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Search Chronology Locations Aircraft Vessels Missing In Action (MIA) B-25J-25/27-NC Mitchell Serial Number 44-30164

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Search Chronology Locations Aircraft Vessels Missing In Action (MIA) B-25J-25/27-NC Mitchell Serial Number 44-30164

Missing In Action (MIA)

B-25J-25/27-NC Mitchell Serial Number 44-30164

USAAF

5th AF

345ht BG

500th BS

Pilot 2nd Lt. J. T. Lackey (KIA) Tyler, TX Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Carl I. Middlebrook, Jr. (KIA) Waco, TX Navigator-Bombardier 2nd Lt. Leslie H. Anderson, O-717368 (KIA) Stuttgart, AR Engineer-Gunner Cpl William J. Kozak (KIA) Philadelphia, PA Radio-Gunner Cpl John Shott, 33421756 (POW, survived) Aliquippa, PA Crashed May 17, 1945 at 9:20am MACR 14447

Aircraft History Built by North American. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to the Pacific.

the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to the Pacific. B-25 POW 1 Prisoner Wartime

B-25

U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to the Pacific. B-25 POW 1 Prisoner Wartime History

POW

1 Prisoner

Wartime History Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group 500th Bombardment Squadron. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R-2600-29 serial numbers (left) 43-35040 and (right) 43-35137. Weapon serial numbers noted in MACR 14447.

Mission History On May 17, 1945 took off from Clark Field (Borax Strip) on Luzon in the Philippines on a low level bombing and strafing mission against rail road targets in western Formosa. The weather was overcast with visibility of five miles.

Over the target, this B-25 crashed roughly 4 miles east of Komo Town at 9:20am in northwestern Formosa. Last seen by Captain Richard J. Lewis and 2nd Lt. William G. Paukovich. On impact, entire crew was killed with the exception of Shott who was thrown clear of the bomber and broke three ribs.

John Shott recalled on June 11, 2016:

"We were flying at tree-top level in a valley, I could see muzzle flashes and they must have hit us because we crashed. I got hungry, I was getting a cabbage in a farmer's field when three soldiers came up to me."

Fates of the Crew After the crash, Shott hid along a river bank for three days until he was captured by the Japanese and became a Prisoner Of War (POW). He was detained for four months until Japan's surrender then was liberated returned to the United States.

Memorials The four crew members killed in the crash: Lackey, Middlebrook, Anderson and Kozak were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Postwar, their remains were recovered and transported to the United States for permanent burial.

Lackey is buried at Tyler Memorial Park and Cemetery in Tyler, TX at good shepherd plot. Middlebrook is buried at White Rock Cemetery in Elm Mott, TX. Anderson is buried at Lone Tree Cemetery in Stuttgart, AR. Kozak is buried at Long Island National Cemetery at plot J, grave 14505.

References Missing Air Crew Report 14447 (MACR 14447) NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - John Shott FindAGrave - J. T. Lackey (grave photo) FIndAGrave - Carl Lovelace Middlebrook, Jr (grave photo) FindAGrave - Leslie H Anderson FindAGrave - William J Kozak (grave photo) Warpath Across the Pacific includes this loss Syracuse.com "WWII vet, 93, flies in B-25 over Syracuse 71 years after Japanese shot him down" June 11, 2016

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Last Updated June 13, 2016

Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.

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