SPAIN, JAMES FONTAINE, Second Lieutenant, # 0-1698906, USAAF

 

James F. Spain was born 13 March 1920 in Memphis, Shelby, Tennessee, to Fred G Spain (1894-1956) and Phina (Ross) Spain (1897-1981). Others in the 1930 census were Lela F. Spain, aunt of Fred G.Spain (1885-    ) and Aurelia (Spain) Laud, sister of Fred G Spain (1901-    ), divorced. He married Virginia Ray Bergh on 9 Jun 1942 in Houston, Harris County, Texas. 

 

He enlisted in the U.S. Army 20 June 1939 and later transferred to the USAAF, stationed at Drew Field, assigned to the Third Interceptor Command Hqs Squadron, completed preflight training at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas, and flight training at MacDill Field and Elllington airfield on 3 July 1942. In late July 1942, he was assigned to Battle Creek, Michigan (a Warrant Officer). On 28 February 1944, his promotion from Second to First Lieutenant was announced. On 10 December 1943, at about 1230 hours, a B-25D, # 41-30362, assigned to the ICWATC, Headquarters East Search Squadron, departed Chabua, Assam, India, to search the Chabua, India, area. The aircraft was downed by fire from attack from 15 or 16 Japanese fighters. He climbed out of the top turret and parachuted. He had a head wound from shrapnel and injured a leg. He was without food as he worked his way out of the Burma jungle for 13 of 15 days (Burmese natives helped him the last days). He lost 20 lbs and had blistered feet. He recovered and was separated 23 April 1946 then rentered the USAF 12 July 1951, to retire 31 August 1966. He was promoted to and retired from the USAF a Lieutenant Colonel. Lived in Fallon from 1965 to 1981. He is remembered on the wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and the Purple Heart. He died 27 November 1998 in Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona.

OSWALT, WALTER R., Staff Sergeant, # 35265754, USAAF

 

Walter R. Oswalt was born in 1920 in Ohio to Charles W. Oswalt (1874-1944) and Lou Vernie (Garrison) Oswalt (1881-1946). Siblings included Forrest G. Oswalt (1901-1967), Edna Mae Oswalt (1903-1958), Esther V. Oswalt (1905-1988), Charles W. Oswalt Jr (1908-1989), Myrtle M. Oswalt (1910-    ), Russell Raymond Oswalt (1913-1994), Orval W. Oswalt (1917-1975), and Ralph Leroy Oswalt (1923-2000). From 1910 – 1930, the family lived in Mississinawa, Darke County, Ohio.