SHEA, JAMES FRANCIS, Technician 5th, # 31152968, USAAF
James F. Shea was born on 12 May 1921 in Randolph, Maine to William Albert Shea (1884-1972) and Margaret Isadore (Dowling) Shea (1893-1972) (married 29 November 1916 in Gardiner, Maine). Siblings included Constance Rosemary (Shea) Hinkley (1917-2003), Christine Madelon (Shea) Mansir (1923- ), and William Albert Shea Jr. (1926-2016). In 1921, 1930-40, his father was a shoemaker.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army, resided in Kennebac Co., Maine, and enlisted in Portland, Maine, on 1 December 1943. He was trained in the supply of food, clothing, arms and other supplies at the Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, Virginia. He was sent overseas to India, assigned to 3841 Quartermaster Truck Co., 478 Quartermaster Battalion Mobile. On 22 June 1944, a C-47A, # 43-15783, assigned to 10th Air Force, Air Transport Command, 3rd Combat Cargo Group, 11th Combat Cargo Squadron, departed an airfield in India on a supply drop mission and was last at 25º 21’ North & 90º 0’ 30” East, in Burma. The C-47A crashed but some crewmen survived. 1stLt Knudtsen, 2ndLt Wiltbank and Cpl. Ray O. McNeill survived the crash and were rescued by Australian Army forces. 2ndLt Wiltbank later died in a hospital from his wounds. His remains were buried in the airfield cemetery at Kalaikunda, India (Plot 4, Row 1, Grave 879). A search and rescue team investigated the crash. The C-47A was identified by the serial number on its rudder. The remains of the other three servicemen (T5s Emmeluth, Shea, and Fredette) were found at the crash site. The remains of all three were buried in the airfield cemetery at Barrackpore, India (X-393 at 3-T-14, X-394 at 3-T-34, and X-395 at 3-U-28). Dental charts were made for future identifications. After recovery of their remains from Burma and Barrackpore, India, they were buried in a double-casket grave in the Long Island National Cemetery, Suffolk Co., Farmington, NY, on 25 October 1949 (Sec. J, Grave 13572 & 13573).