42-39364         P-61

 

On 23 April 1945, a Northrop P-61-A-10 Black Widow, # 42-39364, assigned to 10th Air Force, 427th Night Fighter Squadron, departed the airfield at Myitkyina, Burma, on a mission over Wan-Yin, Burma. The pilot and radar observor were, respectively: 1stLt Jack W. Erickson, # 0-754484, and 2ndLt Charles E. Wydra, # 0-553793.

 

The P-61 was last seen by 2ndLt Harlie R. Montgomery, 0-889755, and 2ndLt Lester L. Mahon, 0-889754. Parachutes were seen and person(s) were seen to be walking away from the crashed P-61. The information about the parachutes and crewmen walking from the crash was received 2 days after the P-61 was reported missing. The location given was about 8 miles south of Loi Ka, Burma (military map coordinates LN 3476), near the road. No additional information was forthcoming and it was subsequently learned the crewmen were killed.

 

ERICKSON, JACK W., First Lieutenant, # 0-754484, USAAF

 

He completed flight instruction through advanced schools and was multi-engine rated to fly the Northrop P-61 Black Widow. He earned his commission and pilot wings. The P-61 Black Widow was designed as a night fighter. He was sent overseas to India. On 23 April 1945, a P-61-A-10 Black Widow, # 42-39364, assigned to 10th Air Force, 427th Night Fighter Squadron, departed the airfield at Myitkyina, Burma, on a mission over Wan-Yin, Burma. The pilot and radar observor were, respectively: 1stLt Jack W. Erickson, # 0-754484, and 2ndLt Charles E. Wydra, # 0-553793. The

P-61 was last seen by 2ndLt Harlie R. Montgomery, 0-889755, and 2ndLt Lester L. Mahon, 0-889754. Parachutes were seen and person(s) were seen to be walking away from the crashed P-61. The information about the parachutes and crewmen walking from the crash was received 2 days after the P-61 was reported missing. The location given was about 8 miles south of Loi Ka, Burma (military map coordinates LN 3476), near the road. No additional information was forthcoming and it was subsequently learned the crewmen were killed. The Graves Registration team that recovered the crew remains was unable to distinguish the two, thus the remains were buried in a group grave in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky, on 25 August 1949 (Sec. E, Grave 151).