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|Pilot 2nd Lt Victor V. Brooksby, O-520695 (MIA / KIA) Fredonia, AZ
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Frank A. Gerber, O-793405 (MIA / KIA) NJ
Bombardier 1st Lt Robert E. Gagen, O-664775 (MIA / KIA) Des Moines, IA
Engineer Cpl Ephraim R. Poole, 13047386 (MIA / KIA) Columbia, PA
Radio T/Sgt Paul B. Drinkard, 35380345 (MIA / KIA) Wheeling, WV
Gunner S/Sgt Adam V. Domijan, 11072294 (MIA / KIA) New Britain, CT
MIA July 14, 1943 at approximately 6:30pm
Built by North American in Inglewood, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25C-10 42-32293. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group, 498th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "RHIP". When lost, engines: R-2600-13 left 42-477548 and right 42-47537. Weapon serial numbers not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 15258 (MACR 15258).
On July 14, 1943 at roughly 4:00pm took off from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby piloted by 2nd Lt Victor V. Brooksby on a patrol mission over the southern coast of New Guinea to protect Allied shipping en route from Australia to New Guinea. The weather was limited visibility with a low ceiling and light showers.
At approximately 6:00pm, this B-25 was observed by a destroyer in the vicinity of the south coast of New Guinea. The aircraft was last sighted disappearing from view, although it was not seen to crash into the sea. When the B-25 failed to return it was listed as Missing In Action (MIA). This aircraft was believed to have crashed at approximately 6:30pm into the sea south of Hood Point.
When this B-25 failed to return, B-25s from the 498th Bombardment Squadron began searching, but failed to find any trace of the missing plane. No wreckage or evidence was ever located.
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.
Brooksby has a cenotaph memorial marker at Fredonia Cemetery in Fredonia, AZ.
July 14, 1943
July 14, 1943
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