42-66995

 

On 3 September 1944, a P-38H-5-10 Lightning, # 42-66995, assigned to the 459th Fighter Squadron, departed the 10th Air Force air field at Chittagong, on a bombing mission to Myitnga Bridge. It was flown by 1stLt Aaron L. Bearden, 0-748524. He was last seen in a mid-air collision with another aircraft about 20 miles SE of the target. Both aircraft crashed. Witnesses were: Major Maxwell H. Glenn, 0-659293; 1stLt Paul A. Jarvis, 0-753671; and 1stLt James L. King, 0-686955. A parachute was used and a person was seenwalking away from the crash.

 

1stLt Jarvis reported: He was in a flight with Lt. Barnes, led by Lt. Sealy. They bombed, climbed and regained formation. They were circling at 8,000 feet when Lt. Bearden, also flying in a large circle, hit the top of Lt. Barnes’ P-38. The two P-38s fused and burst into flames. Lt. Bearden bailed out and landed safely. The P-38s separated on the way down then disappeared from view.

 

1stLt King reported: Afeter their bomb run, the four flights assembled SE of the target in combat formation. King was behind Lt. Barnes and his wingman. King saw Lt Bearden enter the circle. As he was joining, he and Lt. Barnes collided and the two P-38s locked together momentarily. King saw a parachute open immediately The P-38s separated and King saw what he thought was the other pilot exit. He passed the pilot and turned to cover the parachuting pilot, whom he identified as Lt. Bearden. That pilot waved to him. He saw that pilot land in the area of Sizon. He took his jungle kit from the chute and walked toward a wooded area east of where he landed.

 

BEARDEN, AARON L., First Lieutenant, # 0-748524, USAAF

 

He was inducted from Texas. On 3 September 1944, a P-38H-5-10 Lightning, # 42-66995, assigned to the 459th Fighter Squadron, departed the 10th Air Force air field at Chittagong, on a bombing mission to Myitnga Bridge. It was flown by 1stLt Aaron L. Bearden, 0-748524. He was last seen in a mid-air collision with another aircraft about 20 miles SE of the target. Both aircraft crashed. He was captured by the Japanese and held in the Rangoon Cantonment (former British prison). He was liberated on about 11 May 1945. No further reasonably reliable information could be found.

42-66996

 

On 4 September 1944, a P-38H-5-10, assigned to the 459th Fighter Squadron, departed the 10th Air Force air field at Chittagong Burma, on a bombing and strafing mission at Sagaing, Burma. The P-38 was strafing and climbed from a target pass with the center section of the stabilizer and elevator missing. It slow rolled, crashed and exploded about 10 miles west of Kaunghmudaw, Burma. The pilot was 2ndLt Fred S. Distelzweig, 0-746060, who was killed in action. Witnesses were: Capt. Maxwell H. Glenn, 0-659293 and 2ndLt Henry R. Mahler, 0-748711.

 

2ndLt Mahler reported: After the bombing/strafing mission, he saw 2ndLt Distelzweig and his P-38 crash and burn. After the mission, they decided to strafe some locomotives and cars just west of the target. When 2ndLt Distelzweig passed, part of the P-38s left boom had been knocked off and the elevator was gone. The P-38 climbed to about 600 feet, did 1 ½ rolls and crashed. It burst into flames as it crashed.