43-15821

 

On 5 December 1944, a C-47A-90-DL, # 43-15821, assigned to 10th Air Force, 2nd Air Commando Group, 317th Troop Carrier Squadron, departed the recaptured airfield at Myitkyina, Burma, on a combat mission to Kunming, China, flying over “the Hump” of the Himalayan Mountain range between Burma and China. The C-47 crashed about 10 kilometers West of Zhinaxiang, China, about 9 miles NE of the border with Burma. All of the crew was killed. Due to the terrain, no remains were recoverable. The crash was deemed a combat loss. The crewmen were awarded the Purple Heart. The crew were:

 

                                           Pilot                             Maj. Wirt E. Thompson Jr.                   0-425939

                                           Co-Pilot                       2ndLt Dorsey W. F. Beauchamp           0-700892

                                           Engineer                      TSgt William Weil                                12141962

                                           Radio Operator            SSgt William S. Weaver                       33535937

 

The next-of-kin were listed as:

                                         Thompson       Wirt E. Thompson, F, 122 Colonial Court, Little Rock, AR

                                         Beauchamp      Mary E. Beauchamp, W, 2018 Santa Barbara St, San Antonio, TX

                                         Weil                 Adelaide Weil, M, 885 W. End Ave, NY, NY

                                         Weaver            Ida W. Weaver, M, Rice, VA

THOMPSON, WIRT E., JR., Major, # 0-425939, USAAF

 

Wirt E. Thompson, Jr., was born in 1920 in Texas to Wirt E. Thompson (1887-1963) (TX) and Sally Severa (Ward) Thompson (1892-1984) (TX) (married in 1912 in Hill, TX). Siblings included Walter Ward Thompson (1913-1966), Sara Beth (Thompson) Fellows (1916-1983), Lillie Juanita (Thomp-son) Schiwetz (1918-2015). Living with the family in 1930 was D. M. Thompson (1849-    ) (widowed – paternal grandfather). In 1930 his father worked for a petroleum company. In 1943 his parents lived at 417 West D St., North Little Rock, Arkansas.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF as an aviation cadet, with 3 years of college, on 2 June 1941. He completed flight instruction and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 5 December 1944, a C-47A-90-DL, # 43-15821, assigned to 10th Air Force, 2nd Air Commando Group, 317th Troop Carrier Squadron, departed the recaptured airfield at Myitkyina, Burma, on a combat mission to Kunming, China, flying over “the Hump” of the Himalayan mountain range between Burma and China. The C-47A crashed about 10 kilometers West of Zhinaxiang, China, about 9 miles NE of the border with Burma (source – Aviation Safety Network web site database). All of the crew was killed. Due to the terrain, no remains were recoverable. He is remembered on the memorial wall in the Manila Americam Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Purple Heart.