BENEDICT, CAMERON ROBERT, Second Lieutenant, # 0-684602, USAAF

 

Cameron R. Benedict enlisted in the USAAF and was trained as a bombardier on the B-29 Superfortress and was sent overseas to India. On 14 December 1944, a B-29 40BW, # 42-24574, assigned to 20th Air Force, 40th Bomb Group, 45th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Chakulia, India, on a bombing mission at 20,000’, over Rangoon railway yards, Burma, and Bangkok, Siam (Thailand). It crashed about 70 to 80 miles west of Rangoon. Its last known location was near 16º 46’ North & 94º 46’ East. According to 1stLt Etherington, the crew was able to bail out, were captured by enemy Burmese and turned over to the Japanese enemy, who imprisoned them in the Rangoon Cantonment (old British Prison). The pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier, engineer, and radio operator bailed out through the nosewheel well. The waist gunners, senior gunner, tail gunner, and radar operator bailed out through the rear door. The co-pilot sprained an ankle upon landing. The rest were uninjured by the jump. Therington, Benedict, Fletcher, Majors, Oglesby, Pisterzi, Basche, and Cochran were marched through the jungle by the enemy for 65 miles when the Japanese abandoned them in a Burmese village about 10 miles NW of Pegu, Burma. By 29 April 1945, they were liberated by the British Army. Shanks, Lentz and Sommers were imprisoned in the Rangoon Cantonment. Upon liberation, they were taken to the 142nd General Hospital, Calcutta, India.

ETHERINGTON, GALPIN MILLS, First Lieutenant, # 0-863760, USAAF

 

Galpin M. Etherington was born on 14 September 1921 in Owosso, Shiawassee Co., Michigan to Frederick S. Osterheld (1888-1923) and Mathilda Tosina (Reinhardt) Osterheld (1896-2000) (married 21 February 1919, Michigan) and she subsequently married Eric Llewelyn Etherington (1897-1991) (NJ) on 26 March 1926 in Michigan). A half-sister was Judith (Etherington) Lissner (1927-    ) OH). He was married to Inga Margaret Beck (1919-2017) and they had two children.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF 12 July 1943 and was trained as a flight engineer (responsible for the maintenance of the B-29 and in flight monitored an array of switches and dials to keep the B-29 aloft) on the B-29 Superfortress and was sent overseas to India. On 14 December 1944, a B-29 40BW, # 42-24574, assigned to 20th Air Force, 40th Bomb Group, 45th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Chakulia, India, on a bombing mission at 20,000’, over Rangoon railway yards, Burma, and Bangkok, Siam (Thailand). It crashed about 70 to 80 miles west of Rangoon. Its last known location was near 16º 46’ North & 94º 46’ East. According to 1stLt Etherington, the crew was able to bail out, were captured by enemy Burmese and turned over to the Japanese enemy, who imprisoned them in the Rangoon Cantonment (old British Prison). The pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier, engineer, and radio operator bailed out through the nosewheel well. The waist gunners, senior gunner, tail gunner, and radar operator bailed out through the rear door. The co-pilot sprained an ankle upon landing. The rest were uninjured by the jump. Therington, Benedict, Fletcher, Majors, Oglesby, Pisterzi, Basche, and Cochran were marched through the jungle by the enemy for 65 miles when the Japanese abandoned them in a Burmese village about 10 miles NW of Pegu, Burma.