EVANS, FRANK W., JR., Technical Sergeant, #37217215, USAAF

 

Frank W. Evans Jr., was born in 1921 in England to Frank W. Evans (1898-    ) (England) and Winifred M. Evans (1903-    ) (England). A sibling was Winifred Evans (      ). He attended Kansas State Teachers College. He married Bernadine B. Evans, and in 1942, they lived at 725 E. 8th St., Pittsburg, Kansas.

 

On 25 January 1944, a B-24D, # 41-23889 (converted to ferry passengers and cargo), TSgt Evans was the engineer, trained to maintain and repair the mechanical systems on the airplane. He earned his crewman wings. The transport B-24 departed Chabua, India, at 7:40 a.m., to fly to Kunming, China. At 10:45 a.m., over the Himalayas, the formation of five B-24Ds “was forced to break up due to extreme instrument weather conditions.” All five aircraft crashed. B-24D, # 41-23889, near Jorhat, India. Crews parachuted from two and a third, which crashed, had two survivors. The fourth and fifth, “Hot as Hell” and “Haley’s Comet,” disappeared, the crews presumed dead (Tara Copp, Stars & Stripes, 8 Apr 2016). The B-24D flown by Captain Rosser was last contacted by radio at about 1200 hours.  The Chabua field had zero visibility. A group burial was held 10 November 1949 in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri.

HELM, FRED DORWIN, Sergeant, # 15082503, USAAF

 

Fred D. Helm was born 27 January 1916 in Adams County, Indiana, to Jesse James Helm (1886-1961) and Pansy Blossom (Bell) Helm (1889-1979). Siblings included Charles Alexander Helm (1914-2006) and Marjorie Bell Helen Helm (1917-1989). A 1935 Florida State census shows them living at 129 S.E. 4th St., Miami, FL.

 

His father was a manager for the Robert Clay and Pancoast hotels. Res – 3322 S.W. First St., Miami.

Graduate of Miami Senior High School and attended the University of Florida for nearly two years. He was employed by the Indiana State Highway Department. He entered the USAAF on 12 November 1941 at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, and trained in Fort Scott (radio school) and graduated in April 1942. He earned his crewman wings. He let for duty in India. On 25 January 1944, a B-24D, # 41-23889 (converted to ferry passengers and cargo), Sgt. Helm was the radio operator, departed Chabua, India, at 7:40 a.m., to fly to Kunming, China. At 10:45 a.m., over the Himalayas, the formation of five B-24Ds “was forced to break up due to extreme instrument weather conditions.” All five aircraft crashed.