It was last in contact by radio at about 0539 Zulu at about 25º 50’ North & 96º 10’ East (Myitkyina, Burma), with Maj. Perier A. Koenig, 0-413599. Remains were recovered of the crew but were indistinguishable. They were buried in a common or group ceremony in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, on 17 November 1947 (Sec. 81, Graves 282 & 283).

 

His father served during WW I from 19 September 1917 to 17 February 1919.

SMERKE, FRED JOSEPH, First Lieutenant, # 0-866454, USAAF

 

Fred J. Smerke was born on 17 November 1921 in Amarillo, Potter Co., Texas, to Frank Aloysius Smerke (1891-1966) (MICH) and Nell Catherine (Hannifan) Smerke (1897-1944) (ID). Siblings included Francis Patrick Smerke (1920-2005), John William Smerke (1925-1980), Helen Catherine (Smerke) McCarra (1926-    ). When he died his family lived in Fort Worth, Texas.

 

After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained as a flight engineer which required in-depth knowledge of the electrical and mechanical parts of the B-29 Superfortress as well as the operation and monitoring of its dials and sensors on its instrument array at the engineer’s station on board during flight. He earned his commission and wings and was sent overseas to the CIB theater of operations. On 30 July 1944, B-29-10-BW, # 42-6240, “Pampered Lady,” assigned to the 40th Bomb Group, 395th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Chakulia, India, on a ferry (fuel and bombs) mission to Hsinching, China, over “the Hump” of the Himalayan mountain range. It was last in contact by radio at about 0539 Zulu at about 25º 50’ North & 96º 10’ East (Myitkyina, Burma), with Maj. Perier A. Koenig, 0-413599. Remains were recovered of the crew but were indistinguishable. They were buried in a common or group ceremony in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, on 17 November 1947 (Sec. 81, Graves 282 & 283).

STILFIELD, ELMER ESTELL, Technical Sergeant, # 17035670, USAAF

 

Elmer E. Stilfield was born on 2 October 1922 in Kansas City, Jackson Co., Missouri, to William Henry Stilfield (1877-1960) and Dora Ann (Sumpter) Stilfield (1877-1968). Siblings included Rolla Coleman Stilfield (1900-1936), Everett Clarence Stilfield (1903-1924), Loyd Raymond Stilfield (1905-1985), Cleta Fay Stilfield (1907-1985), Ernest Stilfield (1910-1999), Thomas Stilfield (1912-1974), William Clyde Stilfield ( (1917-1999), and another brother.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, on 16 January 1942. He was trained in the maintenance and operation of the radio equipment on board the B-29 Superfortress and was sent overseas to the CIB theater of operations. On 30 July 1944, B-29-10-BW, # 42-6240, “Pampered Lady,” assigned to the 40th Bomb Group, 395th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Chakulia, India, on a ferry (fuel and bombs) mission to Hsinching, China, over “the Hump” of the Himalayan mountain range. It was last in contact by radio at about 0539 Zulu at about 25º 50’ North & 96º 10’ East (Myitkyina, Burma), with Maj. Perier A. Koenig, 0-413599. Remains were recovered of the crew but were indistinguishable. They were buried in a common or group ceremony in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, on 17 November 1947 (Sec. 81, Graves 282 & 283).