URSILLO, ALFRED (NMI), Sergeant, # 11070647, USAAF

 

He was born 28 June 1921 to John (Giovanni) Ursillo (1877-1970) and Emilia (Giglio) Ursillo (1879-1948), both born in Italy (immigrated 1896 – married 24 June 1906). Siblings included Jennie E. (Ursillo) Squillacci (1907-1992), Sue “Susie” (Ursillo) Carrara (1908-1997), Ralph Ursillo (1910-1996), John Ursillo (1916-    ) and James Ursillo (1918-    ). In 1940, living with them was a brother-in-law to Alfred’s father, Francisco Giglio (1886-    ), born in Italy and naturalized.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Providence, Rhode Island, on 10 August 1942. On 25 January 1944, a B-24D, # 41-23889 (converted to ferry passengers and cargo – Sgt Ursillo 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.

 

O’BRIEN, WILLIS (NMI), JR., Sergeant, # 39119980, U.S. Army

 

Willis O’Brien, Jr., was born 19 July 1914 in San Francisco, California to Willis O’Brien (1885-1954) and Lillian E. (McDonald) O’Brien (1884-1978). His father was an accountant and supervisor for the City-County San Francisco Controller’s Office. They resided at 461 Pacheco, San Francisco, in 1937. In 1942, they lied at 2235 Laguna, San Francisco. His parents are buried in Saint John’s Cemetery, San Mateo, California.

 

He enlisted on 12 January 1943, in San Francisco, California, and had completed four years of college. On 25 January 1944, a B-24D, # 41-23889 (converted to ferry passengers and cargo – Sgt O’Brien 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.

RUSH, FRANK J., Private First Class, # 32398591, U.S. Army

 

Frank Joseph Rush was born on 6 June 1921 in New York to Robertson J. Rush (1895-1949) and Elizabeth Rush (1901-    ). Siblings included Geraldine “Gerry” Rush (1922-    ), Robertson Joseph Rush Jr. (1924-2011), Elizabeth “Betty” Rush (1927-    ), Harry Rush (1927-1982), and William “Billy” Rush (1929-2008). In 1942, the family lived at 3415 Avenue K, Brooklyn.