340st Bomb Group 486th Bomb Squadron based in Alesani, Corsica

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-4019 - 6A SAHARA SUE
PILOT 2ND LT. M. C. MARTINSON
CREW CHIEF SGT. T. E. WILLIAMS
BOMBADIER W.F. MRAVINEC
Skin and Documentation by Bravo Download Skin


* Additions and corrections provided by Jeff Wolford
This aircraft was the second Mitchel to be named “Sahara Sue,” and flew missions with the 486th BS, 340th BG out of Alesani, Corsica, through the second half of 1944 and early 1945. Although we don’t know the number of missions she flew, we have the aircraft listed, along with assigned crews, on more than 20 individual mission schedules (courtesy of Herman Voss). For example, on August 19, 1944, it flew in the second box of the 486th BS when it bombed the Montfaucon Road bridge in the Po Valley. This box was credited with dropping the center span of the bridge into the water. an interruption in one German supply route into Italy. A week later, it bombed the Tarare RR bridge in the same area and destroyed the track and first span of the bridge. While Lt. M. C. Martinson’s name was painted on the side of the plane, he wasn’t flying on either of these missions which were flown and commanded respectively by 2nd Lt. John Smith and 1st Lt. J. R. Hill.

Within squadrons, crews were assigned to available aircraft on the night before a mission. Crews often flew on several different planes during their tours. Individual crew chiefs, however, “owned” specific planes and were responsible for their condition and maintenance continually. Sahara Sue II was the responsibility of Sgt. T. C. Williams during this period. The first Sahara Sue was a “C” model and flew in North Africa, out of the Sahara Desert we assume.


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340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27487 - 6B DEVIL'S HELPER
PILOT 2ND LT. A. V. MACK
CREW CHIEF UNKNOWN
Skin and Documentation by Bravo Download Skin


If you were ground crew for “The Devil’s Helper,” 6B (SN 43-27487) of the 486th Bomber Squadron, you didn’t sleep much the week of March 12 to March 19, 1945. “Helper” flew missions every day except Thursday, when it was the alternate or reserve. On Monday, March 12, she flew Tailend Charlie on a mission with bombers from the 489th BS to attack the Alpeno Railroad Fill. The crew’s instructions were to bomb manually, and planes ahead of them carried 1000-lb. bombs with long delay fuses to let them get by. The target photo showed a tight cluster that appeared to break down the dike along the railway. On Tuesday, “Helper” flew in the second box and attacked the Perca Railway Bridge across a wide ravine. Released by radio, half the bombs fell short of the bridge, moved some mud, but didn’t destroy the bridge. Wednesday, twelve B-25s from the squadron hit the Casarsa Railway Bridge in the Po Valley. Two spans went down in the water. Thursday, the plane was reserve and didn’t fly. But on Friday, March 16, she flew in the number two position, first box, on a long mission to bomb the Brixlegg Railraod Bridge in Austria. The 486th BS and 487th BS dropped the entire structure into the river. Mission effectiveness: 100%. Bombing accuracy: 100%.

Saturday, 6B flew back to the Alpeno Railroad Fill to attack another portion of the dike. Then on Sunday, March 18, she went back to the Perca Bridge. This time planes from the 486th and 487th destroyed the structure. The mission schedule for March 19 shows that “Helper” was back in combat, but no target information is available. On Tuesday, March 20, “The Devil’s Helper” flew on a mission to the Vipiteno RR bridge at Campo, Italy, near the Austrian border. Her crew included 2nd Lt. A. V. Mack, 2nd Lt. S. G. Coneglio, Lt. Granger, Sgt. McKinnan, Sgt. E.C. Racetto and Sgt. Zawestowski. It was this crew’s first mission in 6B. As they neared the target, “Helper” took a direct hit from an 88 mm shell and went down. The pilot, Mack, was the only survivor and spent the remainder of the war in Mooseburg Prison Camp. The war, of course, ended in less than a month.

“The Devil’s Helper” arrived at Alesani in early July, 1944, and flew her first mission with the 486 Bomber Squadron on July 13 in the hands of a veteran pilot, 1st Lt. J. P. Hoschar. We haven’t looked at all the mission schedules to see how many missions she completed, but probably more than 70 given the time she was in combat. We’ve presented her with the scars, patches and paint-overs you would expect from a veteran in the MTO. Have fun.


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340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27723 - 6C PROP WASH

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-28080 - 6E WHO CARES
PILOT 1ST LT. J. P. HOSCHAR
BOMBADIER 1ST LT. F. E. BAKER
CREW CHIEF UNKNOWN
Skin and Documentation by Bravo Download Skin


This aircraft was the third “6E” to fly with the 486th BS. The first, a “D” model, carried the name “Who Cares?” and was lost in early 1944. The second was a “J” model and was apparently downed or considered unrepairable after a raid on the Pistagno Railroad Bridge, July 11, 1944. This Mitchell flew its first mission on July 14 in an attack on the Corbola Road and Rail bridges in the Po Valley. The pilot for this first mission was 1st Lt. J. P. Hoschar.

All three “6E’s” carried the Shark Teeth noseart, but only the first had the name “Who Cares?” according to Dominique Taddei, author of “U.S.S. Corsica.” Shark teeth were apparently fairly common in the squadron. At least three other planes carried them at the same time, including “6H,” flown by Capt. Glen Gooze Jr., a flight leader in the squadron. There no mission marks visible on any of our references. Since this skin represents 6E in July, 1944, there are no mission marks.

Please note, all screens for 6E have been photo edited to remove the cheek guns and reposition the antenna.



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340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27629 - 6F SAN ANTONEO ROSE
AIRPLANE COMMANDER 1ST. LT. R.W. Pike
BOMBADIER 2ND LT. G.L. CARROLL
CREW CHIEF S/SGT. W.H. Binner
Skin and Documentation by TOAD Download Skin




* Additions and corrections provided by Jeff Wolford

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340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-28069 - 6G

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-4063 - 6H

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-4033 - 6J LADIES DELIGHT
AIRPLANE COMMANDER Unknown
CREW CHIEF Unknown
Skin by TOAD Download Skin


Documentation in progress.

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340ST BG 486TH BS - SN 43-4061 - 6K I'LL TAKE YOU HOME AGAIN KATHLEEN II
AIRPLANE COMMANDER LT. W.P. LANEY
CREW CHIEF R.P. PETROZZI
Skin by Monguse Download Skin


Kathleen II nose art colors were red over yellow on the lettering according to Herman Voss's friend, Mike Laney whose grandfather flew 6K. Mr. Laney also notes that 6K was delivered with olive-drab over gray (as were most of the B-25Js in the 43-4xxx block). Herman Voss's brother in law, John W. (Jack) Sterett flew 13 missions in 6K as tail gunner/gunner from May 1944 to the end of the war in 1945. Sadly, John W. (Jack) Sterett departed us in 1995.

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340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27639 - 6L RINKY DOO

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27709 - 6M SCHAPPS YO YO

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-28073 - 6N THE OLD MILL

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27661 - 6P

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27784 - 6Q NOAH'S ARC

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27662 - 6R

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27700 - 6S

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27783 - 6T

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27647 - 6U LIL BEA HIND II

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27900 - 6V BOTTOMS-UP II
AIRPLANE COMMANDER Unknown
CREW CHIEF Unknown
Skin by Monguse Download Skin


Documentation in progress.

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340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-35954 - 6W

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27491 - 6X THE ALICE L
PILOT CAPT. D. V. WHEELER
CREW CHIEF UNKNOWN
BOMBADIER CAPT. F. SEDACH
Skin and Documentation by Bravo Download Skin


6X, "The Alice L" of the 486th BS, 340th BG, had a tough August, with twelve well defended targets. On August 24, according to mission records, it went to Isle Ratenau to hit the docks there, and came home without damage. On the following day, however, the 486th attacked Brenner Pass. It came home from that mission with 30 bullet holes and flack damage. Yet three days later, The Alice L was back in the air over Terrare Railroad Bridge. She flew her last mission on April 20, 1945, just before the end of the war, and returned to the U.S. after the war, where she was disarmed, patched and stored at Columbia AAB, South Carolina.



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340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-27670 - 6Y YANKEE DOODLE DANDY

340st BG 486th BS - SN 43-4028 - 6Z

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