Early in the morning on 27 July 1944, a B-25H of the 418th Night Fighter Squadron 5th US Army Air Force took of from Wakde aerodrome in Netherlands New Guinea.

With three other B-25's they set out to hunt for Japanese barges bringing in supplies for their garrisons in New Guinea. Garrisons in Babo, Sorong, Manokwari, Utarom, Moemi, Waren and other places on the coast of the Vogelkop peninsula.


1Lt Ira M. Barnett, pilot of the B-25H-5 with the serial number 43-4422, flew down the Geelvinck Bay, crossed the neck of the birds head at its narrowest point and followed the Bentoni Bay towards the MacCluer Gulf, keeping Babo to his left.


Near Cape Sabra, he spotted a small barge and warned the other three planes. They fell into an attack pattern with Barnett unfortunately taking up the tail end charlie position as last plane in the attack.


The first three missed with their bombs, but Barnett hit the barge with a 100 lbs bomb and strafing fire. Then the Japs started firing back and hit Barnett's B-25 in the left engine and cut through the rudder cables.


He decided he couldn't make it back to base and had either to ditch his plane or crash land on terra firma. Because of the nearness of Babo, he decided to crash land in an open spot.