9 Nov 1943 — Port Moresby, New Guinea
John A. Wright, Jr. born on 8 February 1909 in Collier, West Virginia to Mr. & Mrs. John A. Wright, Sr.
Enlisted as a Private in the Army Air Corps on 23 March 1942 at New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. Completed basic training and the Aviation Mechanics School at Kessler Field near Biloxi, Mississippi. Graduated from the Army Air Forces Flexible Gunnery School at Tyndall Field, Florida. Completed Bombardier and Navigation training at Carlsbad Field, New Mexico. Underwent B-25 twin-engine aircraft operational training at Daniel Field near Augusta, Georgia. Completed B-25 aircraft advanced combat crew training at Greenville and Columbia Army Air Bases in South Carolina. On 7 July 1943, he deployed to the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations and was assigned to Fifth Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group ("The Grim Reapers"), 90th Bomb Squadron stationed at Dobodura Airfield Complex in New Guinea. On 9 November 1943, he flew as an Aerial Gunner in the Bombardier’s Plexiglas nose compartment aboard a North American Aviation B-25C Mitchell bomber. It was one of over 40 aircraft on a mission to strafe and bombard Japanese forces at the Alexishafen Airdrome in the Madang Province along the north coast of New Guinea. Staff Sergeant Wright was killed in action during this attack.
TUESDAY 9 NOVEMBER 1943
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force): 40+ B-25's and A-20's of the 3rd Bomb Group; escorted by P-38's of the 475th Fighter Group and P-47's, pound the airfield at Alexishafen, destroying at least 12 enemy airplanes.
While officially designated the 3rd Bombardment Group (Light), the group un-officially styled itself with its historic name; the "3d Attack Group" (The Grim Reapers) after being equipped with low-altitude strafing bombers. The 13th and 90th Squadrons were equipped with its "Dutch" B-25s field-modified into the B-25C-1 strafer configuration.