HUTCHINSON, JOHN T., Staff Sergeant, # 32495670, USAAF

 

John T. Hutchinson was born 4 July 1920 in New York, New York, to John T. Hutchinson (1889-1966) and Beatrice (Winchell) Hutchinson (1889-1957). Siblings included Robert Francis Hutchinson (1915-1972), Alice Hutchinson (1918-2000) and Frances Gaska (####-1982).

 

He enlisted at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York, on 4 September 1942. He was trained extensively in the maintenance and function of the radio equipment and interphone on the B-24 and given training as a gunner (of a .50 caliber Browning aerial machinegun). He was sent overseas to India. On 15 April 1944 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. 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 with an Oak Leaf Cluster.

BLANC, WALTER A., Staff Sergeant, # 32693639, USAAF

 

Walter A. Blanc was born in 1924 in Long Island City, New York, to Harry Daniel Blanc (1891-1945) and Mary A. (Sporer) Blanc (1893-    ) (married 15 May 1917). In 1930, the family lived in Queens, Queens, New York, and his father worked as a bookkeeper. Mary’s grandmother, Catherine Sporer, widow (1852-    ), lived with them, as did a niece and nephew. In 1940, the family lived in Queens, New York, as an extended family, including George Sporer, widow (1879-    ), an uncle of Mary, and Katie (Catherine) Sporer, Mary’s sister (1890-    ). In 1942, Walter’s mother (Mary A. Blanc) lived at 189-15 43rd Rd., Flushing, New York. He enlisted in the USAAF and trained as an armorer, responsible for the maintenance and function of the weapons aboard the B-24 and was trained as a gunner (of the .50 caliber Browning aerial machinegun). On 15 April 1944 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 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. 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. The B-24J lost altitude rapidly and crashed into the sea. 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.