FORCED LANDING OF TWO B-25 MITCHELLS
RETURNING TO McDONALD AIRFIELD, NT
31 JANUARY 1943

 

On 31 January 1943, while returning from a dawn raid on Dili, two B-25 Mitchells from 18 Squadron of the Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEI-AF) made forced landings short of their home base at McDonald airfield in the Northern Territory due to a shortage of fuel. There were no casualties.

I have assumed that one of these two aircraft was B-25C Mitchell, N5-139 (#41-12913) which made an emergency landing in an  area east of Tree Point, south west of Darwin (about 30 - 40 kms NNE of Port Keats) on 31 January 1943. This aircraft was written off and Struck Off Charge (SOC). 

 

Possibly B-25C Mitchell, N5-139. It appears to be a
different aircraft to the one in the large colour photo below
based on the positioning of the propeller blades.

 

In about 1970 a RAAF Iroquois A2-390 located the wreckage of a B-25C Mitchell. Crew member Monty Jesinowski took the following photos. The machine guns and most of the instrumentation were still located in the aircraft. From the photos its seems to be peppered with bullet holes. Were these WW2 vintage or had the RAAF been using it for target practice?

 

This B-25 Mitchell appears to be a different aircraft to the one in the thumbnails below
based on the position of the propellers and the extent of the vegetation near the
aircraft. Flight Lieutenant Allen Bridges (pilot) and Monty Jesinowski (in the cockpit).
(Unless the photograph was printed in reverse from the negative)

 

B-25C Mitchell, possibly B-25C Mitchell, N5-139 (#41-12913).
Note the 50 calibre machine guns on top of the aircraft.

 

The following photos are of B-25C Mitchell, N5-139 (#41-12913)
The numbers 193 can be seen on the tail in one of the photos below.

nt82-01.jpg (30764 bytes) nt82-02.jpg (46853 bytes) nt82-03.jpg (106341 bytes)
nt82-04.jpg (27160 bytes) nt82-05.jpg (39824 bytes) nt82-06.jpg (64603 bytes)
nt82-07.jpg (58067 bytes) nt82-08.jpg (87144 bytes) nt82-09.jpg (107273 bytes)
nt82-10.jpg (126711 bytes) nt82-11.jpg (50247 bytes) nt82-12.jpg (57472 bytes)
nt82-13.jpg (87707 bytes) nt82-15.jpg (30283 bytes) nt82-16.jpg (38554 bytes)

 

Apparently the aircraft was recovered in 1972 by unknown parties. Can anyone confirm what happened to this aircraft wreck?

I have assumed that the other aircraft was B-25 Mitchell, N5-134, #41-12885 of 18 Squadron NEI-AF which apparently crash landed somewhere near Port Keats. Is it the one in the first photograph on this web page?

 

fairbairn01.jpg (114570 bytes)
Photo:- Ted Brault

B-25 Mitchells of 18 Squadron NEI-AF at Fairbairn airfield
The aircraft in the foreground is N5-134, #41-12885.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Ed Ragas, Editor of Bulletin Air War 1939-1945 www.airwarweb.net for his assistance with this home page.

I'd also like to thank Randell Summerville and his cousin Rod Brault (son of Ted Brault) for their assistance with this home page.

I'd also like to thank Monty Jesinowski for his assistance with this home page.

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

" Nederlandse Mitchells ( Dutch Mitchells) "
by Mr. G. Tonrij

 

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 1 January 2000

This page last updated 31 August 2015