20 DECEMBER 1942
CRASH OF A B-25 MITCHELL

IN OSPREY REEF AREA

 

B-25D Mitchell, #41-29706, of the 90th Bomb Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group, USAAF, disappeared about 70 miles north of Osprey Reef area about 140 miles from the Australian coast on 20 December 1942 during bad weather. No further news. It was in the process of making a permanent move from Charters Towers to Port Moresby.

The pilot, 1st Lt. Donald K. Emerson, attempted to fly below a rain squall but caught a wing on the water and crashed into the Coral Sea, killing all 11 aboard. All signs of the crashed aircraft had disappeared below the water within a minute.

AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
THE WORLD WAR II HONOR ROLL

Donald K. Emerson

First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces

0-429773

90th Bomber Squadron, 3rd Bomber Group, Large

Entered the Service from: California
Died: December 20, 1942
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery Manila, Philippines 
Awards: Silver Star 

The total crew was as follows:-

1st/Lt. Donald K. Emerson (#0-429773), Pilot
1/Lt. Robert F. Miller,  Co-Pilot {perhaps this may be 1st Lt Lloyd C. Miller (#0-442215)}
S/Sgt. Albert Belcher (#13032940), Bombardier
S/Sgt. Ernest R. Fanta (#6970848), Gunner
S/Sgt. Everett E. Walker (#20619398), Radio/Gunner
Pvt. William S. Vidmar (#37272329), Engineer
Sgt. Donald D. Ruth (#15069709), Passenger
Sgt. Richard H. St. Sauveur (#11024215), Passenger
Sgt. Stephen L. Taylor (#6580269), Passenger
PFC. Delmar A. Klemmer (#19062529), Passenger
T/Sgt Paul T Ervin (#6971474)

 

hline.gif (2424 bytes)

 

Subject:    Crewmen lost aboard B-25D 41-29706
Date:             Sun, 26 Dec 99 18:40:09 -0700
From:            "Lawrence J. Hickey"

Peter,

RE: your request for the crewmen lost aboard B-25D 41-29706 of the 90/3 on 20 Dec 42 in a crash while enroute to Port Moresby from Charters Towers, Queensland.

The ten aboard were:

EMERSON, 1/Lt. Donald K. Pilot
MILLER, 1/Lt. Robert F. Co-Pilot
BELCHER, S/Sgt. Albert Bombardier
FANTA, S/Sgt. Elmer R. Gunner
WALKER, S/Sgt. Everett E. Radio/Gunner
VIDMAR, Pvt. William S. Engineer
RUTH, Sgt. Donald D. Passenger
ST. SAUVEUR, Sgt. Richard H. Passenger
TAYLOR, Sgt. Stephen L. Passenger
KLEMMER, PFC. Delmar A. Passenger

Strangely, one of the members of this crew was carried as a POW as of mid-1944. This was S/Sgt. Ermer R. Fanta. Don't yet know the details, but will eventually get this (maybe picked up by a Japanese submarine?). If any of your site readers know anything about this, I'd like to hear from them. If Fanta was a POW, it is very unlikely that he survived imprisonment by the Japanese. The others were all carried as killed.

Emerson was a former A-20 pilot recently transferred to the 90th Sq., and the rest of his crew was well-experienced, having completed 20-30 combat missions by the time of the crash.

Yes, you can use the information I sent you on your web site, and yes, you did ID your site cross reference to 41-29709 correctly.

Larry Hickey

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank Larry Hickey for the above information on this crash.

I'd also like to thank Julee Bruce, niece of S/Sgt. Ernest R Fanta, for her assistance with this web page. Julee advised that they had received information that showed there were 11 passengers on the aircraft.

 

SOURCE:-   Aircraft Crash Sites - Australia

Crash:         No. 20

Position:     13.50 - 146.06

Department of Aviation Chart No:       3112

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

Why not join my Discussion List
on Military Aircraft Crashes in
Australia during World War Two

To subscribe send an e-mail to

OzCrashes-subscribe@topica.com

 

In Association with Amazon.com

Heaps of WW2
books available at
Amazon.com

                         "Australia @ War"
                         

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2007

Disclaimer

Please e-mail me
any information or photographs


 "Australia @ War"
Available on a Data DVD

Peter Dunn's
explode.gif (15799 bytes) AUSTRALIA @ WAR explode.gif (15799 bytes)
WWW.OZATWAR.COM


Do you need a holiday!
Sun, surf, beautiful beaches and lots more!


  Genealogy Software
190 Mbytes of Genealogy Indexes & Programs

This page first produced 16 June 1999

This page last updated 26 March 2013