Welcome to the Official Home of the
500th Bomb Squadron.
(One of four squadrons of the 345th Bomb Group, 5th Air Force, WWII)

Page updated March 23, 2021

Ordeal of Tondelayo

Ordeal of Tondelayo
Painting by Steve W. Ferguson   by way of  Lawrence J. Hickey

This most famous B-25 of the 500th Bomb Squadron was named after Hedy Lamar's sultry character in the movie "White Cargo." The above picture shows TONDELAYO is fighting for her life with 1/Lt. Ralph G. Wallace at the controls, its right engine shot out, skimming over the water of St. George's Channel after bombing a Japanese ship at Vunapope near Rabaul on October 18, 1943.  On the left wing is the flight leader, Capt. Lyle E. Anacker, in SNAFU, while 1/Lt. Harlan H. Peterson, flying SORRY SATCHUL, is just about to set down in the water after losing an engine during a Japanese fighter attack. Tondelayo was under constant attack for 75 minutes in a running gun battle with approximately fifty Japanese fighter planes of the 204th Japanese Kokutai Zeros.  She did get in a few good licks, though, with the turret gunner, Sgt. John A Murphy, given credit for shooting down five aircraft, making him an ace.  Four other fighter planes crashed into the water after misjudging distances on their passes.  The 345th Group earned the coveted Distinguished Unit Citation and Tondelayo's crew members earned a Silver Star for their bravery.  This flight by Tondelayo was considered one of the finest examples of bravery, tenacity and endurance by any crew of the 345th.
500th Bomb Squadron Patch
Early 345th Patch
Waving Flag
Late 345th Patch 5th Air Force Patch

Serving in the following Campaigns:
New Guinea, Northern Solomons,
Bismarck Archipelago, Southern Philippines,
Luzon, Western Pacific, China, Ryukyus,
and the Air Offensive Against Japan

All Gave Some!    Some Gave All !

To learn more, check these pages
Click below for the page you wish to visit.

Photos of Then
The 500th Honor Roll
 Mission Reports & Maps
  Recent Reunions
Bulletin Board Permanent
Bulletin Board Temporary
Biographies Obituaries

free hit counter

Thanks for visiting us, we hope you found your visit enjoyable.  If you have any comments or suggestions drop a line to the Web Master by clicking here Webmaster