B-25J 43-36128 Lost December 29, 1944

B-25J 336128

B-25J-10-NC Mitchell 336128 of 11th Air Force, 28th Composite Group, 77th Bomb Squadron, based on Attu, lost on December 29, 1944 during a fighter decoy sweep of Suribachi Airfield on Paramushiru Island, Kuriles (now part of Russia). Lt. Banker radioed Lt. Leonard Kupersmith that he was executing a 180-degree turn, but was never heard from again. The plane failed to return to base. No search was conducted. The entire crew was listed as missing in action.

I don't believe this photo is of its last mission, since such an encounter between a Japanese Ki-43 Hayabusa ("Oscar") fighter would have been reported.

Click here for the entire after-action report (23MB PDF)

Name
Rank
Crew Position

Douglas Eugene Banker
First Lt.
Pilot

John Robson Franke
First Lt.
Co-Pilot

Jack Boyd Evans
First Lt.

Navigator/Bombadier

Archie Lorraine Cathie
Capt.
Engineer

Frank White Poplin
Technical Sgt.
Radio Operator/Gunner

Michael Patrick Spillane

Staff Sgt.
Assistant Engineer/Gunner

William Newton Travelbee
Pvt. 1st Class
Armaments/Gunner

Internet Links
28th Bomb Group
The 28th Bomb Group (H) in WWII. Original photos, data and links of this 11th Air Force B-24 Liberator unit in Aleutian Islands, Alaska

77th Bomb Squadron - 11th Air Force WWII
History of 77th Bombardment Squadron while assigned in Alaska and the Aleutians during WWII. Fly on Combat Missions with the Brave Men of the 77th

77th Bombardment Group -- B-26 Marauder Archive at Archival Services, University Libraries, The University of AkronThe University of Akron, University Libraries Archival Services B-26 Marauder web site

11th Air Force Officers and Men, 1945
Photos of some of the Officers and Enlisted men of the 11th Air Force, early 1945.

11th Air Force