On 22 February 1944, a B-25G, # 42-64779, assigned to the 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, departed the 10th Air Force base at Kurmitola, India, on a combat mission of targets of opportunity on the railway south of Monywa, Burma. At 1145 hours, it was hit by anti-aircraft fire, burst into flames, and was seen to crash. All aboard were killed. The crew of seven included:
Pilot Capt. Harry S. Sutphen 0-732594
Co-Pilot 2ndLt Robert J. Holly 0-606463
Navigator 1stLt John J. Heffernan 0-797000
Engineer SSgt John B. Bowden 33165137
Radio Operator Sgt John M. Flanagan 31125291
Armorer-Gunner Sgt Roy (NMI) Tuttle 17056535
Photo-Gunner SSgt Irvin G. Playez 33247850
The witnesses of the crash were: 1stLt David A. Jones, 0-735595; 2ndLt Dale T. Horney, 0-748982; 1stLt John M. Maxwell, 0-663642; and 2ndLt Kermit A. Gill (aerial photographer).
1stLt Maxwell reported. He was navigator of ship 53. While heading for the target, he saw a burst of flame about 100 feet above ground. He saw the flaming mass crash about 3 seconds later. The flames were so intense, it was impossible to identify the plane. They proceeded to the target and dropped bombs. Afterwards, they flew back over the wreckage at about 1230 hours. It was so completely demolished that he was unable to identify it. Three or four pieces seemed to have a greenish color and 1 piece looked like it might be a radial engine. The wreckage is located at 22º 2” North 95º 3” East.
1stLt Jones reported: He saw a burning plane which crashed and exploded 15 to 20 second later. It was headed west and in a slight dive not more than 200 feet altitude when he saw it. It turned slightly to the left and dove into the ground immediately. Distance was about 1 mile from his ship. After completing the mission, he returned to the crash and his photographer took a picture.
2ndLt Gill reported: As they dropped bombs, in the distance, he could see a large black column of smoke. Their plane headed toward the smoke. He saw the remains of a plane burning. He could identify a piece of radial engine and other olive drab parts. He took two oblique pictures. Next-of-kin were listed as:
Sutphen Mr. Charles S. Sutphen, father, RR # 2, Benet, IL
Holly Mrs. Marguerite M. Holly, mother, 314 E. New York St., Rapid City, S.D.
Heffernan Mrs. Mary A. Heffernan, mother, 1380 Sterling Plc, Brooklyn, NY
Bowden Mrs. Grace Bowden, wife, 1440 Pueblo Drv, Mount Lebanon, PA
Flanagan Mr. Michael Joseph Flanagan, father, 1549 North Ave., Bridgeport, Conn.
Tuttle Mr. Roy George Tuttle, father, 1211 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, KS
Playez Mrs. Elizabeth A. Playez, Rte 142 Stone St., Johnstown, PA