A crew reported that they saw 41-24218 going down in a spin, its bomb bay door close, and no parachutes were seen. Capt. Don B. Smith, 0-793188 reported that he saw the B-24 flip inverted and crash into the Bay [Gulf] of Tonkin. There was an explosion when it impacted the water. The body of TSgt Pershke was recovered by French who saw the crash. The rest of the formation parted and dropped their bombs in the Gulf of Tonkin to improve their chances of escaping the many enemy fighters. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

 

His brother, Victor N. Hjorth, born 14 October 1917, served during WWII from 28 December 1942 to 10 January 1946. He died 21 October 1974 and is buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery, Seattle, King Co., Washington.

EVERLY, JAMES MARION, Captain, # 0-728365, USAAF

 

James M. Everly was born on 26 July 1919 in Tar River Village, Quapaw Township, Ottawa Co., Oklahoma to Francis Marion Everly (1875-1928) and Mae F. (Williams) Everly (1898-    ). He was adopted by Elmer Lee Chenault (1878-1965) and Florence (Haley) Chenault (1882-1959) in his adolescence.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF on 29 June 1940. He completed navigator training through advanced schools on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to India and China. On 15 September 1943 a B-24J Liberator, “Daisy May,” # 41-24218, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 373rd Bomb Squadron, Yangkai, China, departed the airfield to bomb Haiphong, French Indochina (Annam or Vietnam). The flight of five of seven B-24s (two were unable to take off) were to bomb the cement plant. Planners were unaware of enemy fighters that had been brought in and were nearby. The B-25s had no fighter cover and were attacked by about 50 enemy fighters over Haiphong at about 8,000’ altitude. A crew reported that they saw 41-24218 going down in a spin, its bomb bay door close, and no parachutes were seen. Capt. Don B. Smith, 0-793188 reported that he saw the B-24 flip inverted and crash into the Bay [Gulf] of Tonkin. There was an explosion when it impacted the water. The body of TSgt Pershke was recovered by French who saw the crash. The rest of the formation parted and dropped their bombs in the Gulf of Tonkin to improve their chances of escaping the many enemy fighters. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.