42-66997         P38

 

On 11 March 1944, P-38H-5-10 Lightning fighters, assigned to the 459th Fighter Squadron of 10th Air Force, departed Chittagong, India, on a strafing mission of the enemy held Heho & Aungban landing strips. It was last seen at about 0745 hours, ten miles west of Heho being attacked by three enemy fighters and its right engine was smoking. It was flown by Flight Officer Carl M. Beardslee, T-1643. The witness was 1stLt Walter F. Duke, 0-790505. 1stLt Duke reported: He wasflying a mission over Heho with Flight Officer Carl M. Beardlee flying as wingman. They were circling Heho airfield and losing altitude. He saw 4 Zeros NW of the air field, climbing to the right and behind them. He called his leader and peeled off and dove to attack. The Zeros turned away. He throttled back and made a dead astern pass at the rear Zero and shot him down. He gained altitude and looked back for F/O Beardslee. He was behind Duke and climbing fast. There was no enemy near him. Duke made a climbing turn and saw Beardslee being attacked by an Oscar. He dove and shot the Oscar off his tail and climbed again. He saw Beardslee was far behind. Duke saw four Oscars making passes at Beardslee. He started in head on and saw an Oscar dead astern of Beardslee with guns firing. Beardslee’s right engine was smoking. Duke tried to shoot this Oscar but Beardslee climbed toward Duke so he could not fire. Duke turned to come down behind Beardslee but could not find him. There were two Zeros circling so he stayed high, looing for Beardslee. As this happened, Duke called for him by radio but got no answer. After making a few more passes, Duke was chased by Zeros so headed to base. Duke last saw Beardslee 5 to 10 miles NW of Heho. He saw no wreckage except for the two Oscars.

 

BEARDSLEE, CARL MELVERNE, Flight Officer, # T-1643, USAAF

 

Carl M. Beardslee was born 7 September 1921 in Wetona, Bradford County, Pennsylvania to Louis Henry Beardslee (1897-1985) and Nina M. (Chandler) Beardslee (1899-1981) (married 19 February 1919, Chemung, NY). Siblings included Evelyn Clara (Beardslee) Hazelwood (1919-1994), Phyllis Jean (Beardslee) Zeichner (1923-1994) and Leslie Allan Beardslee (1925-1986). His father was a building construction carpenter in 1940.

 

He registered for the WW II draft in 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and described himself as 5’9”, 158 lbs, with blond hair and blue eyes. He enlisted (enlisted service # 12131583) in the USAAF while living in Bradford, Pennsylvania, on 8 September 1942, in Elmira, New York. He completed flight training as a fighter pilot and earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to India about 5 December 1943 and returned to the U.S. about 2 June 1945. On 11 March 1944, P-38H-5-10 Lightning fighters, assigned to the 459th Fighter Squadron of 10th Air Force, departed Chittagong on a strafing mission of the enemy held Heho & Aungban landing strips. It was last seen at about 0745 hours, ten miles west of Heho being attacked by three enemy fighters and its right engine was smoking. Duke saw four Oscars making passes at Beardslee. He started in head on and saw an Oscar dead astern of Beardslee with guns firing. Beardslee’s right engine was smoking. Duke tried to shoot this Oscar but Beardslee climbed toward Duke so Duke could not fire. Duke turned to come down behind Beardslee but could not find him. There were two Zeros circling so he stayed high, looing for Beardslee. As this happened, Duke called for him by radio but got no answer. After making a few more passes, Duke was chased by Zeros so headed to base. Duke last saw Beardslee 5 to 10 miles NW of Heho air strip. Beardslee was captured by the Japanese and held in the POW prison at Rangoon prison (former British prison) until liberated 2 May 1945. He was honorably separated 1 December 1945, at Miami Beach, Florida. He died 5 April 1991 in Florida.