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  B-25G-5 Mitchell Serial Number 42-64946  
USAAF
13th AF
42nd BG
70th BS

Pilot  1st Lt. Harold F. Watts, O-738305 (MIA / KIA, BR) IL
Co-Pilot  1st Lt. Francis S. Dunigan, O-813349 (MIA / KIA, BR) DC
Engineer-Gunner  SSgt Stanley M. Mettz , 39236139 (MIA / KIA, BR) CA
Radio-Gunner  TSgt Jerry G. Leath, 6968243 (MIA / KIA, BR) GA
Armor-Gunner  S/Sgt Joseph E. Brough, 15107703 (MIA / KIA, BR) IN

Crashed  October 20, 1944 at 12:40pm
MACR  11061

Aircraft History
Built by North American Aviation (NAA). Constructors Number 96-16825. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25G-5 Mitchell serial number 42-64946. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the South Pacific (SOPAC).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force (13th AF), 42nd Bombardment Group (42nd BG) "The Crusaders", 70th Bombardment Squadron (70th BS). No known nose art or nickname. When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial numbers left 33447 and right 33463. Weapon serial numbers unknown.

Mission History
On October 20, 1944 took off from Sansapor Airfield (Mar) piloted by 1st Lt. Harold F. Watts on a medium altitude bombing mission against Ambon. The weather was intervening cumulus 7-8/10 coverage with an undercast at 3-8,000'. A minute into the bomb run over Cape Seri, hit by anti-aircraft fire that set the right engine on fire. Last seen over the open sea. Crashed off Batoegantoeng on the Laitimor peninsula on Ambon.

Aboard another B-25, SSgt Pushnik believe he observed three of the crew bailing out prior to the crash. No parachutes were seen to open due to the undercast below the formation.

Search
Immediately after the loss, other 70th Bombardment Squadron B-25s began searching and Squadron leader Lt. Stevens contacted the PBY Catalina "Dumbo" in the area to search for the loss. Lt. Johnson left the formation and searched for the aircraft and investigated what was possibly a dark green-blue color in the sea that might have been dye marker. Also, Major Smith remained in the area for an additional 30-40 minutes, searching with a PBY Catalina "Dumbo" escorted by four P-38 Lightnings over the Latimore Peninsula area and noticed a fire in the vicinity of Mount Tola, but was found to be a brush fire.

Wreckage
Postwar, the crash site was found by Australian Army 16 Graves Registration Unit (16 GRU) and the remains of the crew were recovered.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the recovery of remains, the crew were transported to the Philippines and United States for permanent burial.

Watts is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Pontiac, IL.

Dunigan earned the Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, posthumously. He is buried at Manila American Cemetery at plot N row 6 grave 195.

Mettz is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at plot I, grave 334.

Leath earned the Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart, posthumously. He is buried at Manila American Cemetery at plot L row 12 grave 70.

Brough was buried in 1950 at Mount Hope Cemetery in Peru, IN.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25G-5 Mitchell 42-64946
Missing Air Crew Report 11061 (MACR 11061) created October 21, 1944
FindAGrave - Harold F. Watts (grave photo)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Francis S. Dunigan
FindAGrave - 1Lt Francis Stanislaus Dunigan Jr. (grave photos)
FindAGrave - Stanley M. Mettz (grave photo)
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Jerry G. Leath
FindAGrave - TSgt Jerry G Leath (Manila American Cemetery grave)
FindAGrave - Sgt Joseph E. Brough (grave photo)

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Last Updated
February 27, 2022

 

Tech Info
B-25

MIA
MIA
5 Missing
Resolved

Tech Info
Map
Oct 20, 1944
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