SSgt Willie R. Litton

Frank J. Troy, a poet, musician & hero

WHEATLEY, EDWARD BACON, Staff Sergeant, # 32404714, U.S. Army

 

Edward B. Wheatley was born in 1905 in White Plains, Westchester Co., New York to Edward Martin Wheatley (1873-1945) and Emily Josephine (Bacon) Wheatley (1880-    ), married 25 June 1903 in Springfield, Vermont. Siblings included Edward Martin Wheatley (1904-1904) and Marjorie Wheatley (1913-    ). 1920 shows them at 142 Fisher Ave., White Plains. 1930 shows them living at 143 Orchard Parkway in White Plains; 1940 on Barker Ave., White Plains. He married Eleanor Elizabeth Wright (1909-1968), a twin of Katherine Wright (1909-    ).

 

He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 13 July 1942 at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York, and had four years of college. On 25 January 1944, a B-24D, # 41-23889 (converted to ferry passengers and cargo – SSgt Wheatley 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.