42-73436

 

On 8 May 1945 a B-24J, # 42-73436, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, Dergaon, India, departed the airfield at Dergaon on a flight to Chengtu, China, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump). Last contact was by radio at abot 1050 Zulu near Paoshan, China. The crew was:

                                         Pilot                             2ndLt Demming M. Ward                   0-833849

                                         Co-Pilot                       FO Samuel E. Landstreet Jr.                T-65788

                                         Navigator                    2ndLt Lloyd L. Bjerk                           0-2074907

                                         Crew Chief                  SSgt Blaine B. Weaver                         15114647

                                         Radio Operator            Sgt William G. Ferguson                      33434820

Wreckage of the B-24 crashed and exploded when it fell into a river. The bodies of the navigator and radio operator were recovered and buried about ½ mile southeast of Pawngen, Burma at 25° 47’ North & 98° 12’ East (map coordinates NY9803). The next-of-kin listed were:

                                Bjerk                Nellie Bjerk, M, 4610 Humboldt Ave. North, Minneapolis, Minn.

                                Ward                Dr. Ernest Ward, F, 1118 N. Duke St., Durham, NC

                                Landstreet       Marguerite L. Landstreet, W, 2104 31st St. Southeast, Washington, D.C.

                                Weaver            Oleta M. Weaver, M, Eva, West VA

                                Ferguson          Mabel Ferguson, M, 937 W. 25th St., Erie, PA

WARD, DEMMING MORTON, First Lieutenant, # 0-833849, USAAF

 

Demming M. Ward was born on 12 January 1923 in Durham, Durham Co., North Carolina to Dr. Demming Ernest Ward (1890-1969) and Mamie Evie (Morton) Ward (1894-1975) (married on 7 July 1917, Durham, NC). Siblings were Dr. Demming Ernest Ward Jr. (1920-    ),    Living with the family in 1930 was his maternal grandmother, Caroline “Carra” E. (Hailey) Morton (1871-1931). His father was a foreman and his mother a music teacher in 1930.

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 30 June 1942, resided at 1118 N. Duke St., Durham, NC, Wake Forest College student, and described himself as 6’2”, 165 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF in Miami Beach, Florida, on 22 February 1943. After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight schools for the B-24 Liberator. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 8 May 1945 a B-24J, # 42-73436, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, Dergaon, India, departed the airfield at Dergaon on a flight to Chengtu, China, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump). Last contact was by radio at abot 1050 Zulu near Paoshan, China. Wreckage of the B-24 crashed and exploded when it fell into a river. The bodies of the navigator and radio operator were recovered and buried about ½ mile southeast of Pawngen, Burma at 25° 47’ North & 98° 12’ East (military map coordinates NY9803). After recovery of remains from the crash site, which were indistinguishable and included two remains which were unidentifiable, the remains of Ward, Ferguson, Landstreet and Weaver, were buried in a group funeral ceremony in the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, on 15 March 1950 (Sec.34, Grave 4870).