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  B-25D-25 Mitchell Serial Number 42-87287  
5th AF
71st TRG
17th TRS

Pilot  1st Lt. Earl D. Spriggs, Jr. O-735832 17th Tactical Recon Squadron (MIA / KIA, BR)
Passenger  Captain Edward F. Bradley, O-48376 17th Tactical Recon Squadron (MIA / KIA, BR)
Passenger 1st Charles E. Poland, O-434933 82nd Tactical Recon Squadron (MIA / KIA, BR)
Passenger 1st Lt. Fletcher C. Abernathy, O-1016654 25th Liaison Squadron (MIA / KIA, BR) Aspen Hill, TN
Passenger  SSgt William F. Robertson III, 13113188 17th Tactical Recon Squadron (MIA / KIA, BR)
Passenger  SSgt Paul M. Williams, 20758692 17th Tactical Recon Squadron (MIA / KIA, BR)
Passenger  SSgt Claude L. Green, 38024406 25th Liaison Squadron (MIA / KIA, BR)
Passenger  SSgt Glyn F. Trammell, 38136769 25th Liaison Squadron (MIA / KIA, BR)
Passenger  Cpl Arthur F D'Alessandro, 32888550 71st Tactical Recon Squadron (MIA / KIA, BR)
Passenger  2nd Lt. Claude M. Loe, Jr., 19092724 (MIA / KIA, BR)

MIA  July 28, 1944
MACR  7012

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas to the Pacific.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 17th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R-2600-19 serial number 43-37531 and R-2600-13 serial number 43-23472. Weapon serial numbers 939314, 448251, 449168, 11626, 211394, 228038, 448958, 211760, 75470, 448635, 70822, 411815.

Mission History
On July 28, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield No. 3 at 8:44am on a courier flight bound for Mokmer Drome on Biak Island. Aboard were passengers including an unmanifested passenger, Loe. Weather was scattered clouds en route and rain showers. This B-25 was never seen after take off and was declared Missing In Action (MIA).

On August 2, 1944 an Air Sea Rescue search mission led by 1st Lt. Byron K. Brown was flown by two Catalina and one B-25 that departed from Nadzab and searched the flight route to Hollandia without result. Also, L-5s based at Wakde, Hollandia and Tadji searched unsuccessfully.

This B-25 crashed to the west of the Kisengam Gap, roughly 12 miles northwest of Nadzab.

Recovery of Remains
Postwar, American Graves Registration Service (AGRS), 5A Detachment visited the crash site and recovered remains of the crew. Afterwards, the remains of the crew were transported to the United States for permanent burial.

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the recovery of remains, the enter crew: Spriggs, Bradley, Poland, Abernathy, Robertson, Williams, Green, Trammell, D'Alessandro and Loe were buried on April 18, 1951 in a group burial at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery at section 84 sites 42-44.

Abernathy also has a memorial marker at Maplewood Cemetery in Pulaski, TN.

Missing Air Crew Report 7012 (MACR 7012) page 7 incorrectly states unmanifested passenger was 1st Lt. Edward F. Leidniberg, O-760470
RAAF Casualty Card - Mitchell B25D 42-87287
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25 42-87287
FindAGrave - Earl D Spriggs, Jr (grave photos)
FindAGrave - Edward F Bradley (grave photos)
FindAGrave - Charles E Poland (grave photos)
FindAGrave - Lieut Fletcher C. Abernathy (grave photos)
FindAGrave - Fletcher C. Abernathy (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - William F Robertson (grave photos)
FindAGrave - Paul M Williams (grave photos)
FindAGrave - Claude L Green (grave photos)
FindAGrave - Sgt Glyn Francis Trammell (grave photos)
FindAGrave - Claude M Loe, Jr (photo, grave photo)
"His mother sent flowers every year but never was able to make the trip to see his grave."
FindAGrave - Arthur F D'Alessandro (grave photos)
NARA - Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938 - 1946 - Claude M. Loe, Jr.

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


Tech Info

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