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  B-25J-10-NC Mitchell Serial Number 43-36164  
USAAF
5th AF
8th Service Group
7th Airdrome Squadron
FEAF - CRTC

Pilot  Captain Louis H. Beneke, O-375989 (KIA, BR) Philadelphia, PA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Raymond F. Gundlach, O-702420 (KIA, BR) New York, NY
Engineer  Cpl William J. Vine, Jr., 32880413 (KIA, BR) Long Island, NY
Radio  Cpl Robert J. Gaddis, 32719679 (KIA, BR) New Rochelle, NY
Crashed  September 29, 1944 at 9:31am
MACR  14298

Aircraft History
Built by North American Aviation (NAA) at Air Force Plant NC at Fairfax Field near Kansas City, KS. Constructors Number 108-36382. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25J-10-NC Mitchell serial number 43-36164. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field the the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 8th Service Group (8 SrG), 7th Airdrome Squadron (7th ADS) part of the Far East Air Force - Combat Replacement Training Center (FEAF - CRTC) at Nadzab Airfield. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R-2600-29 serial number 43-28665 and 43-28176. Weapon serial numbers listed in Missing Air Crew Report 14298 (MACR 14298).

Mission History
On September 29, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield piloted by Captain Louis H. Beneke on a ferry flight bound for Noemfoor Island. This B-25 was last sighted by the tower at Finschafen Airfield. When this aircraft failed to return the crew was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Wreckage
In fact, this B-25 crashed at an elevation of 10,250' near Mount Sarawaket (Mount Bangeta) in the Finisterre Mountains (Finisterres).

Recovery of Remains
On October 10, 1948 the crash site was visited by American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) and the remains of the crew were recovered.

During 1979, the crash site was relocated by Richard Leahy and reported to U. S. Army CILHI.

On April 21, 1979 a team from U. S. Army CILHI including Colonel Bill Flick and Richard Leahy visited the crash site and recovered additional remains. The crash site was coded 04CIL79. The cockpit clock was found stopped at 0931 and the compass on a course bearing of 280°. During this visit, all recoverable remains were collected.

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

Beneke is buried at Northwood Cemetery in Philadelphia, PA at plot evergreen, lot 156, grave 2.

Gundlach is buried at Saint John Cemetery in Middle Village, Queens NY at section 37, row Z, plot 5, grave 4.

Vine has an unknown burial, likely in his hometown in the United States.

Gaddis was buried at Long Island National Cemetery at section H, site 10834.

References
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25J-10-NC Mitchell 43-36164
"36164 (8th BG) lost Sep 29, 1944. MACR 14298"
Missing Air Crew Report 14298 (MACR 14298) created October 5, 1944
FindAGrave - CPT Louis H Beneke (photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Raymond F. Gundlach (obituary, news)
FindAGrave - Robert J Gaddis (grave photo)
Thanks to Richard Leahy for additional information

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020

 

Tech Info

B-25

MIA
MIA
4 Missing
Resolved
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