38th BG c1943
|Pilot 1st Lt. John M. Wieland, O-734287 (MIA / KIA) Philadelphia,
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Dale R. Wilson, O-738317 (MIA / KIA) Perry, IA
Navigator 2nd Lt. John R. Stack, O-678086 (MIA / KIA) Grand Rapids, MI
Radio SSgt Stanley W. Banko, 33565274 (MIA / KIA) Everson,
Gunner SSgt Irvin E. Woollenweber, 35375029
(MIA / KIA) Wheeling, WV
Gunner SSgt Willie T. Sharpton, 34269188 (MIA / KIA) Dacula,
Crashed November 27, 1943 at 11:30am
Built by North American. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25G-5 Mitchell serial number 42-64889. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 38th Bombardment Group, 823rd Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial numbers, left 43-23850, right 43-23746. Weapon serial numbers noted in Missing Air Crew Report 1177 (MACR 1177).
On November 27, 1943 took off from 17-Mile
Drome (Durand) near Port Moresby piloted by 1st Lt. John M. Wieland on a strike mission against Wewak. The weather was good with unlimited visibility. Over the target, this B-25
was hit by anti-aircraft fire that damaged the left aileron and adjacent wing section and the left elevator and rudder were shot off.
This B-25 was observed to crash into the sea at 11:30 am roughly 1.5
miles to the north of Cape
Boram. Two witnesses in other planes in the formation said the plane hit hard,
bounced up, and smashed down again. A third witness said
the plane hit
but settled gently the second time.
When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Fates of the Crew
The crew was listed as missing in action after the mission, and no other information was known. During April of 1944, short-wave operators
heard Tokyo radio broadcast Sharpton's name and his parents' home
say he was a POW. Yet, he never appeared
on any of the prisoner lists nor was there any other information about him.
The entire crew were officially declared
dead on January 15, 1946. Each of the crew earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
Wilson also has a memorial marker at Violet Hill Cemetery in Perry, IA.
Woollenweber also has a memorial marker at Mount Zion Cemetery in Wheeling, WV.
Sharpton also has a memorial marker at Harmony Grove United Methodist Church Cemetery in Auburn, GA.
Joy Neal Kidney (niece of Dale R. Wilson)
"Usually, S/Sgt. Joseph
E. Sidebottom flew as gunner. Sidebottom was not on the November 27 mission. He was replaced
with Ted Sharpton for his first (and last) combat mission. My grandmother wrote
and sent Christmas cards to Ted Sharpton's mother until they died in
the 1980s, both in their nineties. His family
still isn't sure if he was fished out of the Pacific, held
and killed, or if he died
in the crash and the Japanese somehow found his body and dog tags."
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - John M. Wieland
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Dale R. Wilson
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - John R. Stack
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Stanley W. Banko
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Willie T. Sharpton
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25G-5 Mitchell 42-64889
"64889 (38th BG, 823rd BS) shot down by AAA and crashed into sea off"
"64889 (38th BG) lost Nov 27, 1943, New Guinea."
Missing Air Crew Report 1177 (MACR 1177) created November 28, 1943
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25G Mitchell 42-64889
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John M. Wieland
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Dale R. Wilson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John R. Stack
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Stanley W. Banko
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Irvin E. Woollenweber
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Willie T. Sharpton
FindAGrave - 1Lt John M Wieland (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 2Lt Dale R Wilson (photo, obituary, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Dale Ross Wilson (photo, obituary, memorial marker)
FindAGrave - 2Lt John R Stack (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt Stanley W Banko (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt Irvin E Woollenweber (photos, tablets of the missing photo)
Irvin E. Woollenweber (memorial marker photo)
SSgt Willie Ted Sharpton (photo, tablets of the missing photo)
Willie Ted Sharpton (photo, memorial marker photo)
Joy Neal Kidney for additional information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
February 18, 2020
Nov 27, 1943