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  PBJ-1D Mitchell Bureau Number 35086  
"Fork-Tailed Devils"

Pilot  1st Lt Benjamin G. Kinnick, O-022465 (MIA / KIA) Adel, IA
1st Lt Dominic F. Bellanca, O-023744 (MIA / KIA) Buffalo, NY
Crew  MSgt Edward P. McCray, 240712 (MIA / KIA) DC
Crew  SSgt Edmund S. Santomasso, 460335 (MIA / KIA) MA
Crew  SSgt Arthur P. Going, 442437 (MIA / KIA) MA
Crew  Cpl Jay B. Fitzpatrick, 512557(MIA / KIA) TX
MIA  September 16, 1944 at 11:57pm

Aircraft History
Built by North American. Constructors Number 87-8933. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25D-20 Mitchell 41-30768. Assigned to the U. S. Navy (USN) as PBJ-1D Mitchell bureau number 35086. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the South Pacific (SOPAC).

Wartime History
Assigned to U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) to Marine Air Wing 1 (MAW-1), Marine Air Group 61 (MAG-61), Marine Bombing Squadron 433 "Fork-Tailed Devils" (VMB-433). No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On September 16, 1944 at 10:30pm took off from Emirau Airfield piloted by 1st Lt Benjamin G. Kinnick on a night harassment mission over Kavieng. At 10:58pm lost radio contact with local fighter controller. Over the target, shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Kavieng. At 11:57pm this aircraft faded off radar roughly one mile southeast of North Cape on the northwestern tip of New Ireland. When it failed to return this aircraft was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

The entire crew was officially declared dead on January 26, 1946. The entire crew earned the Purple Heart, posthumously. The entire crew (with the exception of Fitzpatrick) are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. Fitzpatrick is memorialized at Honolulu Cemetery (Punchbowl) on the courts of the missing. Going also has a memorial marker at Melrose Cemetery in East Windsor, CT.

Note, many sources list the date this aircraft went missing as September 17, 1944 as the loss was during the night of September 16-17, 1944 but the squadron records indicate the crash was likely at 11:57pm on September 16, 1944 just minutes before midnight.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25D-20 Mitchell 41-30768
"30730/30754 to USN as PBJ-1D 35048/35072"
Navy Serial Number Search Results - 35086
"35086 lost Sep 17, 1944 [sic Sep 16, 1944]"
NARA "VMB-443 War Diary September 1944" page 6
(Page 6) "16 September 1944 (Ref: ACA-1 Report 6.) 2230 Kinnick off heckle and to bomb Kavieng. Lost radio contact with local fighter controller at 2258. Local radar station plotted Kinnick over Kavieng until 2357 when he faded from screen, last plot being one (1) mile southeast of North Cape, Kavieng."
VMB-443 website lists date of loss as September 17, 1944 incorrectly
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Benjamin G. Kinnick
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Dominic F. Bellanca
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edward P. McCray
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Edmund S. Santomasso
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Arthur Palmer Going
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Jay B. Fitzpatrick
FindAGrave - 1Lt Benjamin G Kinnick (news, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Dominic Francis Bellanca (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - MTSgt Edward P McCray (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Edward Payson McCray (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt Edmund S Santomasso (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Arthur Palmer Going (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Arthur Palmer Going (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - Corp Jay B Fitzpatrick (courts of the missing photo)

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Last Updated
September 12, 2019


Tech Info

6 Missing
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