42-27406         P-47

 

On 28 January 1945, a P-47D-23RA, # 42-27406, assigned to 10th Air Force, 80th Fighter Group, 90th Fighter Squadron, departed the airfield at Myitkyina East, Burma, with other fighters, on a bombing and strafing mission. The fighter was seen to crash by 1stLt Gerald F. Wergin, 0-813271, and 2ndLt Donald H. Ratchford, 0-823150, at about 1015 hours about 3,000 yards SSE of Banwe, Burma. It was flown by 1stLt Charles F. Stevenson, # 0-814784.

 

1stLt Wergin reported that he was leading Storm Proof Red Flight on a close ground support mission directed by ground control station Snail Pace. Upon arrival, he directed a string formation at 8,000’. On the first pass, he dropped 1 500 lb bomb to mark the target. On his second pass, he dropped a 2nd bomb and the rest of the flight dropped their first bomb. He made a 3rd bomb run and strafed and the rest of the flight dropped their bombs. The # 4 fighter called and said that a bomb was still attached to the # 3 fighter. On another pass, the # 3, Lt. Stevenson, was very low and gained a little altitude to under 100’. It descended, hit underbrush and small trees and crashed; it exploded immediately. 2ndLt Robert E. McNair, 0-822218, reported similarly.

 

2ndLt Ratchford reported that he noticed that Lt. Stevenon’s bomb did not release. Another run was made and the bomb was released. Lt. Stevenson passed about 100’ or lower over his bomb blast, his right wing passing over the center of the explosion. He climbed to about 200’ and then went into a sharp dive and did not recover. Upon impact, an explosion followed, and the smoke rose to about 2,000’.

 

STEVENSON, CHARLES F., First Lieutenant, # 0-814784, USAAF

 

Charles F. Stevenson enlisted in the USAAF in Peoria, Illinois, on 22 January 1942. He completed flight instruction through advanced schools to earn his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 28 January 1945, a P-47D-23RA, # 42-27406, assigned to 10th Air Force, 80th Fighter Group, 90th Fighter Squadron, departed the airfield at Myitkyina East, Burma, with other fighters, on a bombing and strafing mission. The fighter was seen to crash by 1stLt Gerald F. Wergin, 0-813271, and 2ndLt Donald H. Ratchford, 0-823150, at about 1015 hours about 3,000 yards SSE of Banwe, Burma. 1stLt Wergin reported that he was leading Storm Proof Red Flight on a close ground support mission directed by ground control station Snail Pace. Upon arrival, he directed a string formation at 8,000’. On the first pass, he dropped 1 500 lb bomb to mark the target. On his second pass, he dropped a 2nd bomb and the rest of the flight dropped their first bomb. He made a 3rd bomb run and strafed and the rest of the flight dropped their bombs. The # 4 fighter called and said that a bomb was still attached to the # 3 fighter. On another pass, the # 3, Lt. Stevenson, was very low and gained a little altitude to under 100’. It descended, hit underbrush and small trees and crashed; it exploded immediately. 2ndLt Robert E. McNair, 0-822218, reported similarly. 2ndLt Ratchford reported that he noticed that Lt. Stevenon’s bomb did not release. Another run was made and the bomb was released. Lt. Stevenson passed about 100’ or lower over his bomb blast, his right wing passing over the center of the explosion. He climbed to about 200’ and then went into a sharp dive and did not recover. Upon impact, an explosion followed, and the smoke rose to about 2,000’. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.