42-27572         P47

 

On 12 November 1944, a P-47D-25, “The Guzzler,” # 42-27572, assigned to 10th Air Force Task Force, 1st Air Commando Group, 5th Fighter Squadron, departed the airfield at Fenni on a strafing mission over Laihka, Burma. It was seen to crash at about 1245 hours at military map grid PP-705. The pilot was Lt. Hilton D. Weesner (the copy of the MACR on fold3.com is blurred – illegible).

 

Capt. Roland R. Lynn reported that Lt. Weesner completed a strafing run of the Meiktila Airdromes at 1245 hours (Meiktila airfield is adjacent to Rangoon, Burma). Meesner climbed to 7,000’ on a course of 300º when he contacted Capt. Lynn and told him that he lost oil pressure and his engine was running rough. A minute later, Weesner said his engine was backfiring and cutting out. He would have to make a forced landing. Weesner went into a glide and lost altitude rapidly. Weesner made a rough forced landing. Lynn circled and made 2 passes and saw Lt. Weesner slumped in the cockpit. Weesner’s P-47 began to burn slowly. Low on fuel, Lynn had to leave.

 

WEESNER, HILTON DEE, First Lieutenant, USAAF

 

Hilton D. Weesner was born on 8 January 1922 in Center Township, Grant Co., Indiana, to Russell Ashur Weesner (1896-1955) and Edith Bernice (McMillan) Weesner (1897-1972). Siblings included Maclyn Meredith Weesner (1919-1996), Merrill Devon Weesner (1921-1993), Dwight Leland Weesner (1923-2004), Ina Margaret (Weesner) Chearhart (1925-2006), Lucy Lou (Weesner) Harder (1926-1958), Alma Mae (Weesner) Turner (1927-    ), Russell A. Weesner Jr. (1928-1953), Larry Arnold Weesner (1930-    ), Ronald Keith Weesner (1932-2006), Joyce June (Weesner) Ruch (1933-1989), Shirley Ann (Weesner) Lannoo (1935-    ), Nancy Jane (Weesner) Green (1935-2010), Lorne Weesner (1937-    ), Dennis Beauford Weesner (1938-1992), and one more brother and three more sisters. He completed high school. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1956. He was married to Dorothy (Stajkowski) Weesner (1924-2017) and they had a daughter, Sharon “Shari” Lynn (Weesner) McGovern (1960-2013).

 

He enlisted at Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Indiana, living in St. Joseph County, Indiana, in the USAAF on 20 May 1942 (enlisted svc # 15080512). He completed flight instruction through advanced schools and earned his commission and pilot wings as a fighter pilot. On 12 November 1944, a P-47D-25, “The Guzzler,” # 42-27572, assigned to 10th Air Force Task Force, 1st Air Commando Group, 5th Fighter Squadron, departed the airfield at Fenni on a strafing mission over Laihka, Burma. It was seen to crash at about 1245 hours at military map grid PP-705. Capt. Roland R. Lynn reported that Lt. Weesner completed a strafing run of the Meiktila Airdromes at 1245 hours (Meiktila airfield is adjacent to Rangoon, Burma). Meesner climbed to 7,000’ on a course of 300º when he contacted Capt. Lynn and told him that he lost oil pressure and his engine was running rough. A minute later, Weesner said his engine was backfiring and cutting out. He would have to make a forced landing. Weesner went into a glide and lost altitude rapidly. Weesner made a rough forced landing. Lynn circled and made 2 passes and saw Lt. Weesner slumped in the cockpit. Weesner’s P-47 began to burn slowly. Low on fuel, Lynn had to leave.  2ndLt Weesner was captured by the Japanese and was a POW in the Rangoon Jail (former British prison) from 12 November 1944 to 2 May 1945, when the Rangoon POWs were liberated. He died on 6 October 2001 in South Bend, St. Joseph Co., Indiana, and is buried in the Chapel Hills Memorial Gardens, South Bend, Indiana. He was awarded the Air Medal, the Purple Heart, and the POW Medal.