Robert E. Finks

HYDE, MERRILL RICHARD, Staff Sergeant, # 14023531, USAAF

 

Merrill R. Hyde was born in 1920 in Vernon Parrish, Louisiana, to David Stillman Hyde (1882-1963) and Ina M. (Oakes) Hyde (1896-1995). Siblings included Chester Neal Hyde (1917-1995) and James Frank Hyde (1923-2000).

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Jackson, Mississippi, on 9 October 1940. He served with distinction overseas in the China-Burma-India war theater. On 4 February 1945, a C-46A, “Believed To Be,” # 42-107386, assigned to Air Transport Command, 1306th AAF Base Unit, Karachi, India, departed the airfield at Chabua, India, on a cargo and passenger ferry mission to Agra, India. It carried two crewmen and thirty-three passengers. He was a passenger on this flight. Like many aboard, he was on his way home. It crashed near coordinates 27º 12’ North & 93º 27’ East (Mil. Map MT 7451). One survived: TSgt Marvin H. Jacobs, 14th Air Force, who had a fractured ankle and possible internal injuries, and was evacuated from the jungle on 28 February 1945 to the 234th General Hospital. After recovery of the remains from a Military Airfield Cemetery in India, indistinguishable from one another, those who perished aboard were buried in common graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, on 6 February 1950 (Sec. 78, Graves 1034 D & E).

 

His brother, James F. Hyde, born 4 October 1923, served in the U.S. Navy from 22 November 1942 to 2 October 1945. He died on 4 April 2000 and is buried in the Bryan City Cemetery, Bryan, Brazos Co., Texas.

CASPER, HARLAN GILBERT, Staff Sergeant, # 19174473, USAAF

 

Harlan G. Casper was born on 1 December 1923 in Thayer Co., Nebraska to Henry Fred Casper (1895-1971) (IL) and Myrtle Mae (Lingle) Casper (1894-1970) (NE). Siblings included Leslie Harrison Casper (1916-1998), Rosalyn Eleanor (Casper) Hahn (1919-1993), Theora Bell (Casper) Hirleman (1920-1991), and Henry Gielan Casper (1923-1990).                 

 

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in Los Angeles, California, on 23 October 1942. He was trained as a gunner (shot the .50 caliber machinegun) on the B-25 Mitchell. He was a tail gunner on He was sent overseas to 14th Air Force in China. On 4 February 1945, a C-46A, “Believed To Be,” # 42-107386, assigned to Air Transport Command, 1306th AAF Base Unit, Karachi, India, departed the airfield at Chabua, India, on a cargo and passenger ferry mission to Agra, India.