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.
His brother, Vincent V. Vanis, Jr., born 2 July 1918 in Garrison, Nebraska, enlisted in the U.S. Army and served from 27 August 1941 in Des Moines, Iowa, through 7 October 1945 (Service # 37048157). He was overseas from 2 November 1942 through 28 September 1945. He was a PFC, assigned to the 251st Signal Corps Co. of the. He died in Cedar Rapid, Iowa, 25 April 2007, survived by his wife, a daughter and two sons. He is buried in the Mount Clark Cemetery.
Another brother, Theodore D. Vanis, was born 12 February 1927, in David City, Nebraska. He registered for the draft on 12 February 1945 at age 18 years. He described himself as 5’10”, 145 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. He enlisted in the U.S. Army 11 January 1951 (# 55077106). He was a Private First Class, Third Division, MOS 4014, light weapons infantryman, who was seriously wounded in the fight in North Korea during the Korean War. Promoted to Corporal, he was treated and released 26 January 1952. He was honorably separated 10 October 1952. He was awarded the Purple Heart. He died 25 September 1974, in Ulysses, Nebraska, and is buried in Saint Marys Cemetery.
TIDD, GEORGE WELLING, JR., Corporal, # 14073599, USAAF
George W. Tidd, Jr., was born 15 August 1910 in Fort Dodge, Webster County, Iowa, to George Welling Tidd (1873-1947) and Ema Alice (McClain) Tidd (1880-1958). A brother was Athol Maitland Tidd (1901-1983). In the 1940 census for Hendersonville, NC, the family lives at 1517 Fourth Avenue West, Hendersonville, NC.
He registered for the WW II draft 16 October 1940 at age 30, residing at 1517 Fourth Avenue West, Hendersonville, NC. He described himself as 5’10”, 140 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF on 21 April 1942 at Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina. Trained as an armorer and gunner, he was responsible for the maintenance and function of all the weapons aboard the B-24J. 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.