OXFORD, ROBERT EUGENE, “OX”, First Lieutenant, # 0-663308, USAAF
Robert E. Oxford was born 23 October 1919 in Pike County, Georgia, to Charles Oxford (1888-1982) and Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” (Ballard) Oxford (1882-1965). Siblings included Paul William Oxford (1914-1975), Henry Clay Oxford (1915-2006), Frederick Morris “Fred” Oxford (1912-2011), and Martha Kate Oxford (1917-1998).
He enlisted in the USAAF on 21 January 1942 at Atlanta, Georgia. He trained on the B-24 as a navigator then was sent overseas to the 14th Air Force. On 25 January 1944, at about 0700 hours, B-24J, # 42-73308, “Hot as Hell,” departed Kunming, China, for Chabua, India, with 1st Lt Oxford as bombardier as navigator. It was assigned to the 308th Bomb Group, the 425th Bomb Squadron. It crashed in India. At 10:45 a.m., the formation of five B-24Ds “was forced to break up due to extreme instrument weather conditions.” All five aircraft crashed; B-24D, # 41-23889, crashed near Jorhat, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Crews parachuted from two and a third, which crashed, had two survivors. The fourth and fifth, “Hot as Hell” and “Haley’s Comet,” disappeared, the crews presumed dead (Tara Copp, Stars & Stripes, 8 Apr 2016). “Hot as Hell” was found eventually. His family placed a memorial marker in a cemetery, in Concord, Pike County, Georgia.