KEATING, HARLAND BENJAMIN, First Lieutenant, # 0-2051767, USAAF
Harland B. Keating was born on 1 July 1919 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Keating (unknown) and Dorothy Elizabeth (Nippes) Cameron nee Keating (1901- ). In 1920 through 1940, Dorothy Keating and her son, Harland, lived with his maternal grandparents, Benjamin W. Nippes (1875-1960) and Della “Adella” Carrie Nippes (1878-1946), and maternal uncles, Albert Joseph Nippes (1903-1969), Frank Theodore Nipes (1906-1943), and Roy Nipes (1912-1969). He graduated from West Chester, State Teachers College, Pennsylvania.
He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, resided at 5214 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia, PA, a student at the State Teacher’s College, and described himself as 5’10 ½”, 160 lbs, with blond hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF as an aviation cadet on 18 December 1941 and completed flight instruction through advanced schools and was assigned to fly the B-25 Mitchell. He was multi-engine rated and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 30 December 1943 a B-25D, # 41-30457, assigned to 14th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 11th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Suichwan, China, on a mission to attack the enemy positions west along the Yangtze River. Witnesses saw it get hit and crash and saw no survivors. Witnesses to the crash included 1stLt Robert A. Nice, 0-693433, 2ndLt Thomas H. Anderson, 0-738062, 2ndLt Merry A. Maney, 0-800147, and SSgt Eugene E. Banzhof, 32277303. The witnesses reported that they saw the B-25 drop bombs on an enemy ship then climb; then at about 200 MPH, nose down, part of the right wing separated; then the B-25 was seen to descend, hit the high mud river bank and explode and burn. They saw no survivors. The crash was 10 miles upriver from Anking, China. 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 Medal.