42-100704

 

On 19 October 1944, a C-47A, # 42-100704, assigned to 10th Air Force, 443rd Troop Carrier Group, 315th Troop Carrier Squadron, departed Ledo, India, headed to Myitkyina, Burma (which had been retaken by allied forces) on a routine operational flight. Last contact was by radio. The crew was:

 

                                            Pilot                             2ndLt David P. Greene                         0-718615

                                            Co-Pilot                       F/O John W. Mendenhall                     T-125375

                                            Radio Operator            Cpl Seymour M. Weiner                      39236326

 

It was designated a battle casualty. Last contact was with SSgt George (NMI) Walker, 6891857. The C-47A was last heard from at 1930 hours. Contact was by radio and the C-47A was requesting a bearing to Ledo airfield.

 

A letter from B. Weiner, 3003 Virginia Road, Los Angeles, CA, dated 9 February 1945, was sent to E.A. Bradunas, Major, Adjutant General’s Dept., Chief, Notification Branch, Personal Affairs Division, Assistant Chief of Staff, Personnel, Attention AFPPA-8, AAF-201 (9301) Seymour M. Weiner, 39236326, said: We have received a letter dated 15 January 1945 from Chaplain Blumenthal, Headquarters, Advance Section # 3, APO 689, which said: “I made inquiries about your son and deely regret to inform you that the chances of his being alive at this late date are very slim. For the sake of your feelings, I believe it is best to assume the fact of his death. The area in which the accident occurred is not too distant from here and presumably could have been reached long before October 19th.”  The flimsy deductions of an untactful person who has taken it upon himself to forward to parents information – parents who seek and hang onto every word that will give factual information and not use words as “slim” and “assume.” I am quoting from a letter received from your office dated November 17, 1944: “Further information has been received indicating that Corporal Weiner was a crew member of a C-47 (Skytrain) transport plane which departed from Burma on a mission to India on October 19th. Details are not available, but the report indicates that at about 7:30 p.m., a radio message was received from your son’s plane requesting direction to its base, however, the aircraft’s position at that time was unstated. The report further indicates that thecause and circumstances of the loss of this transport are presently unknown.” This letter from the Chaplain has added more anxiety, and further information from your office that you may have received could allay some of the anxiety. Sincerely yours, Signed B. Weiner.

 

Assistant Base Chaplain Ralph H. Blumenthal, in a statement, says: “On the 14th of January, 1945, I received a letter forwarded to me by Chaplain Dubin from Mrs. Jessie Weiner, mother of Corporal Seymour M. Weiner, 39236326, containing a request for information regarding the chances of his being alive. Therefore, I called the Headquarters of the missing soldier’s unit, the 315th Troop Carrier Squadron, APO 689, and asked them what reply should be made to this letter. It was stated that, in view of the fact that the plane which crashed on its way from Myitkyina to Ledo, was last heard from only a short time before it was due to arrive at its destination, the location of the crash was not far from this area. It was further stated that the man must be presumed to be dead as he could have returned long before this date, had he survived. I was advised by the above Headquarters to convey the substance of these facts to the person requesting the information. The endeavor was made to impart this information in such a manner as to enable the parents of the soldier to adjust themselves to reality, yet not give up entirely every vestige of hope.”