MADJE, RICHARD F., Sergeant, # 13567257, USAAF
Richard F. Madje was born on 1911 in Ohio to August Madje (1859-1940) (born in Hannover, Stadt Hannover, Niedersachen, Germany) and Louisa (Weis) Madje (1863- ) (emigrated 1879 – naturalized; Austria). Siblings included John Madje (1882-1942), Frank Madje (1883-1970), Lillian Evelyn Madje (1908-1961), and Wilbur Madje (1909-1974). Frank Madje was a widower in 1920. Louisa Madje was a widow in 1920.
He enlisted in the USAAF in Cincinnati, Ohio, on 16 November 1942. He was trained in the maintenance and operation of the .50 caliber machineguns on the B-29 Superfortress. He earned his crewman wings. On the day he died, he was assigned as the left waist gunner in the center compartment of the B-29. On 27 December 1944, a B-29, # 42-6343, assigned to 20th Air Force, 444th Bomb Group, 678th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Dudhkundi, India, on a ferrying mission to Kwaghan, China. The B-29 was lost at about 0315 Zulu. Over Kwanghan at 13,000 feet altitude, 42-6343 was cleared to decend and to report its position every 2,000 feet. At 0310 Zulu, 42-6343 reported southeast of the airfield at 11,000 feet. The tower received no further contact. Chinese troops reported a crash about 25 miles northeast of the airfield. Air searches did not find it. A foot search early on 28 December 1944 located the crash at about the same position as the Chinese report. Chinese witnesses said the B-29 was spinning. It crashed in a small Chinese compound at the foot of a steep cliff. The B-29 was totally demolished and incendiary bombs exploded. The tail section was found ½ mile away. The elevation at the crash scene was 2,500 feet, measured by an L-5 Sentinel. After recovery of unidentifiable remains in China and retrieval from burial in Hawaii, there was a two-casket group burial of the remains of 2Lt Albert N. Allen, 2Lt Bill Bryant, Capt. Judson C. Forbes, Sgt Richard F. Madje, 2Lt Robert D. Mathis, 2Lt William G. Patterson, and Sgt Frank W. Reed in the Keokuk National Cemetery, Keokuk, Lee Co., Iowa, on 16 August 1949 (Sec. D, Graves 81-82). After his remains were recovered from Japan, the remains were buried in the Chevra Bikur Cholim Cemetery, Phildelphia, Pennsylvania (Sec. 372, Grave 1).