Surprise over Gusap


The IHRA comes through for us with an eye-witness account of flying a mission over New Guinea.


Today’s post comes from the diary of Capt. Albert L. Behrens, a pilot in the 822nd Bomb Squadron.

November 15, 1943

Strike! Wewak. About 85 B-25’s were to participate in this raid. We left at 8 AM to pick up fighter escort over Gusap and then to Wewak. I was flying #3 position in the last element. We arrived at Gusap and started circling at 9000 feet. I heard a terrific explosion in the navigation compartment and smelled odors of cordite and gasoline. I turned around and thru the smoke Pete came up holding his hands in front of him – he had been hit bad. Both wrists were cut to the bone and blood was gushing out. Norb called Brownie to come forward and then he got out of the co-pilot’s seat to give first aid to Pete. I now had fallen out of formation and with the gas…

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on February 27, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Great First Hand account, Story’s like these really bring home the fact these Pilots and Crew were all individually Heroes in their own way, also it demonstrates the ferocity of what they faced in each and every mission.
    Great reading.


  2. I’d say that’s a fair definition of a bad day at the office. I hope Pete lived to read it and laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent first hand narrative gp, many miracle landings were performed by these great Pilots.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It seems as though a lot of people are wondering whether or not American fighters accidentally shot down this B-25. Friendly fire incidents unfortunately happened from time to time.
    What we can add is this: The official combat narrative refers to the plane as ‘a SSF [single seat fighter], thought to be a Tony [Allied nickname for the Ki-61 Hein].’ There is no way of knowing for certain which fighter hit Capt. Behren’s B-25. However, eight P-40s from the 8th Fighter Group are known to have engaged Japanese aircraft near Gusap, and one of the P-40 pilots briefly fired on Allied B-25s (mistaking them for Ki-49s, or ‘Helens’) during the engagement.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thany you wünsche dir eine gute neue Woche liebe Grüße Gislinde


  6. Sue Marquis Bishop

    Some of these are hard to read.


  7. It is inconceivable to us civilians what these men endured during the war, and lived to tell of it. Resourcefulness and ingenuity in the face of total chaos and death. Yes, they had amazing skills.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Did I read it right that they were shot by P-40 or P-39? It was amazing they could manage to land the plane with so many things broken as that.


  9. Barbara Marincel

    Very cool!


  10. I think I read that right. They were hit by friendly fire from a P40 or P38? Somehow, that makes it worse, so it was good to hear that they survived the ordeal.
    Best wishes, Pete.


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