The first pass knocked out the # 2 engine of our lead aircraft, flown by 1stLt Allison. It was feathered. The second pass started engine # 1 on fire. The remaining passes concentrated on the crippled B-24J. Their B-24J was on 1stLt Allison’s right and could see that the right waist gun, tail guns, and the left nose turret gun were not firing. 1stLt Allison pulled out of formation and descended to about 300 feet. Four parachutes opened, three landed in the water and another in trees on an island. The B-24J lost altitude rapidly and crashed into the sea about 100 yards from shore. Upon water impact, the B-24J exploded and burned, and the fire died out immediately. They could still see the tail of the B-24J protruding from the water. He is remembered on the memorial at the Manila American Cemetery & Mausoleum, Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
Myrtis Matilda (Duby) Bradeen, born 31 October 1918, enlisted in the U.S. Army Womens Corps in Rutland, Vermont, on 7 December 1943, listing her occupation as a lens grinder and polisher. She was honorably discharged on 21 February 1946. She died in Hillsborough, Florida on 4 November 1996. Her grave marker says: “Tech 5, U.S. Army WW II” and she is buried in the Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery (Section F, Site F-124-b). Her husband was Clayton Bradeen (1911-2007) (married 5 July 1947 in Brattleboro, Vermont).
KAUFMAN, CHARLES, Second Lieutenant, # 0-683832, USAAF
2nd Lt Charles Kaufman survived the crash of the B-24J and was the sole survivor. He was born on 13 February 1920 in Michigan to William Kaufman (1882-1981) (born Austria – immigrated 1897, naturalized 1910) and Mildred K. (Falk) Cowan nee Kaufman (1894-1972). A sister was Helen (Kaufman) Fisher (1919-1999). The 1940 census for 2284 Taylor St., Detroit, shows his mother has married again, to Harry Cowan (1897-1969). On 30 Aprl 1946, he married Marjorie Simon Haim.
He enlisted in the USAAF in Detroit, Michigan, on 27 March 1942. He had completed three years of college at Wayne State University. He completed his training as a navigator on the B-24 and earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 15 April 1944 (his 27th combat mission), a flight of B-24J bombers assigned to the 7th Bomb Group, 9th Bomb Squadron, departed the 10th Air Force base at Pandeveswar, India, on a bombing mission to Port Blair. B-24J, # 42-100243, was in the flight and was last seen at about 1212 hours and crashed from fire from enemy aircraft. Staff Sergeants Page and DiBello, in another B-24J, reported that the formation of B-24J bombers was attacked by enemy fighters. The first pass knocked out the # 2 engine of our lead aircraft, flown by 1stLt Allison. It was feathered. The second pass started engine # 1 on fire. The remaining passes concentrated on the crippled B-24J.