43-23616

 

On 30 October 1944 a P-40N, # 43-23616, assigned to 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 76th Fighter Squadron, Liuchow, China, departed the airfield on a flight to Luliang. The pilot was 1stLt A. J. Newsome, # 0-820312. He was last seen by 2ndLt Leonard J. O’Dell, 0-704724, who reported that the flight ran low on fuel and diverted to Kunming but, did not make it. They bailed out of their P-40s.

 

On 20 November 1944, the squadron reported that 1stLt Newsome crashed and died at Ming Sun village on 30 October 1944. His remains were buried at 1600 hours, 14 November in an American cemetery, one mile northeast of Kunming, Plot 13, roe 2, grave 13, marked by a wooden cross.

 

NEWSOME, A. J., First Lieutenant, # 0-820312, USAAF

 

A.J. Newsome as born on 22 September 1922 in Murphy, Collin Co., Texas, to Stanley Boyd Newsome (1898-1961) and Delia Cora (Keck) Newsome (1901-1958). Siblings included James Travis Newsome (1924-1997), Betty Jean Newsome (1928-2003), Barbara Ann Newsome (1931-2016), and Peggy Joyce Newsome (1933-2011).

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Dallas, Texas, on 6 January 1942. After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight instruction and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 30 October 1944 a P-40N, # 43-23616, assigned to 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 76th Fighter Squadron, Liuchow, China, departed the airfield on a flight to Luliang. He was last seen by 2ndLt Leonard J. O’Dell, 0-704724, who reported that the flight ran low on fuel and diverted to Kunming but, did not make it. They bailed out of their P-40s. On 20 November 1944, the squadron reported that 1stLt Newsome crashed and died near Ming Sun village on 30 October 1944. His remains were buried at 1600 hours, 14 November in an American cemetery, one mile northeast of Kunming, Plot 13, row 2, grave 13, marked by a wooden cross. He had flown eighty-seven combat missions. After recovery, his remains were buried in the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas, on 13 November 1947 (Sec. M, Grave 227). The Air Medal was awarded and presented to his father.

 

His father, born 19 July 1898, served in the U.S. Army (Texas National Guard) during WWI, a Private First Class, # 1497163, 36th Division, 144th Infantry Regiment, Company B, and was in the European theater. He died 3 November 1961 and is buried in the Cedarlawn Memorial Park, Sherman, Grayson Co., Texas. Another regiment was combined with elements of his father’s 6th Texas Infantry at Camp Bowie to form the new 144th Infantry Regiment. They were going to fight in World War I. They were assigned to the 72nd Brigade of the 36th Infantry Division, alongside the 143rd Infantry Regiment. Arriving in France in July 1918, it trained in Bar-sur-Aube until September where they served as a reserve for the French Army. On 9 October 1918, the 144th relieved elements of the 2nd Infantry Division during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. By the time the Texans had reached the front, the Germans were engaging in a fighting retreat all along the front line. Enemy artillery, gas, and machine-gun, small arms fire hit the men of the regiment during their continuous advance, but they closed in on the Aisne River by 12 October. The next day, they swept south to clear out any stalwart defenders, and were moved off the line. They spent the rest of the war acting as a divisional reserve.