Major Chester Coltharp, commanding officer of the 498th Bomb Squadron, 345th Bomb Group is seen sweeping into the Kavieng, New Ireland Japanese seaplane anchorage, which was Fifth Air Force’s target for destruction on February 15, 1944. Major Coltharp’s B-25D, PRINCESS PAT and 1/Lt. G. D. McCall’s NEAR MISS are the embodiment of the legendary Major Paul I. “Pappy” Gunn’s revolutionary gun-toting field conversion of the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber to the devastating tool of destruction that was to become known as the strafer.
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