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Old 25th February 2017, 10:24
focusfocus focusfocus is offline
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29/01/44 :B-25 victims of Friendly Fire

Hello

I am looking for information about four B-25 of the 41st Bombardment Group victims of a friendly fire (Hellcat) near "Kwajalein" :29/01/44

Thank's in advance

michel
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Old 25th February 2017, 15:45
twocee twocee is offline
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Re: 29/01/44 :B-25 victims of Friendly Fire

Nine twin-engine bombers were observed to be making what appeared to be a low level attack on Task Group 58.1, on the evening of 29 January. They were intercepted by a CAP from VF10, off Enterprise, and one shot down before being recognised as Army B-25s. Apparently all but one of the crew was rescued by a destroyer.
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Old 25th February 2017, 19:37
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: 29/01/44 :B-25 victims of Friendly Fire

The B-25 shot down was 42-87284 41st BG, 396th BS piloted by Harris C Taylor. The man who died, apparently drowned , was the bombardier/navigator Daniel Kritz. He was seen in the water near the nose of the plane after it ditched. Fire on the water and the suction of the plane going under were apparently contributing factors to his loss. The other 5 crewmen were rescued.
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Old 25th February 2017, 19:42
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Re: 29/01/44 :B-25 victims of Friendly Fire

My source mentions four B-25 shot down by VF-6 and VF-11 of TG 58.2
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Old 25th February 2017, 20:23
twocee twocee is offline
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Re: 29/01/44 :B-25 victims of Friendly Fire

That source of yours is wrong. For example, in January 1944 VF11 was in training at Alameda.
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Old 25th February 2017, 21:47
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Re: 29/01/44 :B-25 victims of Friendly Fire

exact for VF-11: TG-58.2=VF-6,VF-9 and VF-31

So,a single B-25 shot down
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Old 27th February 2017, 02:17
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: 29/01/44 :B-25 victims of Friendly Fire

The 396th mission report for this day is available online at http://blkbrd0778.tripod.com/396thbo...dron/id19.html.

According to this source, several other B-25s were hit and another one (listed as "780" in the report) ditched before reaching base, all the crew surviving. So two B-25s were lost following this friendly fire incident.
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Old 27th February 2017, 12:25
twocee twocee is offline
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Re: 29/01/44 :B-25 victims of Friendly Fire

The B-25s were spotted by Enterprise lookouts at 17.51, local, and identified as Mitsubishi Type 97s starting a torpedo attack. Almost immediately the identification was corrected, although the carrier fired two 5" rounds. Destroyers in the screen, closer to the aircraft, also opened fire.

During the period 12.00 to 20.00, TG58.1 was operating between 0815N and 0819N. According to the 396BS report, when the ships were sighted at 17.45 they were at 0810N, suggesting that the B-25s were further north than their navigation indicated.
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Old 28th February 2017, 09:26
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Re: 29/01/44 :B-25 victims of Friendly Fire

Thank you all for the details and corrections.

michel
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Old 9th March 2017, 22:45
Frank Olynyk Frank Olynyk is offline
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Re: 29/01/44 :B-25 victims of Friendly Fire

The deck log of Enterprise for Jan 29, 1944 reports that at 1748 9 unidentified planes were reported on the horizon, bearing 320 deg True. At 1751 the planes were identified as Bettys. At 1751.5 the report was corrected to B-25s. At 1752 2 rounds were fired at the planes by 5" guns, range 14,000 yards. Cease fire was immediately given; deck log notes that the command to commence firing was not given. At 1753 ships to starboard (not identified) were observed to be firing at the planes with both mg and 5" guns. Fighter from the combat patrol (pilot and squadron not identified) made several runs on the planes. One plane was smoking as the group passed ahead from starboard to port. At 1756 the smoking plane crashed in flames bearing 220 deg True, distance 20,500 yards. At 1822 the destroyer Gatling at the scene of the crash reported recovering five crew members, one lost with plane. Enterprise's position at noon was 08-19.2N, 170-36-1E; her 2000 position is not given.

The deck log for Jan 30 reports that Gatling came along side and transferred the following to Enterprise, and they were admitted to sick bay:

Cherrington, Don Carlos, 2nd Lt., minor contusion, left side of face and zygomatic arch
Taylor, Harris Coomes, 2nd Lt., shock and compound fracture, left femus, O-742386
Reynolds, Robert Hobson, Staff Sgt, #32467950, multiple lacerations and abrasions, shrapnel
Horton, Gordon Dale, Staff Sgt, #18060947, laceration and probable fracture right leg
Smith, Anthoney Francis, Sgt, #13052972, shrapnel wounds, left buttock

Gatling's deck log, which I do not have, might give the location of the crash.

Enjoy!

Frank.
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Last edited by Frank Olynyk; 9th March 2017 at 23:56. Reason: add service # for Taylor
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