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  B-25D-20 "How's Your Ole' Tomato" Serial Number 41-30664  
5th AF
345th BG
500th BS

Former Assignments
22nd BG
2nd BS

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345th BG c1943

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Brian Bennett 2001
Pilot  1st Lt. Thomas R. Finnegan, O-675189 (MIA / KIA, BR) MA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Richard C. Anderson, O-799726 (MIA / KIA) NY
Navigator  2nd Lt Dean W. Class, O-685540 (MIA / KIA, BR) KS
Engineer  SSgt Robert A. Lind, 16021988 (MIA / KIA, BR)
Radio  Pvt Alfred E. Clarke, 13043668 (MIA / KIA, BR)
Gunner  Sgt John L. White, 20101211 (MIA / KIA) MA

Crashed  March 13, 1944 at 10:35am
MACR  13823

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

Wartime History
Modified to a strafer version (B-25D-1) by the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field near Townsville. During the middle of 1943, assigned to the 5th Air Force, 22nd Bombardment Group, 2nd Bombardment Squadron. Assigned to Larson with crew chief Chirico. Nicknamed "How's Your Ole' Tomato" with the nose art of a seated nude figure, and "How's Your" in a smaller font and "Ole" Tomato" outlined in white in a larger font. A nose number "14" was painted on the left side of the nose.

On October 5, 1943, this B-25 participated in its first combat mission. In total, this B-25 flew a total of 58 combat missions over New Guinea. On January 30, 1944 transferred to the 345th Bombardment Group, 500th Bombardment Squadron. When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial numbers (left) 42-77995 (right) 42-77523. Weapon serial numbers not noted in MACR.

Mission History
On March 13, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield No. 3 on a training mission with a crew from the 499th Bombardment Squadron. After take off, this B-25 dived straight into the ground and crashed roughly 16 miles west-south-west of Nadzab. The entire crew was killed instantly.

That afternoon, an extensive search was flown between Lae and Gusap. Fellow pilot Captain Speicher located the crash site from the air. On March 17, 1944 an L-5 flew to the vicinity of the crash site aboard an L-5 and found the bodies of the crew in an advance state of decomposition.

Recovery of Remains
Later, a U.S. Army graves registration party visited the crash site to recover the remains of the crew, and buried temporarily buried them in New Guinea.

Located near Chivasing plantation and cattle station in the Markham Valley near Nadzab.

During 2004, this site was investigated by Brian Bennett on a I.E. for JPAC in 2004. Locals turned over a full set of remains and dog tag of Robert A. Lind, 16021988. Also a portion of the cockpit section with bomb markings was found.

Brian Bennett adds:
"Lind's remains recovered were significant and with dog tag and were in the middle of the crash impact area and just slightly sub-surface."

The entire crew was declared dead the day of the mission. Postwar, four of the crew were buried at Manila American Cemetery. Finnegan at Plot B Row 6 Grave 164. Anderson at Plot D Row 11 Grave 203. Class at Plot F Row 8 Grave 55. White at Plot L Row 8 Grave 128. Lind is buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at section C-1 site 7402. Clarke is buried Arlington National Cemetery at section 4, site 2678.

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Thomas R. Finnegan
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Richard C. Anderson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Dean W. Class
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John L. White
FindAGrave - 1Lt Thomas R Finnegan (grave photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Richard C Anderson
FindAGrave - 2Lt Dean W Class (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Robert A. Lind (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Alfred E Clarke (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt John L White
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25C Mitchell 42-30664
Revenge of the Red Raiders page 492, 561
Warpath Across The Pacific pages 368, 393
Thanks to Steve Birdsall and Brian Bennett for additional information

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Last Updated
February 18, 2020


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