Pesky Parafrags


On January 8, 1945, the 345th Bomb Group’s 498th and 499th Squadrons were sent to hit Fabrica Airdrome on the Negros Islands. Between the two squadrons, two B-25s were fatally damaged, but they destroyed three Japanese fighters on the ground. One of the two B-25s, PLANE LONESOME, sustained a hit to the right wing tank by machine gun fire. It burst into flame and crashed in a forest, killing all aboard.

As the rest of the planes left the target area and headed home, one of 1/Lt. John B. Boyd’s wingmen noticed a parafrag was caught on the bomb bay doors of Boyd’s brand new B-25J, #44-29352. When Boyd opened the doors, two parafrags drifted away. A third, caught by its chute, exploded after it struck the fuselage of the plane. S/Sgt. William J. McGrath, the crew’s tail gunner, at first thought they had been hit by flak. When…

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