|Pilot 1st Lt. George A. Young, O-520921 (KIA, BR)
Observer 2nd Lt. James P. Armstrong, O-804919 90th BG, 400th BS (KIA, BR)
Navigator 1st Lt. Paul L. Brenner, O-725943 (KIA, BR)
Engineer MSgt Varner M. Willis, 18003170 (KIA, BR)
Radio SSgt Jack T. May, 14031374 (KIA, BR) MS
Asst Radio SSgt Ralph J. Hawley, 18064435 (KIA, BR) TX
Gunner SSgt Joseph W. Fitzpatrick, 16018307 43rd BG, 65th BS (KIA, BR) IL
Gunner Sgt Owen Money, Jr., 15057682 43rd BG, 65th BS (KIA, BR)
MIA March 27, 1944
Built by North American. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25H-1 Mitchell serial number 43-4179. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to Australia.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 5th Bomber Command, Headquarters. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R-2600-13 serial numbers 43-28386 and 43-28444. Weapon serial numbers not noted in MACR.
On March 27, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield at 5:19am on a mission to perform a weather reconnaissance over Wewak. This B-25 was to fly over Gusap and Annenberg on the way to Wewak then return, making a weather report every half hour. Only three reports were made at 05:47, 05:52 and 05:54. Nothing was heard afterwards.
When this B-25 failed to return, airfields in the vicinity were checked, without results. On March 28, 1944 5th Bomber Command's Lt. Toothman took off following the same route to search for the missing plane. On March 29, 1944, an L-5 from Gusap Airfield and OA-10 Catalina searched without results. On March 30, 1944 a 5th Bomber Command B-25 searched Annenberg. On April 1-10, 1944 5th Bomber Command weather aircraft
to investigate reported sightings, but the weather was poor. On April 11, 1944 another search was made without results.
Since the loss, fighter in the area were told to be on the lookout for this plane and L-5s from Gusap made additional searches. Many reports of possible signal fires, parachutes or crashes were investigated, but nothing was found. Nothing was found in the area roughly 1/2 hour flying time from Gusap, where the last radio message was received.
Postwar, the wreckage of this aircraft was found and remains recovered.
Recovery of Remains
The remains of the crew were recovered and transported to the Philippines and the United States for permenant burial.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission.
On on February 14, 1950 seven of the crew: Armstrong, Brenner, Hawley, May, Money, Willis and Young were buried in a group burial at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery at section 82, site 55E.
Fitzpatrick was buried at Manila American Cemetery at plot J row 1 grave 3.
May has a memorial marker at Rose Hill Cemetery in Brookhaven, MS at section 53, lot 2.
Hawley has a memorial marker at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas, TX
USAF - 43-4179
MACR 5347 (MACR 5347)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - B-25 43-4179
FindAGrave - George A Young (grave photo)
FindAGrave - James P Armstrong (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Paul L Brenner (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Varner M Willis (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Owen Money, Jr (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Ralph J Hawley (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Sgt Ralph J. Hawley (memorial photo)
FindAGrave - Jack T. May (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Jack Tyler May (memorial photo)
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July 2, 2021