42-28145         P47 (MACR 12766)

 

On 26 February 1945, a P-47D-23RA, “Stevie II,” # 42-28145, assigned to 1st Air Commando Group, Headquarters Squadron (Commander), departed the airfield at Hay (AAF field codename), at 0908 hours IST, on a patrol and bombing mission over the Mahlaing, Burma, area. Last contact with the aircraft was about 1030 hours IST over Mahlaing. The pilot was Colonel Clinton Burbridge Gaty, # 0-298742. He was last sighted by 1stLt Joe Setnor, 0-813239. 1stLt Setnor reported that his flight of 4 P-47s circled over Mahlaing at 7,500’, and he saw a lone P-47 with 1st ACG markings at 4,000’ over Mahlaing at 1030 hours IST.

 

Air search was conducted the same day by 1st Air Commando Group 1 B-25, 2 P-47s, and 4 P-51s. Searches were over Meiktila, Mahlaing west to the Irrawady River and to Sinthe. On 27 February, 1945, 1st ACG B-25s, P-47s and light aircraft (L-5s), in addition to a squadron of 221st Group P-47 Thunderbolts combed all areas in a box search. A flight of P-47s was attacked by four enemy Oscars 10 miles west of Myitkytila at about 1110 hours on 26 February 1945. There was no radio contact with Col. Gaty.

 

GATY, CLINTON BURBRIDGE, Colonel, # 0-298742, USAAF

 

Clinton B. Gaty was born in 1908 in New Jersey to Theodore Emmett Gaty (1862-    ) (MO) and Cornelia (Pomeroy)  Gaty (1870-1941) (MO) (married 23 September 1895, Woodside, Hennepin, Minnesota). Siblings included Theodore E. Gaty Jr. (1896-1928), Cornelia V. Gaty (1898-1981) (MO), John Pomeroy Gaty (1900-1963) (NJ), Louis R. Gaty (1902-1961), Anne Sherman (Gaty) Rudd (1906-1973) (MIT). His father was a Vice President of an Insurance Company in 1920. Living with them in 1900 were his maternal grandmother (next) and maternal aunt, Martha Jackman (Pomeroy) Hutchinson (1873-1961) (VT). Living with them in 1910 was his maternal grandmother, Anna S. Pomeroy (1835-1925) (VT) (widow of John W. Pomeroy (1832-1899).

 

He enlisted in in the USAAF in California. He completed flight instruction through advanced schools to pilot USAAF aircraft and in early 1942, was assigned to the First Commando Group in India/Burma theater. He was the commander as a Lieutenant Colonel then promoted to Colonel. He was a co-designer of the machine gun camera for aircraft while an engineer for the Fairchild Camera & Instrument Company (used on all USAAF combat aircraft). As the commander, he did not have to fly missions but likely did so from a deep commitment to his men and the mission. On 26 February 1945, a P-47D-23RA, “Stevie II,” # 42-28145, assigned to 1st Air Commando Group, Headquarters Squadron (Commander), departed the airfield at Hay (AAF field codename), at 0908 hours IST, on a patrol and bombing mission over the Mahlaing, Burma, area. Last contact with the aircraft was about 1030 hours IST over Mahlaing. He was last sighted by 1stLt Joe Setnor, 0-813239. 1stLt Setnor reported that his flight of 4 P-47s circled over Mahlaing at 7,500’, and he saw a lone P-47 with 1st ACG markings at 4,000’ over Mahlaing at 1030 hours IST. Air search was conducted the same day by 1st Air Commando Group by 1 B-25 Mitchell, 2 P-47s, and 4 P-51s. Searches were over Meiktila, Mahlaing west to the Irrawady River and to Sinthe. On 27 February 1945, 1st ACG B-25s, P-47s and light aircraft (L-5s), in addition to a squadron of 221st Group P-47 Thunderbolts combed all areas in a box search. A flight of P-47s was attacked by four enemy Oscars 10 miles west of Myitkytila at about 1110 hours on 26 February 1945. There was no radio contact with Col. Gaty. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. He is the 233rd name etched in granite on the San Diego State University War Memorial.