Pilot, 1st Lt Anthony D. Hartley
Co-Pilot, 1st Lt George J. Nichols
Navigator 2nd Lt Hugh H. Eaton Jr.
Assistant Crew Chief Sgt Claude O. Langlinais
Passenger: 1st Lt Henry E. Felix, Capt Sam D. Perry and 2nd Lt Leo W. Tiberghien
Aircarft B-25D-15, Serial number 41-30374, Nickname Available Jones, took off on a flight from Port Moresby via Garbutt Field bound for Brisbane. The regular crew chief, Sgt Archie Kachel was off duty and replaced by Sgt Claude O. Langlinais. The A/C disappeared on the first leg of the flight, it is unknown if this aircraft went missing over the Coral Sea or might have crashed on land. Searches failed to locate any trace of this aircraft.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. After the loss, the 312th Bombardment Group softball field at Gusap Airfield, was named “Hartley-Nichols Field” in honor of the pilot and co-pilot.
He died 21 February 1944. He is memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery, the Philippines.
389th Bomber Squadron, 312th Bomber Group, Light
For my mother’s 1st husband, George J. Nichols, KIA.
–Submitted by Dennis Denton