42-52023         C109 (MACR 14542)

 

On 29 May 1945, a C-109 (variant of the B-24 - for hauling fuel - the C-87 variant is for cargo and passengers), # 42-52023, assigned to 10th Air Force, Air Transport Command, 1330th AAF Base Unit, Jorhat, India, departed the airfield at Jorhat, India, on a ferry mission to Shamshernager, India. Last contact was by radio with Capt. William Mitchell, 0-575647, at 2156 hours IST at Jorhat, India.  The crew were:

 

                                            Pilot                             1stLt Donald E. Schaefer                    0-520661

                                            Co-Pilot                       1stLt Edward R. Hickerson                 0-804163

SCHAEFER, DONALD EARL, First Lieutenant, # 0-520661, USAAF

 

Donald E. Schaefer was born on 12 September 1921 in Steubenville, Jefferson Co., Ohio to Frank William Schaefer (1884-1965) and Nellie Bye (Carroll) Schaefer (1891-1945) (married in 25 December 1913 in New Cumberland, Hancock Co., W.VA.). Siblings included Alice M. (Schaefer) Myers (1915-1984), Frank W. Schaefer Jr. (1916-2004), and Robert A. Schaefer (1924-    ).

 

He enlisted (#6919413) in the USAAF in Ohio on 7 June 1940 and was honorably discharged 12 December 1942 to accept a commission. He was appointed a Flight Officer on 13 December 1942 and subsequently given a regular commission. His flight experience provided for his pilot wings and he was assigned to fly the C-109 (B-24 Liberator transport conversion). On 29 May 1945, a C-109, # 42-52023, assigned to 10th Air Force, Air Transport Command, 1330th AAF Base Unit, Jorhat, India, departed the airfield at Jorhat, India, on a ferry mission to Shamshernager, India. Last contact was by radio with Capt. William Mitchell, 0-575647, at 2156 hours IST at Jorhat, India. After recovery by Graves Registration from the American military cemetery (airfield) at Kalaikunda, India, his remains were buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Hawaii, on 11 January 1949 (Sec. B, Grave 1394). A memorial marker was placed in the Toronto Union Cemetery, Toronto, Ohio. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.

 

His brother, Frank W. Schaefer Jr, born 2 November 1916, served in WW II and enlisted on 17 May 1943. He died on 15 March 2004 and is buried in the Toronto Union Cemetery, Toronto, Ohio.