He enlisted in the USAAF in New York City, New York, on 12 November 1942. He was trained in the maintenance and operaton of the radar equipment on the B-29 Superfortress and earned his crewman wings. On 14 October 1944, a B-29, # 42-680, “Klank-Klank,” assigned to 20th Air Force, Dudhkundi, India, 444th Bomb Group, 678h Bomb Squadron, departed Kwanghang, China, on a bombing mission to Okayma, Taiwan, and was “lost due to unknown reasons.” All died in the crash of the B-29 Superfortress. 42-6280 was believed to have been seen when the formation was coming together at Sui-Ning (30-29 N – 105-36 E) at about 0700. The formation entered an overcast and 42-6280 was not seen again. B-29, 42-6202 landed at Liangshan, believes he heard 42-6280 calling Liangshan when 42-6202 was circling Liangshan before landing at about 1600. His remains, with the unidentifiable remains of the crew, were recovered from China and all were buried in a two-casket group ceremony in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, on 29 November 1949 (Sec. 79, Site 426 C & D). He was awarded the Purple Heart.

BECKING, HERBERT HENRY, Staff Sergeant, # 39277286, USAAF

 

Herbert H. Becking was born on 16 October 1923 in Los Angeles, California, to Albert George Becking (1886-1949) (IL) and Emma (Nyeholtz) Becking (1892-1988) (PA) (married 19 November 1908 in Chicago, IL). Siblings included Gertrude Marie (Becking) Moroff (1909-1994), Peter H. Becking (1911-1972), Albert George Becking (1914-1987), and Henry George Becking (1926-    ). In 1944 his family lived at 217 Rosecrans Ave., Manhattan Beach, California.

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 30 June 1942 and described himself as 6’2”, 185 lbs, with brown hair and hazel eyes. He trained in the maintenance and operation of the .50 caliber aerial machineguns on the B29 Superfortress, earned his crewman wings, and was the senior gunner on the day he died. He was promoted to Staff Sergeant 1 August 1944. On 14 October 1944, a B-29, # 42-680, “Klank-Klank,” assigned to 20th Air Force, Dudhkundi, India, 444th Bomb Group, 678h Bomb Squadron, departed Kwanghang, China, on a bombing mission to Okayma, Taiwan, and was “lost due to unknown reasons.” All died in the crash of the B-29 Superfortress. 42-6280 was believed to have been seen when the formation was coming together at Sui-Ning (30-29 N – 105-36 E) at about 0700. The formation entered an overcast and 42-6280 was not seen again. B-29, 42-6202 landed at Liangshan, believes he heard 42-6280 calling Liangshan when 42-6202 was circling Liangshan before landing at about 1600. His remains, with the unidentifiable remains of the crew, were recovered from China and all were buried in a two-casket group ceremony in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, on 29 November 1949 (Sec. 79, Site 426 C & D). He was awarded the Purple Heart.

 

His brother, Albert G. Becking, born in 1914, enlisted in the U.S. Army in Los Angeles,California, on 18 May 1943.

CATRON, CLEO DALE, Staff Sergeant, # 15333702, USAAF

 

Cleo D. Catron was born on 20 October 1922 in Russiaville, Howard County, Indiana, to John Cleo Catron (1895-1946) and Alta Gertrude (Grinstead) Catron (1898-1934). Siblings included Jesse Dee Catron (1921-2004), Leslie Ray Catron (1920-1987), D. Glay Catron (1924-1970), Gayle Dewayne Catron (1926-1984), Bonnie Claralel (Catron) Brown (1929-2017), and Charles Loyal Catron (1933-    ). His father registered for the WW II draft on 27 April 1942, stating an address of RR # 2, Frankfort, Clinton Co., Indiana, age 46, DOB 18 October 1895, giving a next-of-kin of Curtis D. Catron, Russiaville, IN – State Highway Department of Indiana. In that WW II registration, he described himself as 5’10”, 140 lbs, with gray hair and blue eyes.