BOWEN, CHARLES CLAY, Technical Sergeant, # 14070288, USAAF

 

Charles C. Bowen was born in 1922 in Arkansas to Clement Clay Bowen (1874-1949) and Alpha (Campbell) Bowen (1896-1959). Siblings include Clementine Bowen (1920-2002), Billy Joe Bowen (1925-1979). In 1930 his father was a county Deputy Sheriff.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF on 31 December 1941 in Jackson, Misissippi. He was selected for engineer and mechanical school for the B-24 and earned 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 group burial on 19 December 1949 in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri.

CIESLAK, ALFONSE STANISLAWS, Staff Sergeant, # 36301984, USAAF

 

Alfonse S. Cieslak was born in Chicago, Illinois, 1918 to Stanley Cieslak (1897-1969) and Frances (Pirvinicka) Cieslak (1896-    ). Siblings included Virginia Frances Cieslak (1921-1993), Gloria Apolonia (Cieslak) Rataj (1924-2002), Dorothy Catherine (Cieslak) Siwek nee Jakowchuk (1928-    ) and Diana Cieslak (1939-    ). In 1943, they lived at 2713 Hirsch Street, Chicago, IL. In 1942, they lived at 2639 West Hirsch St., Chicago, IL, where his father worked for the U.S. Veterans Bureau, Hines, IL. He married Helen J. and she resided at 1316 N. Oakley Blvd, Chicago, IL.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF at Camp Grant, Illinois, on 17 October 1941. He trained in radio operations and maintenance for the B-24, earned his crewman wings, and was sent overseas. 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. It 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 group burial on 19 December 1949 in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri.