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  B-25G-5 Mitchell Serial Number 42-64873  
5th AF
38th BG
823rd BS

Pilot  1st Lt John H. Di Filippo, O-672044 (MIA / KIA) San Antonio, TX
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt Louis S. Kefer, O-809815 (MIA / KIA) Brooklyn, NY
Navigator  2nd Lt George S. Heyen, O-673166 (MIA / KIA) San Antonio, TX
Engineer  T/Sgt Willis K. Fulp, 14049341 (MIA / KIA) Kileree, NC
Gunner  S/Sgt George F. Basha, 31078211 (MIA / KIA) Lawrence, MA
Crashed  February 15, 1944 at 11:25am
MACR  4600

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Constructors Number 96-16681. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25G-5 Mitchell serial number 42-64873. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.

Wartime History
During December 1943, assigned to the 5th Air Force, 38th Bombardment Group, 823rd Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. Assigned to pilot Di Filippo.

On January 19, 1944 took off from 17 Mile Drome (Durand) on a bombing mission against Shaggy Ridge. This was this bomber's first combat mission.

When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial numbers 42-271401 and 42-271493. Weapon serial numbers noted in Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 4600. This B-25 flew a total of thirteen combat missions when lost.

Mission History
On February 15, 1944 took off from Dobodura No 4 Airfield (Horanda 4Y) piloted by 1st Lt John H. Di Filippo on strike 46 D-1 a low level strike mission against Kavieng. This B-25 was flying in the number three position in the second flight.

Over the target at 11:25am while flying in line abreast formation at 150' altitude, this B-25 was hit in the belly by anti-aircraft fire and observed to pull up abruptly to 150' with flames visible in the belly. Both main landing gears sagged as a result of hydraulic pressure loss and disappeared into smoke. None of the crew were seen to exit the bomber before it was believed to have crashed in the Chinatown area of Kavieng at approximately Lat 2.34 Long 150.48. When this B-25 failed to return the crew were officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

No known wreckage of aircraft remains.

The crew (with the exception of Basha) were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Basha was declared dead on April 15, 1944. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Di Filippo earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Kefer earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has memorial marker at Riverside Cemetery in Saddle Brook, NJ.

Heyen earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, posthumously.

Fulp earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Basha earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Note: pilot's name listed as DiFilippo, Di Filippo or Di'Filippo in some sources.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25G-5 Mitchell 42-64873

"64873 (38th BG, 823rd BS) lost in attack on Kavieng, New Britain Feb 15, 1944. All 5 crew killed."
Missing Air Crew Report 4600 (MACR 4600)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John H. Di Filippo
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Louis S. Kefer
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George S. Heyen
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Willis K. Fulp
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - George F. Basha
FindAGrave - 1Lt John H Di Filippo (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Louis S Kefer (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Louis Kefer (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt George Stanley Heyen (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt Willis K Fulp (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt George F Basha (tablets of the missing photo)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25 42-64873
AAHS Journal Summer 1965 issue, page 96
Sun Setters of the Southwest Pacific Area pages 269-270 (January 19, 1944 mission), 262 (map), 281-284 (February 15, 1944 mission), 285 (Di'Filippo Crashes), AII-8, AIII-31

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


Tech Info

Feb 15, 1944

5 Missing
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