The next-of-kin listed were:

                             Wilcox             Mrs. Dorothy A. Wilcox, mother, #3#6 Southeast 40th Ave, Portland, OR

                              Reamer            Mr. Frank Reamer, father, 711 Highland Ave, Greenburg, PA

                              Bryce               Mrs. Cecil W. Bryce, mother, Crockett, TX

                              Miranda           Mrs. Margaret Miranda, NY

                              Shearer            Mrs. Nellie  Shearer, mother, Rte 2, Miami, FL

WILCOX, ERNEST MARTIN, Flight Officer, # T-190668, USAAF

 

Ernest M. Wilcox was born in 1919 to Ernest Wilcox (1892-1985) and Dorothy Ann (Jones nee McHale) Wilcox (1893-1954) and in 1940 the family lived in Marshland, Columbia, Oregon. He was survived by his parents, a brother, Bernard Patrick Jones (1913-1997) and a sister.

 

Assigned to the 22nd Transport Group, 78th Transport Squadron, C-46A, # 41-12298, departed Tezpur, India on a mission to Kunming Air Base, China. It was expected to be flying IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) over the Hump because of inclimate weather. It left on 1 July 1943 between 0735 and 1130 hours. Flight Officer Ernest M. Wilcox was the pilot of the C-46A when it was lost over the Himalayas. Flight Officer Wilcox had been flying the Hump for just less than six months for a total of about 495 hours. He had a total of 347 hours on twin-engine aircraft plus 28 hours IFR time. He had a total of 84 hours in the C-46. Lloyd Marlaire, Flight Officer, made a report regarding the sortie of a C-46A, 41-12295, on the same route at the same time. Flying at 17,500 feet, on instruments, the weather was so poor that at times they could not see the wingtips. At that time, he was 120º from Chabua, India, and about 40 miles out of Chabua. There was a momentary period of exceedingly rough turbulence, not unusual on that route. They landed in Kunming, China. After landing, he noticed that the right wing tip was damaged and there was a dent on the right top side of the fuselage. The right wing tip deicer boot O.D. paint on it and the dent indicated that a vertical object struck the plane. It was hypothesized that there had been an accidental collision between the aircraft; by 2ndLt Robert C. Burt, Assistant Operations Officer. No search was possible due to the weather and necessary altitude. Flight Officer Wilcox had been flying the Hump for just less than six months for a total of about 495 hours. He had a total of 347 hours on twin-engine aircraft plus 28 hours IFR time. He had a total of 84 hours in the C-46. In a letter dated 20 August 1945, it was noted the aircraft had been missing for over two years without a trace – Capt. Owen L. Sutherland. He is remembered on the wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.