|Pilot F/O Richard Smith, T-186554 (MIA / KIA) NY
Co-Pilot Otis T. Newland, T-000346 (MIA / KIA) TX
Navigator 2nd Lt. Robert D. Chapin, Jr., O-671281 (MIA / KIA) CT
Radio Sgt Theodore Anagnos, 32503485 (MIA / KIA) MI
Gunner Sgt Johnnie R. Boykin, 18121719 (MIA / KIA) NM
Crashed November 3, 1943 at 9:40am
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25G-5 Mitchell serial number 42-64850. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 38th Bombardment Group, 823rd Bombardment Squadron "The Terrible Tigers". No known nose art or nickname. This B-25 had the squadron's motif on the nose with a yellow lower edge on both sides of the tail.
When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial numbers (left) 43-23362 and (right) 42-77629. When lost, armed with 75mm cannon M4 serial number 701, Browning .50 caliber machine guns (fixed) serial numbers 162237, 469001, 746346, 378073 and 116501, other serial numbers unknown. Browning .30 caliber machine guns (fixed) serial number 39853. Thompson sub-machine gun serial number 360594.
On November 3, 1943 at 7:13am took off from 17-Mile Drome (Durand) near Port Moresby piloted by F/O Richard Smith as one of nine B-25s (Mission 306 H) to attack barges, buildings and hideouts from Alexishafen to Bogadjim. This B-25 was flying in the first flight, no. 3, left wing position of the flight leader Captain William D. Brandon.
Rendezvous was effected over Nadzab at 3,500' with an escort by P-47 Thunderbolts. The three fights of three aircraft started the sweep at Odrobeg village two and a half miles north of Alexishafen and searched along the north coast of New Guinea south to Bogadjim.
At 9:40am, this B-25 crashed into the sea roughly 3/4 of a mile offshore into Astrolabe Bay between Bili Bili the north coast of New Guinea and Bil Bil Island (Bili Bili Island) to the south of Madang. The aircraft was seen to strike the water, bounce twice and immediately sank. The cause of th crash is unknown but thought due to a loss of power from damaged caused by anti-aircraft fire.
Fates of the Crew
Immediately after the crash, this B-25 was observed to sink and the flight leader Captain William D. Brandon's crew dropped a life raft, but it sank. The entire crew was observed and managed to safely board the life raft from their B-25 and were last seen making their way towards Bili Bili.
Afterwards, the crew was never seen again and their ultimate fate is unknown. Possibly, the crew was captured by the Japanese Army and were executed or otherwise died as Prisoners Of War (POW). All five crew remain listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
During the night of November 3, 1943 a Catalina flying boat attempted to reach the vicinity of the crash but was unable to reach the area due to bad weather. No other specific search was conducted for this downed crew.
The entire crew was officially declared dead on December 15, 1945. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25G-5 Mitchell 42-64850
"64850 (38th BG, 823rd BS) damaged by AAA and crashed into water offshore S of Madang, New Guinea Nov 3, 1943. MACR 1087. Crew entered dinghy and paddled ashore."
Missing Air Crew Report 1087 (MACR 1087)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Richard Smith
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Otis T. Newland
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert D. Chapin, Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Theodore Anagnos
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Johnnie R. Boykin
FindAGrave - FltOff Richard Smith
FindAGrave - FltOff Otis Terrell Newland (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 2LT Robert D Chapin, Jr (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Theodore Anagnos (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Johnnie R Boykin (tablets of the missing photo)
Sun Setters of the Southwest Pacific Area pages 243-244, AII-6
Death At Amron by Walt Deas mentions this loss
History, at Random "The Missing Photos: Photographic Images in Missing Aircrew Reports" by Michael Moskow
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June 11, 2019