43-15698         C47

 

On 5 December 1944, C-47A, # 43-15698, departed the airfield at Myitkyina, Burma, on a mission to Kunming, China. Burma Road combat engineers walked to the jungle area where the C-47A, # 43-15698, 10th Air Force, crashed. The crew, killed in action, were:

 

                                                    Pilot                             1stLt William G. Clegg                        0-673319

                                                    Co-Pilot                       2ndLt George B. Bolton Jr.                  0-702222

                                                    Engineer                      TSgt Joseph J. Windishman                 16132283

                                                    Radio Operator            SSgt Emmett S. Marrs                          20828866

 

On 14 December 1944, the Li Su tribesmen informed Burma Road Engineers they had found a crashed aircraft. The engineers were guided to the wreckage, at which they arrived at 1130 hours, 17 December 1944. It was atop a ridge at the Burma-China border, about 20 miles west of Tantza-pa and 30 miles north of Tahow Wang, Yunnan, China. The C-47A was completely demolished, parts strewn up the ridge for about 600’ from impact. The bodies of 23 Chinese Army soldiers were found in the wreckage. Removal of the decomposed American remains was impracticable due to their condition and the mountainous terrain. The dead crewmen had been ripped of all personal belongings -wrist watches, wallets, money belts, and identification (dog tags). The crash investigator located 1stLt Clegg’s briefcase with insurance papers, 201 file, a carbon copy of 2ndLt Bolton’s will, and a few letters from TSgt Windishman’s family. The crewmens’ status was changed from missing to killed in action on 29 December 1944. There was no next-of-kin list in the MACR folder.

CLEGG, WILLIAM GIFFORD II, First Lieutenant, # 0-673319, USAAF

 

William G. Clegg II was born on 25 July 1922 in Eastland Co., Texas, to William Gifford Clegg Jr. (1895-1932) (divorced in the 1930 census living in Breckenridge, Stephens Co., TX – murdered by gunshot to chest in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico on 14 July 1932 – murderer was Frank Allen, a U.S. citizen - prosecuted) and Jean Brigham (1899-1965) (married 24 February 1920, Los Angeles, CA). On 8 August 1925, she was visiting her mother, Anne (Crocker) Brigham, N. Fifth St., Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and at Elkhart Lake. In the 1930 census she (age 35) resided in the Allenton House institution in Chicago, Illinois and was a decorator. She was born on 17 March 1899 in Wisconsin and died 6 March 1965 from bilateral pneumonia – age 55 & 11 mons – St. Petersburg, FL. A sibling of William G. Clegg II was Dr. Crocker B. Clegg (1923-2015) (died in St. Petersburg, FL – a son was William Gifford Clegg III, Seminole, FL). Living with them in 1930 was his paternal grandmother, Helen Eugenia (Gifford) Clegg (1869-1954) (IN) (widowed – William J. Clegg – Daughters of the American Revolution eligible; mother was Eugenia Rowley; Helen E. Gifford was a descendant (great-great-grand-daughter) of Major Aaron Rowley (born Haddam, Connecticut) and Anna, his wife; married 1760; Aaron Rowley served as a Lieutenant at Quebec, and a Captain at Ticonderoga and Bennington and in the Burgoyne Campain as a Major – Bershire Co., Massachusetts; died Richmond, Massachusetts – Tombstone inscription – “In the field of action his martial bravery was a rallying point for his fellow citizens”). He was living with his paternal grandmother, Helen Clegg, in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky, in 1940. He married June E. Marion on 8 July 1944 in Florida.