428th BS, 310th BG Title Page.

Crash Landing of "Angel of Mercy"

Its landing gear damaged by flak, Angel of Mercy comes in for a crash landing.


Right after the belly landing.The crew minus the injured tail-gunner right after the belly landing.
The two photos above were provided by James McLean, brother of co-pilot Walter McLean. Odis Gates, a civilian field service representative for North American Aviation, had the same photos with the following captions provided by his son-in-law John Hughes: Left Photo: Officers appraise damage and enlisted men go about their work. The "Angel of Mercy" (#43-35982) brought the crew safely through a rough belly landing after an equally rough mission over northern Italy (Rovereto RR Bridge). Nazi flak knocked out the hydraulic system and only one wheel could be lowered. 12th Air Force Photo taken by Cpl. Robert H. Cooper of East Syracuse, NY. Right photo: These crewmen of the flak-riddled "Angel of Mercy" (#43-35982) came through the dangerous belly landing unscathed. They are, left to right, Radio-gunner S/Sgt Donald E. Wilson, 222 K Rte, Tracy, Calif., Bombardier 2/Lt William W. Graham, 5428 Woodbine Ave., Philadelphia, PA, Pilot 1/Lt Wm. S. McMillan, Route 1, Coblesville, N. Y., Turret-gunner T/Sgt Kenneth G. Mueller, 1366 A West Fondulac Ave., Milwaukee, Wisc. (kneeling), and Co-pilot 1/Lt Walter D. McLean, 530 Vancroft Ave., Philadelphia, PA. Not in the picture is Tail-gunner S/Sgt Arthur S. Hatfield, 1354 E. 63rd St. Chicago, who was wounded by enemy flak. 12th Air Force Photo taken by Cpl. Robert H. Cooper of East Syracuse, NY. According to James McLean, both McMillan and McLean were killed on June 9, 1945 while shooting night landings in preparation for flying home.


Noseart for 'Angel of Mercy.'
This rare color photo provided by Jeff Wolford shows the noseart on "Angel of Mercy."


Bill McMillan in Angel of Mercy.
Bill McMillan in "Angel of Mercy."


The B-25 Mitchell medium bombers of the 321st Bombardment Group and the other B-25 groups in the 57th Bomb Wing were manufactured by North American Aviation. Civilian Field Service Representatives of North American Aviation (NAA) were assigned to the theater to help with maintenance and repair of the B-25s. Part of their job was to document and analyze any defects or damage to NAA aircraft (B-25s and P-51s). In 1944, NAA Field Service Representatives worked with the Air Maintenance Division of the United States Army Air Force Service Command in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (AAFSC/MTO). One such NAA representative was Charlie Odis Gates. Gates' photographs include those showing the crash damage of B-25 8P at Alesan Air Field on Corsica (340th Bombardment Group) and B-25 Angel of Mercy at Fano, Italy (310th Bombardment Group). Judging from the patch on his jacket, it appears that another NAA Field Service Representative was present at Pompeii, Italy where nearly all of the 340th Bombardment Group's B-25s were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in March of 1944.


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