieng. On April 8, 1944 assigned to the 498th Bombardment Squadron, but transferred back to the 500th Bombardment Squadron a few days later, where it served until its loss.

Mission History
On September 2, 1944 took off from Biak on a mission against Langoan Airfield, but diverted to strafe troops along Lahbeh Strait between Lahbeh Island (Lembeh) and Celebes. Over the target, this B-25 was hit by anti-aircraft fire and ditched into Lahbeh Strait off Lahbeh Island (Lembeh).

On impact, the nose submerging, forcing the tail and right wing breaking off. A Japanese Zero strafed the crew as they were escaping, but was driven away by other B-25s from the squadron circling to protect them. All five crew were observed in the water, their plane sank five minutes later. Their raft seemed damaged and only partially inflated.  Short on fuel the other B-25s departed and no trace of the crew was ever seen again.

La Rose, Hall, Feuerstein, Simansky and Israel were officially declared dead on March 18, 1946. Bardwell was officially declared dead on July 18, 1946. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Hall also has a memorial marker at Pine Hill Cemetery in Burlington, NC at Military Row 11.

Missing Air Crew Report 8636 (MACR 8636)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lloyd B. Bardwell Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Millard W. Israel
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert C. Feuerstein
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Wyman D. La Rose
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Calvin D. Simansky
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lacy B. Hall Jr.
FindAGrave - 2Lt Lloyd B Bardwell, Jr (photo, memorial marker photo, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT Millard William Israel (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Robert C Feuerstein (news, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Corp Wyman D La Rose (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - PFC Calvin D Simansky (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Lacy B Hall, Jr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Lacy B Hall, Jr (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Lacy Bryant "June" Hall, Jr (photo, memorial marker photo)
Warpath Across The Pacific page 123, 184 (photo), 371, 382, 392

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


Tech Info

6 Missing

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