B-25C MITCHELL, #41-12443, "MORTIMER"
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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visits since 3 April 2005

 

Gary Lewis has an album with seven pictures of "Mortimer". Two these pictures of the North American B-25C, #41-12443 also known as "Mortimer", show personnel standing beside the planes with no identification provided as to the identity of these great Airmen.


Photo:- from the B-25 Collection of Gary M. Lewis

B-25C Mitchell, #41-12443, 82-5078, "Mortimer", 15 Missions 12 Japanese Aircraft shot down. Photo
probably taken at
Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia. B-25 #41-29737 in the background of the photo.
Looks like two RAAF crew members at right of the front row.
Can anyone identify all the crew members?

 

The above photograph has a line-up of a crew standing in front of "Mortimer", and this photo looks like it may have been taken originally by Jack Heyn, of the 3rd Bomb Group, as it fits with the other crew/aircraft pictures he shot back then at Charters Towers.

 


Photo:- from the B-25 Collection of Gary M. Lewis

B-25C Mitchell "Mortimer". Note RAAF crew member 2nd from right.
Can anyone identify all the crew members?

 


Photo:- from the B-25 Collection of Gary M. Lewis

B-25C Mitchell "Mortimer with crew. Note the RAAF crew member Flying Officer Allan R. Page is at far left in back row.
Flying Officer Allan R. Page was presumed dead after the loss of
B-25C Mitchell, #41-12472, "The Queen" on 4 Sep 1942.

The names stencilled on the side of the above aircraft below the pilot's window appear to be:-

Pilot: Capt. Thomas P. Gerrity
Co-Pilot: (blank)
Crew chief: T/Sgt Simmons
Bombardier: M/Sgt Owens
Gunner: Sgt Bass
Gunner: Cpl Connor

Captain Thomas P. Gerrity went on in the Air Force to achieve the rank of a 4 Star General and was the Commander of the Air Force Logistics Command when he died of a heart attack on 28 February 1968.

 

Can anyone confirm the above names are correct?

 

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Photo:- from the B-25 Collection of Gary M. Lewis

Closeup of the above
crew members

 


Photo:- from the B-25 Collection of Gary M. Lewis

B-25C Mitchell, #41-12443, 82-5078, "Mortimer", 17 Missions. Sitting on jacks in readiness for being converted to a "Strafer"

 


Photo:- from the B-25 Collection of Gary M. Lewis

B-25C Mitchell, #41-12443, 82-5078, "Mortimer", after conversion went to the Netherlands Indies AF but NTU.
Shown here with two crewmen standing beside "Mortimer" under camouflage netting. Location unknown.

The above photograph of the left side of "Mortimer" is after the conversion/application of four .50 Calibre machine guns in the nose. The names stencilled on the side of the aircraft appear to be:-

Pilot: Capt Solman or Solomon
Co-Pilot (this is a blank space as it appeared that no CP was assigned)
Upper Gunner: J. H. Clark (this is Joe Clark)
Lower Gunner: C. A. Lunrazak (that is what it looks like)
Engineer: J.M. Lee

Can anyone confirm the above names are correct?

 

Randy Wilson confirmed for me on 12 April 2009, that J.H. Clark was Joe Clark, the Upper Gunner for Mortimer. Randy is Joe's grandson.

On 11 April 1942, eleven B-25 Mitchells and three B-17 Flying Fortresses left Charters Towers via Darwin to Del Monte, to attack Japanese shipping and fortifications in the Philippines.  They were fitted with long distance tanks for the long trip to Del Monte, where the tanks were removed and replaced by bombs. They returned to Charters Towers loaded with evacuees after their raid. "Mortimer" was one of these eleven aircraft.

#112441 Lowerey Walker
#112443 Smith Talley "Mortimer"
#112442 Heiss Townsend
#112511 Maull West
#112472 Peterson Mangan "Lounge Lizard"
#112496 Schmidt Birnn
#112498 "Pappy" Gunn Bender
#112480 Strickland Hipps
#112466 Feltham Linn
#112455  ** Wilson Keeter

** This aircraft later crashed in Mount Bartle Frere on 21 April 1942.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Gary M. Lewis for his assistance with this home page. Gary began researching the surviving North American B-25 Mitchell's 30 years ago.

I'd like to thank Jerry Franklin for his assistance with this web page. Capt. Thomas P. Gerrity was Jerry's wife's uncle.

I'd like to thank Randy Wilson for his assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2005

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This page first produced 3 April 2005

This page last updated 12 April 2009