PLUMMER, EVERETT C., Lieutenant Colonel, # 0-300865, USAAF

 

See his page – separate from this because his remains were lost when the C-47 Graves Registration transport crashed into the Bay of Bengal during monsoon storms on 17 May 1946.

 

LASELL, JOHN WHITIN, Captain, # 0-219261, USAAF

 

John W. Lasell was born 30 November 1897 in Whitinsville, Worcester County, Massachusetts, to Josiah Manning Lasell (1863-1939) and Mary Frances (Krum) Lasell (1867-1970). He was married to Frances (Sumner) Lasell (1899-1996). Siblings included Josiah Manning Lasell (18911939) Elizabeth Lasell (1896-1975), Margaret Harding Lasell (1900-1904), Philip Bradford Lasell (1905-1987), Nancy Manning Lasell (1907-1975) and Chester Harding Lasell (1908-1998). He graduated from Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1920 and was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1933 to 1938. The 1940 census shows the following family members living at 141 Hill Street, Northbridge, Massachusetts: John W. Lasell, 42 years (1897-1943) and Francis S. Lasell, 41 years (1899-1996) with children – Elizabeth Lasell, 18 years (1922-    ), Katherine Lasell 3 years (1937-    ), Sonia (Lasell) Jaretzki (1924-2002) and John W. Lasell Jr., 11 years (1929-    ).

 

He was a pilot in WW I and volunteered for service in WW II, when he was an intelligence officer for the USAAF in India. O On 1 December 1943, at about 1230 hours, B-24J, # 42-73159 (“Tough Baba”), assigned to the 7th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Squadron, departed the 10th Air Force base at Pandaveswar, India, enroute to bomb Insein, Burma, where the Japanese maintained a railway marshalling and repair workshops. The statement signed by 2ndLt McElderry, F/O Lewallen and 1stLt Shaw says: Lt. Stringfellow’s plane was the lead ship of the formation. My ship flew on his left wing over the target. After bombs were dropped we lost sight of him. He was next sighted on the right wing of ship # 45. The pass by enemy aircraft was not seen but about 15 minutes from target, white smoke was seen coming from the #3 engine. The right wing of Lt. Stringfellow’s ship dropped and slid off in a banking turn to the right. It continued in the opposite direction of the formation or towards Rangoon, losing about 1,500 feet. Two objects came out of the right waist window, one chute opened immediately, and the other object kept falling and disappeared into clouds. It looked like a delayed jump to evade attacking fighters. Between 8 to 10 enemy fighters started to attack the disabled ship, leaving the main formation of B-24s alone. The tail gunner first sighted the ship going into a tailspin. One chute was opened at this time. The ship was smoking badly and dropped for 3,000 or 6,000 feet before bursting into flames. A few seconds after it had burst into flames, it exploded, leaving only burning fragments.

 

In WW I, Second Lieutenant John W. Lasell was with the 354th Headquarters Aero Squadron, organized at Kelly Field, Texas (San Antonio – later Kelly AFB)  (Observation aka Reconnaissance) at the Autreville Airdrome at the time the Armistice was concluded. 1stLt Louis F. Moore, squadron commander, with 150 enlisted personnel. The squadron was sent by ship to Brest, France (Camp Pontanezen). It moved to St. Maixent. Next was a move to Colombey-les-Belles then Is-sur-Tille (20 hour stop). Red Cross workers on hand to aid. At Taliaferro Field, they acquainted themselves with the Liberty Motor. They finally arrived at the Autreville Airdrome. Mid October, seven D.H. 4s were ferried over from Colombey. The squadron then moved to the Saizerais Airdrome. The 354th was assigned to the 6th Corps Observation Group, Second Army. Trenches and barbed wire surrounded it. 8th Aero Squadron pilots were transferred to them. Officers assigned included 2ndLt John W. Lasell, pilot, who was transferred to train inexperienced