On 28 January 1944, at about 1400 hours, two Stinson L-5 single-engine aircraft departed the Ledo, Assam, India, air strip to fly to Shingbwiyang, Burma. It was assigned to the 71st Liaison Squadron and was on an administrative mission. It was last known to be on a course of 160º, 40 miles from the Ledo strip. The weather was clouds, low visibility and rain squalls. The pilot was USAAF SSgt Arthur V. Luedtke, # 13091277. The other L-5 aircraft was piloted by SSgt Kenneth M. Lowe, # 32285131. The 71st Liaison Squadron commander was Capt. Ned O. Epps, # 0-439709. The Operations Officer was 1stLt Jay R. Coffee, Jr.
The reported filed by SSgt. Lowe is summarized: The other L-5 was last seen just before going through a saddle in a mountain SW of Kumkidu. Luedtke was about 2,000 feet behind him. After passing through the saddle, he made turns to allow Luedtke to close up. The cloud ceiling was 400-600 feet. He was unable to locate the other L-5 or make contact. After no contact, he flew on to Shingbwiyang. On return, he was unable to locate his whereabouts. Three aircraft were sent to search the area where the L-5 was last seen. Transport pilots were notified to be on the lookout for it. Ground units were also notified. There were no results.
LUEDTKE, ARTHUR V., Staff Sergeant, # 13091277, USAAF
Arthur V. Luedtke was born in 1906 in New Jersey. The 1927 directory for Elizabeth, New Jerseys, shows him working as a lineman, residing at 1061 William. Living with him was Otto G. Luedtke, a leatherworker. The 1930 census shows he was married to Clara Luedtke (1908- ) and they had a daughter, Elaine Luedtke (1930- ). In 1930, at Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey, they had residing with them Lena Luedtke, his mother (1880- ), widowed, Irma Luedtke (1910- ), his sister, and Loretta Luedtke (1913- ), another sister. In 1935 the family resided at 1455 Lafayette, Elizabeth, NJ. The 1935 directory shows at the address of 1055 Lafayette, Elizabeth, NJ: Arthur V., lineman for PSE & G Co., Irma G., Lena, widow of Otto, and Loretta O, a clerk in Newark.
On 28 January 1944, at about 1400 hours, a Stinson L-5 single-engine aircraft departed the Ledo, Assam, India, air strip to fly to Shingbwiyang. It was assigned t the 71st Liaison Squadron and was on an administrative mission. It was last sighted at 160º, 40 miles from the Ledo strip. The weather was clouds, low visibility and rain squalls. He is remembered on the Manila American Cemetery, Fort William McKinley, Philippines. He was declared legally dead 18 April 1945.