43-15805         C47

 

On 30 September 1944 a C47A Skytrain, assigned to 10th Air Force, 3rd Combat Cargo Group, 11th Combat Cargo Squadron, departed its airfield at Dinjan, India, on an administrative flight to Karagapur, India.  It encountered severe weather near Lalmaniar, India, and crashed. The crew was:

                                                      Pilot                             1stLt Carl H. Becnel                0-795342

                                                      Co-Pilot                       2ndLt Frederick L. Thatcher    0-768751

                                                      Crew Chief                  PFC William D. Wofford         6923099

                                                      Radio Operator            SSgt Dale B. Stamper              18034203

BECNEL, CARL HERMANN, JR., First Lieutenant, # 0-795342, USAAF

 

Carl H. Becnel was born on 15 June 1918 in Taft, Louisiana, to Carl Hermann Becnel (1893-1948) (LA) and Aimee (Cambre) Becnel (1894-1978) (LA) (married 14 July 1917). Siblings included Floyd Raymond Becnel (1935-1952). Living with them in 1930 was a maternal aunt, Camelia Cambre (1885-    ).

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, a student at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, and described himself as 5’6”, 133 lbs, with black hair and gray eyes. He noted there was a scar on the back of his left ear. He enlisted in the USAAF as an aviation cadet in Jackson, Mississippi, on 24 January 1942. He completed flight instruction through advanced schools and was multi-engine rated. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 30 September 1944 a C47A Skytrain, # 43-15805, assigned to 10th Air Force, 3rd Combat Cargo Group, 11th Combat Cargo Squadron, departed its airfield at Dinjan, India, on an administrative flight to Karagapur, India.  It encountered severe weather near Lalmaniar, India, and crashed. After recovery from the American military cemetery at Kalaikunda, India, his remains were buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Hawaii, on 25 February 1949 (Sec. M, Grave 1022). He was awarded the Air Medal.

THATCHER, FREDERICK L., Second Lieutenant, # 0-768751, USAAF

 

Frederick L. Thatcher was born on 12 October 1920 in Kalkaska, Kalkaska Co., Michigan, to Henry Clay Thatcher (1886-1981) and Carrie Anna (Lund) Thatcher (1893-1984). Siblings included Robert A. Thatcher (1924-2011) and Betty Jean Thatcher (1926-2011). He was living with his maternal uncle, Earl Lund (1906-1976) and Irene L. (Eves) Lund (1904-1992) and their family in Garfield, Kalkaska, Michigan, in 1940, while also being noted as resident with his parents in Kalkaska, Michigan.