MACPHERSON, HUGH PIERCE, First Lieutenant, # 0-660875, USAAF

 

Hugh P. MacPherson was born 31 March 1920 in Cameron, Moore Co., North Carolina, to James Alexander MacPherson (1892-1930) an Orene (Pierce) MacPherson (1894-1973). Siblings included Mary Doris (MacPherson) Guthrie (1922-2005), JamesAlexander MacPherson Jr. (1925-1995) and John Monroe MacPherson (1929-2000).

 

He registered for the WW II draft in 1941, stating he resided in Washington, D.C. and worked for the United Brick Company. He described himself as 6’, 168 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes.

He enlisted in the USAAF on 30 October 1941 in Washington, D.C., with two years of college. Trained as a navigator on the B-24, he earned a commission and his wings. He was sent overseas to 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. His remains were recovered and were included in a one-casket group burial on 19 December 1949 in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri. The family placed a memorial marker in the Cameron Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

 

His father, James A. MacPherson, born 29 November 1892, was in the U.S. Army during WW I. He went to North Carolina State College, Raleigh. In December 1917, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as an aviation mechanic. He was assigned to Fort Thomas, Kentucky. He was promoted and became an instructor for the aviation mechanic school at St. Paul, Minnesota. He remained there until the war was over. He died 27 May 1930 in Sanford, Lee Co., North Carolina, and is buried with his wife in the Cameron Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Cameron, Moore Co., N.C.

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