LITTON, WILLIE RODGERS, Staff Sergeant, # 18097753, U.S. Army

 

Willie R. Litton was born in El Dorado, Arkansas, on 22 November 1921 to Herman Litton (1890-1966) and Oma Ada (Lockett) Litton (1895-1981). Siblings included James Wayne Litton (1916-1998), Sybil Marie Litton (1919-1920), Herman Neal Litton (1927-1966), and Charles Glenn Litton (1929-2013). In 1930 the family lived in Nocona, Montague, Texas, just south of the border with Oklahoma and west of Denton, Texas, with his grandmother, Charlie Ann (Tatum) Litton (1869-1943), an uncle, James Hill Litton (1894-1934) and a first cousin, Margaret E. Litton (1919-    ). The 1940 census shows them in Gladewater, Texas, with his parents, Wayne J., Charles G., and Neal Litton (1928-    ).

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 16 February 1942, when he resided in Gladewater, Gregg County, Texas. He described himself as 5’6”, 140 lbs, with black hair and grey eyes. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 22 September 1942 in Tyler, Texas, a few hours drive from Gladewater. He completed his training and was sent overseas, where he was in China and India. On 25 January 1944, a B-24D, # 41-23889 (converted to ferry passengers and cargo – SSgt Litton was a passenger), 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. (Photograhs next page)

 

TROY, FRANK C., Staff Sergeant, # 32501405, U.S. Army

 

Frank C. Troy was born in 1918 in New York. He attended the Aquinas Institute (college preparatory school – grades 6-12 – formerly Rochester Catholic H.S.) in Rochester, New York. In June 1942, he married Eleanor Elizabeth Wright (one of twins) (1909-1968).

 

On 25 January 1944, a B-24D, # 41-23889 (converted to ferry passengers and cargo – SSgt Troy was a passenger), 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. (Photographs next page)