|Pilot 2/Lt B. J. Grummels, NEIAF (MIA / KIA)
Co-Pilot C M Fisscher, NEIAF (WIA)
Radio Cpl Van Der Weert, 93888 NEIAF (WIA)
Mechanic Sgt Hoek, 94966 NEIAF (WIA)
W/AG F/Sgt Ronald Stuart Horridge, RAAF 404990 (WIA)
W/AG Sgt Robert Gordon Tyler, 408892 RAAF (MIA / KIA) Ballarat, VIC
Ditched February 18, 1943
Built by North American. Assigned U. S. Army Air Force serial number 41-29717. NEIAF Serial Number N5-144. Assigned to 18 Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
One of six B-25s taking part in an operational mission over Dili. At approximately 1045 the formation was intercepted by five A6M2 Zeros with action lasting until 11:30. During the attack this aircraft received direct hits which killed the pilot, put the starboard engine out of action and damaged the tail. It is also probable that Sgt Tyler was killed during the attack as when he was ordered to proceed from the nose of the aircraft to the navigator's cabin in the centre of the aircraft he did not reply. This B-25 force landed into the Timor Sea approximately 140 miles south of Dili.
At approximately 0100 hours on February 19, the four surviving crew members were rescued by an Australian destroyer and transported to Darwin.
Australian crew member Tyler is memorialized at Adelaide River War Cemetery on the Northern Territory Memorial, panel 10.
Joe Baugher "B-25 Mitchell in Dutch Service" notes as ditched 2/43 (sic) also: "The B-25s in India (NEIAF serials N5-139 (sic), N5-143, N5-144, N5-145, and N5-148) were requisitioned by the RAF and were modified to photographic reconnaissance configuration. Two of them were assigned RAF numbers MA956 and MA957, but the other three retained their NEI numbers of N5-144, 145, and 145. All were eventually assigned to No 681 Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron in India."
Robert Gordon Tyler
RAAFDB - North American B-25D Mitchell N5-144
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February 4, 2018