43-15809         C47 (MACR 14731) (duplicated 43-15209 & 45-52023)

 

On 25 April 1945, a C-47A-43, # 43-15809, assigned to 10th Air Force 3rd Combat Cargo Group, 12th Combat Cargo Group, departed the Tulihal airfield at Imphal, Burma, on a food supply mission to 21º 30’ North and 96º 22’ East in Burma, SE of Imphal. Last radio contact was with Cpl. Walter S. Zysko, 36732118, at about 0520 hours. The crewmen were:

 

                                           Pilot                             F/O George E. Russell                        T-132783

                                           Co-Pilot                       2ndLt Edward C. Corr Jr.                    0-835611

                                           Radio Operator            Sgt Joseph P. Ward                              12084110

                                           Engineer                      Cpl Wendell R. Gross                          31340393

                                           Supply droppers British, not U.S. personnel:

                                                                                Driver A. E. Robinson                         T6141150

                                                                                Driver J. Morris                                   T14260058

                                                                                Pvt Yonasan Biruruju                          N7380

 

Search was made by all aircraft at Tulihal on April 25 and 26 April 1945. In addition, 2 aircraft were dispatched for a special search on the afternoon of 26 April. The searches were made from Tulihal between 125º to 165º as far as Mandalay, Burma.  1stLt William M. Widmayer. A dental chart record is in the fold3.com file regarding 2ndLt Corr: It noted he was Catholic, had an enlisted service # 12174457, was 5’7”, and 154 lbs. Added was: “The [C-47] was hit by a Japanese shell and crashed into a hill in the Arakan hills, a heavy woodedarea of western Burma, between the coast and the Irrawady River. This area was thoroughly searched but neither plane nor crew was located.”

 

At 151st General Hospital, British, on 19 October 1945, Private Biruruju reported: The C-47 was hit by enemy fire. He was looking out of the C-47 and saw the enemy firing. The pilot tried to turn but crashed into a hill at about 0955 hours. He was thrown out and does not recall the crash. He was about 100 yards away when he became aware the C-47 was burning. He heard 2 crewmen talking but could not see them. He heard Japanese voices. He saw Japanese, 1 with a Sten gun, 1 a Bren gun, and 1 a rifle that belonged to the crew. He did not see any crewmen after the crash. He wandered in the jungle for eleven days and saw several Japanese camps but was not captured. He had no food, only water. On 6 May 1945 he saw some Indian troops and whistled at them. After questioning, they took him to a doctor. He was very ill from a head injury. He thought he walked a hundred mles in the 11 days.

The next-of-kin listed were:

 

                                                    Corr                 Mrs Edward C Corr, M, 71 Lancaster St, Cohoes, NY

                                                    Russell             Nana J Russell, M, 190 Hepburn Rd, Clifton, NJ

                                                    Ward                Thomas Ward, F, 1928 University Ave, NY, NY

                                                     Gross               Florence E Gross, W, 118 Church St, Dexter, Maine