42-73308         B24

 

On 25 January 1944, at about 0700 hours, B-24J, # 42-73308, “Hot as Hell,” departed Kunming, China, for Chabua, India. 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). Haley’s Comet and Hot as Hell were found eventually. The crew was comprised of:

 

                                 Pilot                             1stLt William A. Swanson                              0-728935

                                 Co-Pilot                       F/O Sheldon L Chambers                               T-291

                                 Navigator                    1stLt Irwin (NMI) Zaetz                                 0-791661

                                 Bombardier                  1stLt Robert E. Oxford                                   0-663308

                                 Engineer                      SSgt Charles D. Ginn                                      15084114

                                 Radio Operator            SSgt Harry B. Queen                                      11021096

                                 Gunner                        Sgt James A. or K. Hinson                              14188472

                                 Gunner                        Sgt Alfred H. Gerrans                                      34325848

SWANSON, WILLIAM ALVIN, First Lieutenant (Captain), # 0-728935, USAAF

 

William A. Swanson was born 30 April 1921 in Proctor, Rutland County, Vermont to Rev. Charles Swanson (1873-1953) and Marie (Krantz) Swanson (1879-1967), both parents born in Sweden and naturalized. Siblings included John E. Swanson (1920-    ) and Helen Swanson (1923-    ).

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Rutland, Vermont, on 27 December 1940, with two years of college. On 25 January 1944, at about 0700 hours, B-24J, # 42-73308, “Hot as Hell,” departed Kunming, China, for Chabua, India, with 1st Lt Swanson as pilot. 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. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and other awards. The family placed a memorial marker in the South Street Cemetery, Proctor, Vermont.  Images next page.