IDPF: B-25C Crew, KIA, Mediterran Sea
Individual Deceased Personnel File
IDPF pertaining to Norris D. Dickey,
SSgt, serial no. 19 059 657
White, Prot, 5'9", 130 lbs, brown eyes, blond hair, 7-C shoe, false teeth, age 34 years at MIA date
Crew member of plane lost in combat over the Mediterranean Sea between Sisily and Tunisia.
Info from report dated 18 Mar 1948:
SUBJECT: Review of Circumstances Surrounding the Disappearance of Personnel Presumed Dead.
1. The following named Air Corps personnel, members of the 438th Bombardment Squadron, 310th Bombardment Group(M), were reported missing in action in the North African Area, since 4 April 1943, by Casualty Message No. 107029, and were presumed dead as of 5 April 1944, under the provision of Section 5, Missing Persons Act by S.R.& D. No. 643:
First Lieutenant Laula M. Middleton, pilot
First Lieutenant Roland Frost, co-pilot
Technical Sergeant Howard L. Jenkins, photographer
Staff Sergeant Stephen G. Surbaugh, B
Staff Sergeant Norris D. Dickey, upper turret gunner
Staff Sergeant William J. Everard, radio oper
2. In response to a request from this office, dated 26 January 1944, the Headquarters, 310th Bombardment Group replied by 5th Indorsement, dated 22 February 1944, that the officers and enlisted men named constituted a complete combat crew and all were in flying pay status. The circumstances, under which the aircraft was lost, were shown as follows:
"2***On 4 April 1943 Lieutenant Middleton and his crew were flying a B-25C airplane on a sea sweep over the Mediterran Sea. A convoy was attacked at 37 degrees 30 minutes N, 11 degrees 10 minutes E, and, at the same time the formation of B25's was attacked by twenty (20) ME 109's and FW-190's. Two of the enemy aircraft were shot down and one crashed into the aircraft piloted by Lieutenant Middleton causing it to go into an uncontrolled dive into the sea. Three or four parachutes were seen to open."
It also stated that no search was made at the time, since the crash occurred in an enemy controlled area.
3. Missing Air Crew Report No. 14581, dated 5 June 1945, from the 428th Bombardment Squadron, 310th Bombardment Group, conains an eyewitness description of the circumstances pertaining to the lost aircraft, which is quoted herein:
"On April 4, 1943, the 428th Bombardment Squadron, 310th Bombardment Group(M), had six (6) aircraft on a sea search mission. An enemy convoy was sighted and a bombing run was made. The first element did not drop their bombs because there was a hospital ship passing through the convoy. This element then circled and made a second run on the target. Enemy aircraft were making attacks during this time. One was shot down and the pilot was seen to bail. The second enemy aircraft made a pass and came straight on through the elament. As he passed through the element he struck aircraft number 43-13048 and tore off part of the wing. Aircraft number 43-13048 then went into a spin and crashed in the water. Three parachutes were sean to open before the plane crashed."
(NOTE: this is page one, page two appears to be missing from reportt)
Info from report dated 8 April 1949
Report of Proceedings on Board of Officers.
The following cases were brought before the Board:
On or about 4 April 1943 a B-25C Aircraft AAF Serial No. 41-13048 of the 428 Bomb Squadron, 310th Bomb Group, USAAF, departed the airfield at Bertoaux, Algeria to partisipate in a sea search for enemy shipping off the coast of North Africa. The aircraft was shot down by the enemy and was seen to crash into the sea.
The identifiable remains of subject decedents have not been recovered by this Headquarters.
Three parachutes were seen to open before the plane crashed into the sea.
Missing Air Crew Report states that no search for the missing personnel was made. This can only be explained by the fact that the aircraft fell into enemy waters, thereby making rescue operations extremely hazardous.
Identification data for subject decedents has been compared with similar information for all unknown decedents recovered from the Mediterranean shore of North Africa with negative results.
In view of the findings the Board recommends that no further efforts be made toward the recovery of subject deceased and the thse remains be declared non-recoverable.
Other documents or sources: Captured German Records.
In the IDPF, one report has the aircraft no. 43-13048 and another report has it as 41-13048.
Would love to know the name that was given to their airplane.
Would love to be able to know what was in those German records!
Sorry it's so long, the file has so much info in it that I wanted to share. There's more personnal info on the other crew mambers listed.