BROWN, WALTER CASSINS, Technical Sergeant, # 19032809, USAAF
Walter C. Brown was born in 1919 in Clarkston, Asotin County, Washington, to Robert Samuel Brown (1875-1955) and Maude Alice (Turner) Brown (1887-1966). His siblings included Frank Brown (1911-2001), Harold Madison Brown (1913-2003) and Richard Wayne Brown (1915-2006).
He enlisted 13 January 1941 at Fort George Wright and after being trained as an engineer on the B-25, was sent overseas and assigned to the 341st Bombardment Group (Medium), the 22nd Bombardment Squadron. He was the engineer-gunner on B-25C, # 42-32264, on 25 July 1943, when it was lost in the vicinity of the Bay of Bengal and the Burma coast. It encountered rough weather (monsoons) and crashed, never to be found. Nine B-25s of the 22nd Bomber Squadron departed Chakulia AB 26 July 194 at 1430 hrs on a search mission for missing B-25C, # 42-32264. Six flew parallel patterns diagonally 12 miles apart across the Bay of Bengal, on a heading of 120º, striking the East shore points from Cox Dazer to south of Akyab. Each then flews 6 miles on a heading of 210º, turning at this point to a heading of 300º, which was parallel to their course 6 miles to the Bay. He is remembered on the wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
21 October 1943 - The Post Register -The Distinguished Flying Cross was awarded to TSgt Walter C. Brown of Winchester, Idaho, by 10th Air Force.
# 41-12298, C-46A Curtiss Commando transport
Assigned to the 22nd Transport Group, 78th Transport Squadron, C-46A, # 41-12298, departed Tezpur, India on a mission to Kunming Air Base, China. It was expected to be flying IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) over the Hump because of inclimate weather. It left on 1 July 1943 between 0735 and 1130 hours. The crew was comprised of:
Pilot Flight Officer Ernest M. Wilcox T-190668
Co-Pilot 1stLt Willie L. Bryce 0-124300
Navigator 1stLt Jack M. Reamer 0-434573
Radio Operator SSgt. Thomas G. Miranda 32510363
Engineer Corporal Walter A. Shearer 39827785
Lloyd Marlaire, Flight Officer, made a report regarding the sortie of a C-46A, 41-12295, on the same route at the same time. Flying at 17,500 feet, on instruments, the weather was so poor that at times they could not see the wingtips. At that time, he was 120º from Chabua, India, and about 40 miles out of Chabua. There was a momentary period of exceedingly rough turbulence, not unusual on that route. They landed in Kunming, China. After landing, he noticed that the right wing tip was damaged and there was a dent on the right top side of the fuselage. The right wing tip deicer boot O.D. paint on it and the dent indicated that a vertical object struck the plane. It was hypothesized that there had been an accidental collision between the aircraft; by 2ndLt Robert C. Burt, Assistant Operations Officer. No search was possible due to the weather and necessary altitude. Flight Officer Wilcox had been flying the Hump for just less than six months for a total of about 495 hours. He had a total of 347 hours on twin-engine aircraft plus 28 hours IFR time. He had a total of 84 hours in the C-46. In a letter dated 20 August 1945, it was noted the aircraft had been missing for over two years without a trace – Capt. Owen L. Sutherland.