41-5204           MACR 316

 

On 7 August 1943 a C-46 Commando, # 41-5204, assigned to 10th Air Force, 1st Transport Group, 6th Transport Squadron, Monhanbari, India, departed the airfield on a cargo mission to Yang Kai, China, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump). An engine failed and it crashed in the north end of the Chindwin Valley, Burma (northeastern Burma, near India). The crew was:

                                      Pilot                             F/O Max E. Wilbur                              T-190677

                                      Co-Pilot                       2ndLt Jack R. Tate                               0-794368

                                      Navigator                    2ndLt Raymond V. Bouche                  0-796946

                                      Radio Operator            TSgt Richard Stapleford                      13019512

                                      Crew Chief                  TSgt Kullervo T. Aaltonen                  13001692

                                      Passenger                     F/O Kenneth E. Grill                          T-190684

The crew and passenger were declared dead on 2 September 1945 by Hqs, 1332nd AAF Base Uni, 10th Air Force. The next-of-kin list is hard to read but, here’s my best:

                                             Tate                 Albert R. Tate, F, PA

                                             Bouche            W, New Orleans, LA

                                             Wilbur             Amy Wilbur, M, Waterville, NY

                                             Grill                 Judith Grill, M, PA

                                             Aaltonen          Bertha Aaltonen, M, Mass.

                                             Stapleford        Floyd A. Stapleford, F, NC 

WILBUR, MAX ELWIN, Flight Officer, # T-190677, USAAF

 

Max E. Wilbur was born on 16 October 1923 in Cambridge, New York, to Claude Charles Wilbur (1898-1980) and Amy Congdon (Biggart) Wilbur (1898-1955) (married 27 March 1920, Washington Co., NY). Siblings were Clarence Albert Wilbur (1922-1998), Martha C. (Wilbur) Button (1930-    ), and David E. Wilbur (1932-2014).

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Utica, New York, on 29 October 1941. After enlisting, he completed flight instruction through advanced schools and was assigned to fly the Curtiss C-46 Commando. He was multi-engine rated and earned his appointment as a Flight Officer and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 7 August 1943 a C-46 Commando, # 41-5204, assigned to 10th Air Force, 1st Transport Group, 6th Transport Squadron, Monhanbari, India, departed the airfield on a cargo mission to Yang Kai, China, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump). An engine failed and it crashed in the north end of the Chindwin Valley, Burma (northeastern Burma, near India). He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A memorial was placed in the Easton Rural Cemetery, Easton, Washington Co., New York. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.

 

His brother, Clarence A. Wilbur, born 16 February 1922, served in the U.S. Navy from 24 January 1945 and 13 June 1946. He died 19 February 1998 and is buried in the North Fairview Cemetery, Wellington, Collingsworth, Texas.