1stLt Jack H. Potter, 0-794447, reported that Lt.Col. Wells was flight leader and 2ndLt Skelton was flying # 2 position. The mission was low level. They approached from the South and up the river, strafing and bombing river craft encountered. At Kiukiang, they saw two large boats anchored by the North bank. Lt. Skelton attacked the nearest but turned to the left toward the city before closing to bombing range. He made a 360 degree right turn and bombed the dock. There was a large explosion. Potter next saw Skelton leaving Kiukiang on a southerly heading, trailing smoke, and in a climbing left turn. Skelton’s B-25 began losing altitude with its left wing down. There appeared to be no recovery attempt and it crashed about 5 miles South of the town. It burst into flames and exploded on impact. It skidded along then a 2nd explosion occurred. 2ndLt Robert S. Thompson, 0-796455, reported that Skelton and Potter began a run on the 2 ships, which were destroyers, Skelton made a sharp left turn toward town. He made a right turn and flew past the destroyers. He climbed to about 1,000’, made a 180 degree left turn and dove to about 500’ and released bombs. There was a terrific explosion. Skelton made a right turn over town, losing altitude. He skidded on the ground, but the B-25 burst into flames about 2-3 miles out of the town. 2ndLt Albert J. Vavrick, 0-7971-4, reported added that there was a lot of anti-aircraft fire and a large formation of enemy fighters. After recovery of crew remains, those of Skelton, Schmidt, and Miller, were indistinguishable. They were buried in a group ceremony in the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, on 18 July 1949 (Sec. 34, Grave 4996-4997).

 

His brother, John M. “Sarge” Skelton, born 31 May 1920, served in the U.S. Army from 27 June 1940 to 2 October 1945, and from 30 March 1948 to 17 November 1949 and from 5 June 1961 to 31 March 1963 (23 years service, First Sergeant). He died on 30 November 2000 and is buried in the Williams Cemetery, Arthur, Pike Co., Indiana.

 

His brother, Robert W. Skelton, born 26 February 1934, served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 10 July 1952 to 9 July 1955 and in the U.S. Army from 20 August 1956 to 31 August 1973 (Chief Warrant Officer). He died 6 August 2009 and is interred in the Evergreen Memorial Gardens, Panama City, Bay Co., Florida.