After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight instruction through advanced schools to flying the Curtiss C-46 Commando. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to India and assigned to flying across the Himalayas (the Hump) to China and return. On 13 February 1945, a C-46A, # 42-96746, assigned to Air Transport Command, 1328th AAF Base Unit in India, departed its home airfield on a cargo mission to Chanyi, China. Last contact was by radio at 1222 Zulu over the QR marker on course. The C-46A crashed and the crew was killed. On 22 February 1945, the unit reported that the C-46A crashed near Chanyi, China. After recovery from temporary burial, his remains were buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Hawaii, on 24 January 1949 (Sec. A, Grave 416).

ROURKE, FRANCIS J., Corporal, # 32890199, USAAF

 

Francis J. Rourke was born on 16 May 1924 in New York to Thomas F. Rourke (1902-1931) and Gertrude Josephine (Morrissey) Spagnola nee Rourke (1902-1986) (married 18 January 1924, Brooklyn, NY).  Siblings included Thomas Bernard Rourke (1928-1994) and John Patrick Rourke (1930-1932).

 

After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained in the maintenance and operation of the radio equipment on the Curtiss C-46 Commando and earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India and assigned to flying across the Himalayas (the Hump) to China and return. On 13 February 1945, a C-46A, # 42-96746, assigned to Air Transport Command, 1328th AAF Base Unit in India, departed its home airfield on a cargo mission to Chanyi, China. Last contact was by radio at 1222 Zulu over the QR marker on course. The C-46A crashed and the crew was killed. On 22 February 1945, the unit reported that the C-46A crashed near Chanyi, China. After recovery from temporary burial, his remains were buried in the Long Island National Cemetery, East Farmingdale, New York, on 30 October 1947 (Sec. H, Grave 8822).