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41st Bombardment Group
History - Books - Aircraft - Time Line - Commanders - Main Bases - Component Units - Assigned To
The 41st Bombardment Group was a B-25 bomber unit in the Seventh Air Force that took part in the fighting in the Marshall Islands, Tinian and Guam in 1943-44 and the air campaign over Japan in 1945.
The group was activated in January 1941 and trained with the B-18 and A-29. It converted to the B-25 in 1942 and used that aircraft to fly patrols off the US west coast in 1942-43. The group was allocated to the forces being gathered for the invasion of Tarawa (Operation Galvanic), and in October 1943 it moved to Hawaii to join the Seventh Air Force. In the event the group wasn't involved in the fighting on Tarawa, but it was one of the first AAF groups to move onto the newly conquered island. Two of its squadrons moved to Tarawa on 15 December, although their airfield wasn't really ready for another week.
Between 28 December 1943 and 12 February 1944 the group concentrated on low level attacks on Maloelap and Wotje, with Mille and Jaluit as secondary targets (all four are islands in the Marshalls). The low level strafing and bombing were effective but costly and the group lost seventeen aircraft during that period. On 19 February the group switched to medium altitude attacks, and the losses dropped. Losses also dropped after the group's 47th Bombardment Squadron took part in a very effective attack on Maloelap that ended the threat from Japanese fighter aircraft.
From February 1944 the group began a series of attacks on shipping in the Caroline Islands, although Maloelap and Jaluit remained important targets. In April 1944 the group moved to Makin, and a standard mission would see its aircraft attack one of those two islands, landing at the new Navy airfield at Majuro, refuel and rearm and then bomb the other island on the way home. The group's level of activity rose from 175 sorties in February to 605 in March and 875 in April.
In July 1944 the 48th Squadron moved to a temporary forward base on Saipan, and began a series of low level ground support attacks on Japanese positions on Tinian and Guam. Tinian was the target of sixty nine sorties during the last five days of July, while Guam saw ninety-one sorties from 3-8 August. The squadron then returned to Makin and rejoined the campaign against bypassed Japanese bases in the Marshalls.
The group's main targets in this period were Nauru and Ponape.
In October 1944 the group moved back to Hawaii, partly to get new B-25s and partly to train with rockets. This kept it out of action until May-June 1945 when the group moved to Okinawa. From June until August 1945 the group used its new aircraft to attack airfields, railways and harbours in Kyushi and airfields in China.
After the end of the war the Group moved to Manila (December 1945) and was inactivated in the next month.
1941-42: Douglas B-18 Bolo and Lockheed A-29 Hudson
1942-46: North American B-25 Mitchell
|20 November 1940||Constituted as 41st Bombardment Group (Medium)|
|15 January 1941||Activated|
|October 1943||To Hawaii and Seventh Air Force|
|December 1943||To Tarawa|
|27 January 1946||Inactivated in the Philippines|
Commanders (with date of appointment)
Captain Lawrence H Douthit:15 Jan 1941
Lt Col Archibald YSmith: 2 Jun 1941
Lt Col Charles BDougher: 1942
Col Murray A Bywater:18 Aug 1g43-c. Nov 1945.
March Field, Calif: 15 Jan1941
Tucson, Ariz: May 1941
Muroc,Calif: c. 10 Dec 1941
Hammer Field, Calif:Feb 1942-29 Sep 1943
Hickam Field, TH:16 Oct 1943
Tarawa: 17 Dec 1943
Makin:24 Apr 1944
Wheeler Field, TH: 14 Oct1944
Okinawa: 7 Jun 1945
Manila: Dec 1945-27 January 1946
46th Bombardment Squadron: 1941-43
47th Bombardment Squadron: 1941-46
48th Bombardment Squadron: 1941-46
76th Bombardment Squadron: 1943
396th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-46
406th Bombardment Squadron: 1943
820th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-46
1943-1944: VII Bomber Command; Seventh Air Force
1945: VII Bomber Command; Seventh Air Force
How to cite this article:Rickard, J (21 March 2013), 41st Bombardment Group
Activated 1 April 1944 at Dalhart Army Airfield, Texas. Initially equipped with B-17 Flying Fortresses for training, due to shortage of B-29 Superfortresses. Moved to Harvard Army Airfield, Nebraska, in August 1944 and equipped with B-29B limited production aircraft. After completion of training deployed to Central Pacific Area (CPA), assigned to XXI Bomber Command, Northwest Field (Guam) for operational missions. B-29Bs were standard production aircraft stripped of most defensive guns to increase speed and bomb load, The tail gun was aimed and fired automatically by the new AN/APG-15B radar fire control system that detected the approaching enemy plane and made all the necessary calculations. Mission of the squadron was the strategic bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands. Dntered combat on 16 June 1945 with a bombing raid against an airfield on Moen. Flew first mission against the Japanese home islands on 26 June 1945 and afterwards operated principally against the enemy's petroleum industry. Flew primarily low-level, fast attacks at night using a mixture of high-explosive and incendary bombs to attack targets.
Flew last combat mission on 15 August 1945, later flew in "Show of Force" mission on 2 September 1945 over Tokyo Bay during formal Japanese Surrender. Inactivated on Guam 15 April 1946, personnel returned to the United States and aircraft sent to storage in Southwest United States.
Allocated to the Air Force Reserve as a Tactical Air Command B-26 Invader light bomb group in 1947. Inactivated in 1949 due to budget restrictions.
On 19 Sep 1985 the 41st Bombardment Squadron, (Very Heavy) was consolidated with the 41st Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy, a unit that is(as of 19 Sep 1985) active, however the unit was inactivated on 15 February 1993. This action was directed by Department of the Air Force Letter DAF/MPM 662q Attachment 1 (Active Units), 19 Sep 1985. The Consolidated Unit will retain the Designation of 41st Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy".
Organization and antisubmarine warfare Edit
The squadron was first activated at Langley Field, Virginia in January 1941 as the 41st Bombardment Squadron, one of the original squadrons of the 13th Bombardment Group. The squadron was equipped with a mix of Douglas B-18 Bolos and North American B-25 Mitchells. In June, the 41st and its parent group moved to Orlando Army Air Base, Florida.  
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the squadron was ordered to search for German U-boats off the southeast coast. Although the Navy was responsible for long range patrolling, it lacked the aircraft to perform the mission and the Army Air Forces (AAF) performed the mission, even though its crews lacked proper training.  As antisubmarine warfare assets were realigned to meet the growing threat in the North Atlantic, the 13th Group moved to Westover Field, Massachusetts.  
In October 1942, the AAF organized its antisubmarine forces into the single Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command, which established the 25th Antisubmarine Wing the following month to control its forces operating over the Atlantic.   Its bombardment group headquarters, including the 13th, were inactivated and the squadron, now designated the 5th Antisubmarine Squadron, was assigned directly to the 25th Wing.   In July 1943, the AAF and Navy reached an agreement to transfer the coastal antisubmarine mission to the Navy. This mission transfer also included an exchange of AAF long-range bombers equipped for antisubmarine warfare for Navy Consolidated B-24 Liberators without such equipment. 
Combat in the Mediterranean Edit
After the Navy assumed full responsibility for the antisubmarine mission in August 1943, the squadron moved to Harvard Army Air Field, Nebraska, where it was redesignated the 827th Bombardment Squadron,  and formed the cadre for the 484th Bombardment Group, a Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment group. The squadron trained with Liberators until March 1944, when it moved to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Shortly before deploying, the squadron was redesignated as a Pathfinder unit, although it never performed pathfinder missions.   [note 1]
In April 1944, the squadron began flying combat missions from Torretto Airfield, Italy in the strategic bombing campaign against Germany. Until the end of the war, it acted primarily as a strategic bombing organization, attacking oil refineries and storage facilities, industrial facilities and lines of communication in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and the Balkans. On 13 June 1944, the unit's target was marshalling yards near Munich, Germany. However, the Germans deployed a smoke screen that effectively hid the target, making the attack unfeasible. Despite losses from flak and interceptor aircraft, the squadron proceeded to its secondary target at Innsbruck, Austria. Its persistence in the face of opposition earned the unit a Distinguished Unit Citation. 
Two months later, on 21 August 1944, the squadron received a second DUC for an attack on underground oil storage facilities near Vienna, Austria. Without fighter escort, the squadron fought its way through intense opposition to strike the target. 
The squadron was sometimes diverted from strategic targets. It bombed bridges, viaducts, marshalling yards, and supply dumps to assist troops advancing on Rome between April and July 1944. In September 1944, the unit transported petroleum products to troops participating in Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France. At the end of the war it supported Operation Grapeshot, the final advances in northern Italy. 
Following V-E Day, The unit was assigned to Air Transport Command, It used its B-24s as transport aircraft, flying personnel from locations in France and Italy to Casablanca, French Morocco. It also engaged in transport operations from North Africa to the Azores or Dakar in French West Africa until it was inactivated on 25 July 1945.  
I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN.
I HAVE ANSWERED MY NATION’S CALL.
I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN. MY MISSION IS TO FLY, FIGHT, AND WIN.
I AM FAITHFUL TO A PROUD HERITAGE, A TRADITION OF HONOR, AND A LEGACY OF VALOR.
I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN, GUARDIAN OF FREEDOM AND JUSTICE, MY NATION’S SWORD AND SHIELD, ITS SENTRY AND ALLY.
I DEFEND MY COUNTRY WITH MY LIFE.
I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN: WINGMAN, LEADER, WARRIOR.
I SHALL NEVER LEAVE AN AIRMAN BEHIND, I SHALL NEVER FALTER, AND I SHALL NOT FAIL.
41st Bombardment Group - History
B-25 Mitchel bomber
USAF Museum photo
At 5:52 a.m. on April 3, 1942, a B-25A Mitchell Bomber (40-2193) left Westover Army Air Field in Chicopee, Massachusetts, headed south towards Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic for an anti-submarine patrol. The belly of the aircraft was loaded with depth charges.
The crew of five servicemen aboard included: the pilot, 2 nd Lt. George Loris Dover co-pilot, 2 nd Lt. Neil W. Frame radio operator S/Sgt. Robert H. Trammell the bombardier, Pvt. Robert H. Meredith and tail gunner, Pvt. Thomas J. Rush.
The men were assigned to the 41 st Bombardment Squadron, attached to the 13 th Bombardment Group, recently transferred from Orlando Army Air Base in Florida.
The weather that day was seasonable for early April with clear skies and five miles visibility. The plane took a course over Rhode Island, but barely twenty minutes into the flight one of engines began to sputter and loose power. Lt. Dover was an experienced pilot and evidently didn’t deem the situation serious as no radio distress call was sent and no attempt was made by the crew to bail out or salvo the depth charges. What happened next is based on the findings of the Army Air Corps crash investigation committee.
While still over the southern part of Rhode Island, the pilot turned the plane around and was most likely going to attempt a landing at Hillsgrove Army Air Field in Warwick. As the B-25 was passing over West Greenwich, Rhode Island, it either stalled or completely lost power, before it crashed into Hopkins Hill.
The official crash investigation report (42-4-3-1) stated in part, “…the absence of a swath approaching the final scene of (the) accident would seem to indicate a complete lack of power. The pilot is believed to have established a steep glide in order to maintain flying speed and headed for the nearest clearing. Upon reaching terrain expedient with altitude and circumstances he is thought to have attempted recovery from this glide and mushed on into ground in a complete stall.”
When the plane hit the ground it was assumed that the crew was either killed or rendered unconscious. Fire broke out immediately when the nearly full gas tanks ruptured, which set off the depth charges sending debris from the plane hurtling more than 200 yards. Those living nearby later reported that the blasts shook their homes.
The first to arrive at the scene was Earl B. Harrington of Hopkins Hill Road. He had heard the plane pass over his house “It was fairly low”, he later said in his statement to the Army, “and the motors were not functioning properly in that they were skipping, popping, and snapping.”
Shortly afterwards one of his sons informed him that there was a column of smoke rising from the woods. He related, “As soon as I could get dressed, my boy and I made our way through the woods towards the column of smoke. On our way we heard three small explosions followed by a very big one which nearly knocked us to our knees. We were at the time about two hundred and twenty five yards away. Wreckage and rocks went over us. We were shielded by the low hill. We knew it was a plane then and that it was burning so we hurried to the Victory Highway and phoned the State Police.”
Mrs. Anne E. Esleck of Ten Rod Road in Exeter also heard the plane go overhead and the subsequent explosions. In her statement to the Army she recalled, “The time was about 6:30. The motors seemed to cut out, and in about two or three minutes we heard a series of small explosions for about ten minutes. Then came the large explosion, which rocked the pictures on the walls.”
Another person who reported feeling the force of the explosions was Mr. R.F. Rathburn who stated, “About ten minutes later we heard a very loud explosion just over the ridge to the south, which shook the house badly. I looked out the window and saw a lot of white smoke, and many bright sparks in the air.”
At 6:40 am Trooper Francis D. Egan of the Wickford Barracks received the first report of the plane crash and dispatched Sergeant Harold E. Shippee and Trooper Wilfrid L. Gates to investigate.
A poor quality reproduction of the army investigation report photo of the blast crater.
While searching for the plane. Sergeant Shippee met Earl Harrington who directed him to the general location. The sergeant parked his cruiser at the intersection of Hopkins Hill Road and Brown Trail Road and proceeded on foot through the woods. (In 1942 the Brown Trail an unpaved dirt trail.) When he reached the scene he discovered that there were no survivors and realized that the aircraft was a military plane by the star insignia on one of the wings. He made his way back to his car and radioed the barracks requesting notification of military and fire officials.
Trooper Gates took a post at Hopkins Hill Road and Brown Trail Road to divert sightseers away from the area and keep the road clear for military vehicles.
Sergeant Shippee then returned to the crash site and made a wide search of the immediate area. The fires were still burning and some of the aircraft metal was described in the official state police report as being “white hot”. The sergeant noted a wide debris field and a large crater, about 25-30 feet wide, where the plane had landed and exploded.
At about 7:00 a.m. Captain Leonard C. Lydon, squadron commander of the 66th Pursuit Squadron, stationed at Quonset Point, was notified of the crash by Naval Operations. He drove to the scene with Squadron Flight Surgeon, Lieutenant Mark E. Conan, and the Squadron D.P. officer, 1 st Lieutenant Sherman Hoar, and a detail of eleven men.
According to official reports, the contingent arrived at the scene about 9:00 a.m. Sergeant Shippee met with Captain Lydon and turned the scene over to him. The captain was informed that Trooper Eagan in Car 41 would be assigned to stand by in case any radio messages needed to be sent over the cars’ two-way radio.
In the meantime, firefighters led by Chief Fire Warden John H. Potter had been busy putting out the numerous fires since 8 a.m. The chief had also detailed a group of men to conduct a search for anyone who may have parachuted out of the plane before it went down.
X marks the Approximate location of the crash site.
Two bodies and one partial one were found about one hundred yards and two hundred yards respectively from the major portion of the wreckage. Two more were removed from the shattered tail section. All were transported to the Gorton Funeral Home in Coventry, R.I. under the supervision of Lieutenant Conan.
At about 9:30 a.m., 2nd Lieutenant Kenneth B. Skoropowski, Armament Officer of the 66 th Pursuit Squadron at Quonset, arrived to oversee the removal of all ordinance from the scene. He recovered three .30 caliber, Browning M-2 machine guns, one .50 caliber Browning machine gun from the tail section, two flare pistols, and some live ammunition.
Captain John L. Sullivan, Lt. Harcos, and 1 st Lt. Charles P. Sheffield arrived on the scene from Westover Field to take over the investigation. They sifted through the debris, took photographs, and interviewed witnesses.
Diagram of the crash site drawn by 1st Lt. Charles P. Sheffield that was included with the official investigation report.
Lieutenant Sheffield drew a diagram of the crash site which he included as “Exhibit 7- B” with the official report.
One item of interest to the investigators was the planes ignition switch, which the investigation report stated “The ignition switch installation was burned and damaged so as to preclude drawing of precise conclusions but the master ignition switch is believed to have been in the “off” position.” This could be an indication that the pilot cut the engines just before impact in an attempt to prevent a fire.
The investigators concluded that the aircraft was almost level when it hit the ground due to the pattern of debris. Weather and sabotage were ruled out as factors in the crash.
The Army, as was the custom, made arrangements for all debris to be removed from the site. Today, time and Mother Nature have erased all traces of the disaster, and except for the blast crater, there is nothing to suggest that a horrific tragedy once occurred there.
The official investigation report contains several testimonials to the flying ability and competence of the pilot, Lieutenant Dover, and it is clear that investigators did not fault him for the crash.
The crash was blamed on a faulty engine and went on to state that there had been other problems with the R-2600-9 engines on other aircraft. In paragraph #30, under “recommendations”, the report stated “That the R-2600-9 airplane engine be tested in detail and that 17 engines changed (all for reasons other than normal running time and crashes) in this group since 1 Jan. 1942 to present date be minutely examined for such modifications and structural changes as are found necessary. Unofficial information indicates that technical organizations other than this Group are experiencing like difficulties with this engine and that a serious situation exists endangering materiel lives of flying personnel and morale of Combat Crews.”
In paragraph 32 section b, the report states: “ A report, subject: “Troubles with R-2600-9 Engines” dated April 10, 1942 has been forwarded to the Commanding General Bomber Command, a copy which has been furnished the Commanding Officer, Sub-Depot, Westover Field, Mass.”
It’s unknown if this accident report had any direct effect, but it’s interesting to note that future production B-25’s, beginning with the B-25D model, were equipped with different engines – Wright R-2600-13’s.
Lieutenant George Dover. Photo from the Shelby Daily Star, April 6, 1942.
The pilot, 2nd Lieutenant George Loris Dover , known as Loris to his friends and family, came from Shelby, North Carolina. He was born December 23, 1916 and was 25 years old at the time of his death.
He graduated Shelby High School and went on to attend Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, North Carolina, where he graduated in 1935. He then went to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and graduated in 1937.
After graduation, he relocated to Kent, Ohio, where he worked for Davey Tree Surgery before enlisting in the Army Air Corps on December 28, 1940. He graduated flight training and was awarded his “wings” August 15, 1941 at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas. From there he was assigned to the 41 st Bombardment Squadron and sent to Orlando Air Field, in Orlando Florida. In January of 1942 his squadron was transferred to Westover Field in Massachusetts.
He was waked at his father’s home at 851 West Warren Street, and flowers completely filled two rooms of the home. More than 3000 townspeople filed through the house to pay their respects. The funeral service was held at First Baptist Church, with members of the Warren Hoyle American Legion Post acting as pallbearers. He was the first serviceman from Shelby, as well as Cleveland County, to lose his life in World War II.
Lieutenant Dover was survived by his father and step mother, one sister, Nancy Ellen of Mars Hill, N.C., a half-sister Mary Ann Dover of Shelby, and two brothers, Grady Eugene and Paul. He also left behind a fiancée, Miss Virginia Rose of LaGrange, Illinois. They were to be married in August of 1942.
The V.F.W. Post 4066 in Shelby, North Carolina, was named in Lt. Dover’s honor.
George was not the only loss suffered by the Dover Family in World War II. At the funeral, George’s younger brother, 21-year-old Grady who was attending the University of North Carolina at the time, was quoted by the Shelby Daily Star as saying, “Somebody’ll have to take Loris’ place.” He entered the Army Air Corps as a pilot and was promoted to 1 st Lieutenant. He was killed in action when his B-17 bomber went down on a raid over Germany on February 10, 1944.
George and Grady are buried next to their mother, who died in 1928, in the Cora Section of the Sunset Cemetery.
Funeral of Lt. Dover – Shelby Daily Star April 8, 1942
Co-pilot, 2ed Lieutenant Neil Ward Frame, was born in Porterville, California, during the First World War, on September 22, 1917, the youngest son of Jesse E. and Madge E. Frame. He grew up with six brothers and sisters, graduated from Porterville High School, and went on to junior college before transferring to the University of California to study agriculture. It was while he was attending college at Davis, California, that he decided to enlist in the Air Corps. He earned his pilot’s wings at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas on August 15, 1941, graduating in the same class as Lieutenant Dover.
Like Lieutenant Dover, he was the first from his community to lose his life in World War II. His boyhood friends served as pallbearers at his funeral, which the local paper, the Porterville Recorder, stated, “No funeral held in Porterville ever brought such a throng of sympathizers”.
An Episcopal service was conducted by Rev. Ralph Cox, assisted by the Rev. H.G. Purchase, at the Loyd-Frietzsche Chapel, before the procession proceeded to the Porterville Cemetery where the local American Legion conducted a funeral ritual and the high school band played “Nearer My God to Thee”, before an eight-man firing squad fired a salute, and two buglers played taps. He was laid to rest in plot B-125-2.
The Merchants Committee of the Porterville Chamber of Commerce voted to close all stores in the city during the funeral as a show of respect and patriotic duty.
Lieutenant Frame lived at 600 E. Street, Porterville, California, and besides his parents, he was survived by his brothers, Harold and Carl, and four sisters, Mrs. Carl Martin, of Palo Alto, California, Mrs. Kenneth Hill of Visalia, Mrs. Norman Castle and Miss Barbara frame both of Porterville. His brother Carl had enlisted as a doctor in the armed forces and had sailed only a week earlier for overseas duty.
Staff Sergeant Robert H. Trammell was born April 23, 1916 and was 20 days shy of his 26 th birthday. Before the war he lived at 2309 Ellis Street , Brunswick, Georgia. He was survived by his parents, Mildred B. and Joseph H. Trammell Sr., a sister, Mrs. H. Lee Haskins also of Brunswick, and an older brother, Blair Trammell, who was also in the service stationed at Pensacola Air base in Pensacola, Florida.
He is buried in Palmetto Cemetery, Glynn County, Georgia, Lot 152-8
Private Robert Huel Meredith , the bombardier, was the only married man of the crew. He was survived by his wife of only three months, listed in his obituary as “Mrs. R.H. Meredith”, of Alexandria, Louisiana.
He was born May 22, 1920, which also made him the youngest of the crew – about five weeks away from his 22nd birthday.
He attended high school in Thyatira, Mississippi, and went on to Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas. He left his studies to join the Army Air Corps in 1941 and went to bombardier school.
Being a bombardier during World War II was considered a big responsibility. According to the United states Air Force Museum, the training to become a bombardier lasted 12 to 18 weeks, during which the student learned his skill by dropping approximately 160 bombs. He was scored by his “hits” and “misses”, and roughly 12% of each class was “washed out” for failing to gain enough “hits”.
In the beginning of the war, bomber aircraft such as the B-25 carried the Sperry S-1 Bombsight. When the highly classified, top secret, Norden M-1 Bombsight was introduced later, bombardiers were required to take an oath stating they would protect the Norden with their life!
In addition to his wife, he left behind his parents, Kathleen Meredith of Thyatira, and T.H. Meredith of Memphis, Tennessee, as well as two sisters and a brother, Miss Marinelle Meredith, Thyatira, Mrs. Leonard Jones, Memphis, and Wilfred Meredith of Independence, Missouri.
The funeral services were conducted by Rev. H. I. Copeland, held in the Thyatira School Auditorium. Burial was at Mt. Zion Cemetery
The tail gunner, Private Thomas J. Rush , was the oldest crewman at 27. He was born August 23, 1915 and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in June of 1941. Before entering the service, he had been a caddy master at the Overbrook Golf Club in Philadelphia and an amateur boxer. He had lived at 1688 N. 56 th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was survived by his parents, Joseph and Catherine Rush, as well as three sisters, Mrs. Benjamin B. Evans, Mrs. John F. McFadden, and Miss Sue Rush, and three brothers, James, Joseph, and Patrick.
The funeral was held at St. Gregory’s Church and burial took place at Holy Cross Cemetery.
The B-25 Mitchell was a twin-engine medium bomber built by North American Aviation of Inglewood, California, and Kansas City, Missouri. Of the roughly 10,000 that were produced between 1939 and 1945, only 40 were designated B-25A’s, thereby making this particular aircraft rare.
The “A” variant was an early production model powered by two Wright R-2600-9 engines capable of delivering a maximum of 1,700 hp each. It was designed to carry up to 3,660 pounds of bombs and could defend itself against enemy fighters with up to four .30-caliber, and one .50-caliber machine guns.
The plane involved in this accident was the only B-25 to ever crash in Rhode Island.
U.S. Army Air Corps crash investigation report dated April 1942, (#42-4-3-1)
Rhode Island State Police report, dated April 3, 1942
Newspaper article, “Five Killed In Bomber Near West Greenwich ”, The Pawtucket Times, April 3, 1942, page 1
Newspaper article, “Couple Heard Plane Motor Sputter before fatal Dive”, The Pawtucket Times, April 3, 1942, page 6
Newspaper article, “Lt. Neil frame Dies In Crash (of) Army Bomber”, Proterville Recorder, April 3, 1942, Page 1
Newspaper article “Local Boy One Of Five Victims OF Air Tragedy”, The Shelby Daily Star, April 3, 1942, page 1
Newspaper article, “Army Probes Bomber Crash”, The Pawtucket Times, April 4, 1942, page 1
Newspaper article, “Cause Unknown In Air Crash 1 Body Missing”, The Woonsocket call, April 4, 1942, page 1
Newspaper article, “Bomber Crashes in R.I., Five Dead”, The Providence Journal, April 4, 1942, page 1
Newspaper article, “Dover’s Body On Way Home”, The Shelby Daily Star, April 4, 1942, page 1
Death notice, “Robt. Trammel Be Buried Here”, Brunswick News, Saturday, April 4, 1942
Newspaper article “Loris Dover To Be Buried Here”, The Shelby Daily Star, April 6, 1942, page 1
Newspaper obituary, “Lt Neil frame Funeral Rites 2 P.M. Friday”, Porterville Recorder, April 6, 1942
Newspaper article, “Dover Funeral Is Conducted”, The Shelby Daily Star, April 8, 1942, page 1, (two photos with article)
Newspaper article, “Close Stores For Lt. Frame Rites Friday”, Porterville Record April 8, 1942
Newspaper article, “Dover Funeral Hero’s Tribute”, The Shelby Daily Star, April 9, 1942, page 1
Obituary, “Robt. H. Meredith 2 nd Tate Casualty Buried Tuesday”, The Tate County Democrat, April 9, 1942, Page 1
Newspaper article, “Military Service For First Porterville Boy To Give His Life In New World War”, Porterville Record, April 11, 1942
Obituary, “Thomas J. Rush Rites”, Unknown newspaper & date, sent by The Free Library of Philadelphia, to Greenville Library in June 2006.
Book, “Troopers Of The Rhode Island State Police And Their Story”, By Harold C. Jones, 2001, Vantage Press
United States Air Force Museum Website
Town of West Greenwich, R.I. Death Records
Footprints In Time, Tombstone Inscriptions In Tate County, Mississippi, Compiled by Mrs. Janice Barnett Craft, Page 17
41st Bombardment Group - History
Built by North American. Constructors Number 96-20806. Delivered to U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25G-5 Mitchell serial number 96-20881. This B-25 was ferried overseas via Hickam Field to the Central Pacific.
Assigned to the 7th Air Force, 41st Bombardment Group, 820th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Coral Princess" with the nose art of a woman wearing a hula skirt. A scoreboard with yellow bomb markings indicating combat missions flown and the siloette of a destroy (claimed off Wotje) was painted below the the left side of the cockpit. This B-25 flew at least 28 combat missions. When lost, engine and weapon serail numbers were not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 6575 (MACR 6575).
On June 29, 1944 took off from Makin Airfield (Starmann) on Makin Island at 8:15am piloted by 1st Lt. Karl R. James on a bombing mission led by Lt. Colonel Hanson against Nauru Island. The weather was .1 to .2 cumulus clouds with tops at 8,000'. This bomber was flying in the no. 2 position in the formation.
At the start of the bomb run, the formation was targeted by 127mm anti-aircraft guns emplaced on the pinnacles that opened fire with a heavy barrage. Just before bombs away, this B-25 sustained a direct hit in the bomb bay that caused this bomber to leave formation before exploding into two pieces. No parachutes were observed and it was deemed the crew were killed in the explosion or died on impact. The wreckage was observed to crash into Nauru Island with several secondary explosions observed. When this bomber failed to return, te crew were officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Missing Air Crew Report 6575 (MACR 6575) page 6-7:
"Statement of Sgt Joseph E. McDonough ASN 12050399 – While on a bomb run, 30 June [sic 29 June] 1944, over the island of Nauru, I was sitting by the right waist window watching for flak, which was quite heavy. In my estimation most of it burst off and under our right wing. At this time Lt. Colonel Hanson, over interphone, asked Lt. White the status of the situation at the time. A split section before the question was asked a 127mm shell (to my judgment) burst beneath the bombay [sic bomb bay] of Lt. James' plane taking the after half of the doors away. Evidently that burst struck the bombay tank, causing it to fire. A sheet of flame enveloped the rear section of the plane originating from the bombay.
The plane then dipped it's left wing and passed over, and to the rear of our airplane (Number 609) revealing the missing after half of the bombay doors, and the flaming bombay.
Just as the distressed plane passed over us, 'bombs away' was heard over the interphone. We peeled off to the right, and at the time the plane in question blew up and separated at approximately the top turret position. The tail assembly floated to the ground, while the forward section descended directly to the earth below.
At the time the airplane blew up in the air, the left stabilizer and a few smaller parts broke free, causing a resemblance to persons bailing out. After a few seconds of watching, I realized that what I had seen depart was only parts of the plane.
As the forward section of the plane crashed on or just off the island of Nauru several explosions were seen, evidentially caused by the plane's bombs."
Missing Air Crew Report 6575 (MACR 6575) page 8:
"Statement TSgt Floyd M. Hooper ASN 20443089 – 30 June [sic, 29 June] 1944, I was flying in airplane number 809, which was the lead plane in a formation of three airplanes. We were making our bomb run on Nauru.
The enemy fire was very heavy, and just before our bombs were away the plane flying on our right, number two in the formation, was struck by enemy fire. It was hit in the bombay [sic bomb bay] section, and quickly burst into flames. Plane 977 (which had been hit made a turn to the left in order to get out of formation.
About 1200 yards from our formation I noticed the plane turn up on its left wing, and, then blew up. It blew in two different section Both sections were hurled to the island below. The two sections landed on the beach and blew up, with a high column of smoke and fire rising."
Recovery of Remains
After the crash, the remains of two of the crew were recovered by the Japanese and buried near the old cemetery but not in it.
The entire crew was killed in the crash and officially declared dead the day of the mission. Postwar, the remains of the crew were transported to Hawaii and the United States for permanent burial.
Two of the crew are buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). James is buried at Plot P Row 0 Grave 895. Kapla is buried at Plot Q Row 0 Grave 528.
Two are buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Keeling at section C-6 site 8329. Stockton at section C-6 site 8329. Jasper section C-6 site 8329.
Cheropovich is buried in Erie Cemetery at section 9, lot 721.
James has memorial marker at Glade City Cemetery in Blandinsville, IL.
After the explosion, wreckage landed near the twin 127mm anti-aircraft gun that shot it down located at the edge of the pinnacles (rocks left over when the phosphate was mined). Some wreckage fell into the diggings and the rest landed elsewhere on Nauru Island.
Post war, the war the phosphate mining resumed, workers pushed the wreckage down into the pinnacles making it inaccessible except by climbing through the rocks. At an unknown date, the 75mm cannon was recovered and placed near the beach road.
A portion of the nose art (left side, below cockpit) is on display at the Nauru Museum.
Stan Gaged adds:
"Much of the wreckage in the pinnacles had olive drab paint on it. The wing undersides were a pale color, perhaps light blue. I don't believe the Japs recovered any engines from this wreck during the war, it seems they pretty well left it. Even in 1983 there was still one machine gun there and the 75mm. Even ammo and prop blades then. Both engines were still on site the last time I was in there about 1998. There is still one live 500lb bomb at the site. Both wings are in there with the star and bars clearly visible. There are also 25mm hits on the airplane structure. The undercarts/wheels etc are all there and sections of fuselage. The tail was shot off and that came down about half a mile away and was scrapped years ago. I found one complete elevator near where the tail had been. It had a tree growing through it. I cut off the tree and recovered the elevator and now it is in the Australian War Memorial (AWM) together with one of the control wheels. The gun was found by me in the pinnacles in 1983 and some NPC engineers rigged a flying fox arrangement and winched the gun up and then pulled it to firmer ground. It was taken to the mine workshops for cleaning. The breech was got working etc and it was painted. Then it disappeared and I was blamed for pinching it, which I did not. In the late '80s a Nauruan that was married to a white woman passed away and in his garage was the gun! Tony was a relative and he inherited the gun. It was put on that rudimentary base and somebody started taking it apart and retracted the barrel and made a general mess of it. It has sat there by the road ever since. Tony did not want to loan it to the Nauru Military Museum."
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41st Bombardment Group - History
MONDAY, 1 JUNE 1942
ALASKA (11th Air Force): During June 1942, 11th Fighter Squadron, 28th Composite Group, moves from Elmendorf Field to Umnak with P-40s. During Jun, 406th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 41st Bombardment Group (Medium), sends detachments to operate in Alaska with B-18s.
CHINA-BURMA-INDIA (CBI) THEATER OF OPERATIONS (10th Air Force): Five heavy bombers attack the Rangoon dock and harbor, claiming 1 tanker sunk and another left listing. 436th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Karachi to Allahabad with B-17E first mission is 4 June.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th Air Force): B-17s attack Lae and Salamaua and Rabaul. At 7 Mile Drome, thirteen P-39 Airacobras scrambled to intercept a Japanese formation of 18 bombers escorted by A6M2 Zeros. Lost is P-39F 41-7200 (KIA) and P-39F 41-7194 (survived).
IJN: At 7:45am nineteen Type 96 / G3M2 Nells from the Genzan Kokutai led by Lt. Ishihara took off from Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul on a bombing mission against Port Moresby. At 8:30am twelve A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai took off from Lakunai Airfield led by Lt. Kawai Shiro to escort the bombers but shortly afterwards three Zeros aborted the mission due to mechanical issues. This left nine Zeros to provide top cover for the bombers. At 10:00am another twelve Zeros took off from Lae Airfield as additional escorts. At roughly 10:45am over Cape Ward Hunt, the bombers and the 21 escorting Zeros formed up but were observed by Australian spotters and reported to Port Moresby. Before crossing the Owen Stanley Range, one bomber experienced engine trouble and instead patrolled the north coast, released its bomb load south of Buna and returned. At 11:40am the Japanese formation arrived over Port Moresby and the Zeros intercepted 10-15 fighters while the Nells bombed from 20,000' targeting the wharf and Coast Famer anchored in Fairfax Harbor. Intercepted by P-39 Airacobras, A6M2 Zero pilot WO Miyazaki Gitaro was shot down near 30 Mile Drome (Rorona). One G3M2 Nell was damaged with three crew wounded and diverted to land at Lae Airfield.
Three Japanese midget submarines attack Allied warships in Sydney Harbor. On May 31, 1942 at 10:35pm HA-14 (M27) was scuttled after tangled in a anti-torpedo boom net. At 12:30am HA-24b (M24) fires two torpedoes at USS Chicago CA-29, both miss with one impacting against the seawall and sinks HMAS Kuttabul killing 21 aboard. Afterwards, HA-21 (M22) is scuttled and HA-24b (M24) is lost.
Eagles of the Southern Sky (2012) pages 175–178 (June 1, 1942)
Missing In Action
There still remain many large numbers of citizen soldiers from various conflicts classified as missing in action. The Army Air Corps Library and Museum is publishing the following ongoing research from the MIA Recovery Network in the hopes that more and previously unknown information may be made available enabling more of those who sacrificed to be fully accounted and recognized.
As of its launching, announced December 7, 2017, this material accounted for approximately 25% of the MIAs that still remain from World War II. Search through records of the Army Air Forces Members of Army (including Paratrooper and Armored Divisions), Navy, Marine and Coast Guard MIAs' units are found on our sister organization's website: Sons of Liberty Museum. If you have any information that would assist researchers for any of these cases, please contact us. If you are a family member, we would be honored to receive service photos and other material about your ancestor.
As of February 1, 2018 this material accounts for 99% of the MIA from WW2 and also includes missing from WW1, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold Wars.
Looking For Army, Navy, Marines MIAs? Search MIAs
|Showing 101 - 150 of 2406 Previous Next|
|Maguire, John - 02/22/1944 - 364th Bombardment Squadron 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Maguschak, John - 11/27/1943 - Army Air Corps|
|Mahaffey, Claude - 07/02/1944 - 1913th Engineer Battalion (Aviation)|
|Mahaffey, Rufus - 04/05/1952 - 154th Fighter Bombardment Squadron 136th Fighter Bombardment Wing|
|Mahan, Louis - 09/07/1944 - 30th Bombardment Squadron 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Mahe, Albert - 11/03/1943 - 401st Bombardment Squadron 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Mahen, William - 02/26/1944 - 490th Bombardment Squadron 341st Bombardment Group (Medium)|
|Maheno, Don - 03/01/1944 - Air Corps|
|Maher, Edward - 04/20/1944 - 32nd Photographic Squadron 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Group|
|Maher, Patrick - 07/10/1943 - 429th Bombardment Squadron 2nd Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Maher, Robert - 11/28/1942 - 353rd Bombardment Squadron 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Maher, Thomas - 01/10/1946 - 883rd Bombardment Squadron 500th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy)|
|Mahon, Vincent - 11/27/1943 - 322nd Fighter Control Squadron|
|Mahoney, Bruce - 03/19/1944 - 740th Bombardment Squadron 455th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Mahoney, Cornelius - 04/20/1944 - 32nd Photographic Squadron 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Group|
|Mahoney, James - 11/27/1943 - 853rd Engineer Battalion (Aviation)|
|Mahoney, Jean - 02/24/1944 - 550th Bombardment Squadron 385th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Mahoney, Paul - 09/02/1942 - 77th Bombardment Squadron 28th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Mahony, Arthur - 04/24/1943 - 526th Bombardment Squadron 379th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Mahorney, Kenneth - 05/02/1945 - 823rd Engineer Battalion (Aviation)|
|Mahrt, John - 05/27/1945 - 400th Bombardment Squadron 90th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Maidhoff, Daniel - 07/24/1942 - Signal Air Warning Company Warning Company|
|Maier, George - 01/27/1946 - 72nd Bombardment Squadron 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Maiko, Andrew - 02/16/1943 - 66th Bombardment Squadron 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Mailley, Paul - 03/04/1944 - 23rd Photographic Squadron 5th Photographic Reconnaissance Group|
|Mailloux, Willard - 04/02/1944 - 556th Army Air Force Base Unit|
|Maimonis, James - 10/24/1944 - 17th Pursuit Squadron 24th Pursuit Group|
|Main, George - 10/29/1943 - 704th Bombardment Squadron 446th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Maine, Donald - 03/22/1945 - 429th Bombardment Squadron 2nd Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Mains, Clarence - 02/12/1945 - 5th Fighter Squadron 52nd Fighter Group|
|Mains, Robert - 04/04/1945 - 715th Bombardment Squadron 448th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Mainville, Raymond - 11/27/1943 - Army Air Corps|
|Maiorana, Tony - 02/10/1945 - 881st Bombardment Squadron 500th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy)|
|Maisano, Paul - 04/19/1945 - 858th Bombardment Squadron 492nd Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Maize, William - 02/18/1945 - 100th Bombardment Squadron 42nd Bombardment Group (Medium)|
|Majeski, Henry - 12/28/1942 - 42nd Bombardment Squadron 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Majestic, Arthur - 06/21/1944 - 712th Bombardment Squadron 448th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Majewski, Harry - 05/21/1944 - 412th Fighter Squadron 373rd Fighter Group|
|Major, Bertrand - 01/09/1945 - 675th Bombardment Squadron 417th Bombardment Group (Light)|
|Major, John - 01/02/1944 - 820th Bombardment Squadron 41st Bombardment Group (Medium)|
|Majors, Hoyle - 10/29/1943 - Army Air Corps|
|Makela, Felix - 03/22/1943 - 327th Bombardment Squadron 92nd Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Makey, Herman - 10/29/1944 - 779th Bombardment Squadron 464th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Maki, Fred - 02/03/1945 - 546th Bombardment Squadron 384th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Makuch, Alex - 06/09/1942 - Headquarters Squadron 22nd Bombardment Group (Medium)|
|Malaby, Raymond - 07/05/1944 - 422nd Bombardment Squadron 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Malach, Leo - 02/11/1946 - 493rd Bombardment Squadron 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Malacha, Theodore - 02/11/1946 - 493rd Bombardment Squadron 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Malaniak, Walter - 07/19/1944 - 560th Bombardment Squadron 388th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Malatsky, Sidney - 11/17/1944 - 827th Bombardment Squadron 484th Bombardment Group (Heavy)|
|Showing 101 - 150 of 2406 Previous Next|
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