Witnesses to the crash were 1stLt Leland G. Berlette, 0-661915, 2ndLt Glenn F. Stephens, 0-797631, and 1stLt William G. Clark, 0-662023. 1stLt Berlette reported that he saw that 1stLt McLoughlin’s B-24 was hit in one engine. The tail gunner saw 1stLt McLoughlin trying to make a crash landing. His left wing dropped and the B-24 hit nose down, bursting into flame immediately. It disintegrated on impact. No one saw any parachutes or survivors. After recovery from Burma and then India, Lt. Roger’s remains and those (indistinguishable) of other crewmen (Funderburg, Higgs, Litz, Swope & Whitsell) were buried in a group burial and ceremony in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky (Sec. E, Graves 163-164). After recovery, his remains were buried in the B’nai Brith Cemetery, Worcester, Minnesota. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

 

His brother, Jesse J. Tronic, born 15 December 1910, served in the U.S. Army, Captain, Dentist, from 14 October 1942 to 7 Febryary 1946. He died 21 September 1988 and is buried in the Worcester Hebrew Cemetery, Auburn, Worcester Co., Massachusetts.

 

His brother, James S. Tronic, born 17 October 1914, Mason of William Whiting Lodge, served in the USAF from 6 July 1956 to 1 June 1960. He died 6 March 2003 and is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia (Sec. 54, Grave 4074).

Jesse Tronic

SWOPE, HOWARD BROWN, JR., Staff Sergeant, # 0-13136859, USAAF

 

Howard B. Swope Jr. was born on 6 July 1923 in McConnellsburg, Fulton Co., Pennsylvania, to Howard B. Swope (1890-1973) and Helen L. (Ott) Swope (1894-1953). Siblings were Gladys Viola (Swope) Jumper (1916-1991) and Norma Louise (Swope) Berkstresser (1926-1980).

 

He registered for the WWII draft in 1942, resided in Todd Township, Fulton Co., PA, and described himself as 5’ 9 ½”, 132 lbs, with black hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF on 17 November 1942. He was trained to maintain the weapons (armorer-gunner) and fire the .50 caliber machineguns on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India on about 12 September 1943. He was trained to serve as an assistant radio operator. On 14 November 1943 a B-24J, # 42-73194, assigned to 10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Squadron, Pandaveswar, India, departed the airfield and joined a formation of other B-24s on a mission to bomb Pokokku, Magway, Burma; west of and very near the Irrawady River. Witnesses to the crash were 1stLt Leland G. Berlette, 0-661915, 2ndLt Glenn F. Stephens, 0-797631, and 1stLt William G. Clark, 0-662023. 1stLt Berlette reported that he saw that 1stLt McLoughlin’s B-24 was hit in one engine. The tail gunner saw 1stLt McLoughlin trying to make a crash landing. His left wing dropped and the B-24 hit nose down, bursting into flame immediately. It disintegrated on impact. No one saw any parachutes or survivors. After recovery from Burma and then India, Lt. Roger’s remains and those (indistinguishable) of other crewmen (Funderburg, Higgs, Litz, Swope & Whitsell) were buried in a group burial and ceremony in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky (Sec. E, Graves 163-164). He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.