CRASH OF A B-25C MITCHELL
IN THE CHARTERS TOWERS AREA, QLD
ON 7 JANUARY 1943

 

 

B-25 Mitchell

 

USAAF B-25C Mitchell, #41-12483, "Not in Stock", of the 13th Bomb Squadron of the 3rd Bomb Group, left Charters Towers  at 9:30 am on 7 January 1943, and disappeared in the Coral Sea on an operational flight to Port Moresby. It was carrying supplies to Port Moresby. Another source has stated that the aircraft was called "Oncle Rafe".

The following nine personnel were killed in this tragic crash:-

1st Lt. Charles F. Dolan (0-426377), Pilot
Warrant Officer John Trevor Soundy (RAAF 408059), Co-pilot
Major Sam I. Rubenstein (0-139760), Adjutant of 3rd Bomb Group
S/Sgt Bryan Krisle (6229918) (Another source suggested T/Sgt. Kreistle)
S/Sgt Lawrence "Larry" M. Giles (11014331)
M/Sgt Shepherd G. Decker (6810612)
S/Sgt Karl R. Kerger (16027690)
S/Sgt Robert C. Mongrain (19019268)
S/Sgt Norman S. Wheeler (11029391)

Another source also suggested that M/Sgt Ralph Hughes, Group Inspector was also killed in this crash. He is not listed on the MACR and its therefore unlikely he was onboard the aircraft.

Jack Heyn told me that he was transferred to the 13th Bomb Squadron Operations and he ended up in a four man tent with S/Sgt. Larry Giles. One of the finest guys he had ever met. He said he became Crew Chief on the B-25 "Not In Stock". Jack said that on 7 January 1943 "Not In Stock" disappeared over the Coral Sea on the way to Port Moresby. Jack told me "The first time you lose a good friend, even at age 19, its a little rough. But one's feelings do get calloused. Over the next 2 years I would lose 2 more tent mates, 3 photographer buddies and countless mess mates. Four months after returning to the States in '45 I attended my Grand Mothers funeral - couldn't even shed a tear."

 


Photo:- Jack Heyn

S/Sgt Lawrence "Larry" M. Giles (11014331)

 

On 2 September 1942, 1st Lieutenant James H. Mangan, Intelligence Officers with the 13th Bombardment Squadron (Light) AAF recommended Warrant Officer John Soundy for the Silver Star Citation for gallantry in action. John Soundy's father, John Soundy (snr), was the Lord Mayor of Hobart at the time that his son went missing.

 

Recommendation for Silver Star
Citation for W/O John T. Soundy

 

Forward Echelon, RAAF Headquarters received a memo from Headquarters, Fifth Air Force to the effect that the status of Warrant Officer John T. Soundy had been changed on 26 July 1943 from "Missing" on a routine flight from Charters Towers to Port Moresby, to "deceased".

One of the records in the National Archives of Australia suggests that the B-25 Mitchell that W/O Soundy was killed in was called "Oncle Rafe" rather than "Not in Stock".

 

NOTE:-  The list of "Aircraft Crash Sites - Australia" shows the aircraft No. as #41-12403. Peter Neilsen's book shows this crash as occurring on 9 January 1943.

 

SOURCE:-   Aircraft Crash Sites - Australia

Crash:         No. 30

Position:     20.04 - 146.17

Department of Aviation Chart No:       3234

 

REFERENCE BOOK

"Diary of WWII - North Queensland"
Complied by Peter Nielsen

Pacific Wrecks - B-25C Mitchell Serial Number 41-12483

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Gordon BIrkett, Jack Heyn, Bill Swain and Daniel Leahy for their assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 7 February 1999

This page last updated 16 June 1999