06 JANUARY 1945
First Lieutenant John R. Dickinson, pilot "Playmate Three Nine", departed Middleburg Island at 0630 and proceeded without event to his rendezvous point at Tifore Island where he was joined by his fighter escort. He then proceeded to the Northern coast of Bontann Island, just off the East coast of the Celebes near the mouth of the Moeng and Tatelos Rivers. While orbiting there he receive a radio message that a plane was on fire near Manado Island. Lieutenant Dickinson proceeded to the designated point and saw a burning ship on the water at 01 degree 04'N, 124 degrees 55'E between Mantehage Island and the tip of the Celebes. Upon approaching the burning ship, he sighted three survivors clinging to one of the ship's wheels. He landed, taxied to them and took them aboard. All were severely injured and had they not been rescued within a few minutes after the crash, they would not have survived.

The rescued survivors were members of a B-25 crew, 75th Bomb Squadron, 42nd Bomb Group, and are listed as follows: Captain Thorndyke, severely injured about the head and chest and in critical condition, First Lieutenant Downlin, who sustained a severe injury to his right hip and back and was in a state of shock, S/Sgt Sewell who sustained injuries to his head, chest and right shoulder. When taken aboard, all me were given emergency medical treatment. Captain Thorndyke, most severely injured, was given two units of plasma. Lieutenant Dowlin and Staff Sergeant Sewell, while severely injured, were in fairly good condition. All survivors were treated for shock and given morphine to alleviate their pain. Take off was made as soon as the survivors were aboard. They were taken to Morotai where waiting ambulances took them to the 155th General Hospital. Sgt Joseph W. Gutmann, the Surgical Technician, is to be highly commended for his treatment of the injured airmen.

Sergeant Sewell reported that while over the target, their ship was struck by anti-aircraft fire, severely damaged and set fire. It exploded when it hit the water, killing two crewmembers, the others being thrown clear by the force of the explosion. Their survival can be credited to the prompt arrival of the rescue plane and the efficient first aid administered by the Surgical Tech.

RESCUED B-25 CREWMEN: Captain Thorndyke, 1Lt Downlin, S/Sgt Sewell, 75th Bomb Squadron, 42nd Bomb Group

44-33882 (CV-336)**
CALLSIGN "Playmate 39"
CREW: (Pilot) 1Lt John R. Dickinson; (Co-pilot) 1st Lt. Frank Rauschkolb

9 hours 45 minutes

The narrative of these rescues was compiled and published in April 1946 from logbooks of pilots, notes, letters, and other
information by secretary Marina G. de Guzman in Pampanga, Philippines.

  * Aircraft produced at Canadian Vickers Ldt, Cartierville, Quebec, Canada
** Canadian Vickers contract number that was unique to each aircraft produced by at the Cartierville, Quebec plan


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