43-24984

 

On 24 December 1944 a P-51C-10, # 43-24984, assigned to 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Suichwan, China, departed its airfield on a bomb/strafe mission to Hong Kong Harbor. It was struck by anti-aircraft fire and last seen by 2ndLt Frederick A. Lanphier, 0-898184, near Stone Cutters Island, Hong Kong Harbor, when the pilot was able to parachute on to the island. The pilot was 2ndLt Max L. Parnell, # 0-886010.

 

PARNELL, MAX LEWIS, Captain, # 0-866010, USAAF

 

Max L. Parnell was born on 28 April 1922 in Georgia to John Chesley Parnell (1901-1975) and Sarah Burnes (Lewis) Parnell (1899-1985). A sibling was Sarah Madge (Parnell) Moore (1924-    ). He was married to Virginia Alyce (Duckett) Parnell (1919-2005).

 

He enlisted in the Georgia National Guard as a Corporal on 25 November 1940, Coast Artillery Corps, but was activated and selected for flight school. After being moved to the USAAF, he completed flight instruction and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 24 December 1944 a P-51C-10, # 43-24984, assigned to 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Suichwan, China, departed its airfield on a bomb/strafe mission to Hong Kong Harbor. It was struck by anti-aircraft fire and last seen by 2ndLt Frederick A. Lanphier, 0-898184, near Stone Cutters Island, Hong Kong Harbor, when the pilot was able to parachute on to the island. He was captured by the enemy and placed in the Shinjuku (Tokyo) POW camp # 35-140. He was last reported by American authorities alive and liberated on about 29 August 1945. He died 6 May 2001 and is buried in the New Smyrna Cemetery, Smyna, Cobb Co., Georgia. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, and the POW Medal.

43-24986

 

On 28 October 1944 a P-51C-10, # 43-24986, assigned to 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 74th Fighter Squadron, Luliang, China, departed the airfield on a flight to Luichow, China. The P-51 in a flight of eight P-51s, and was last seen by 2ndLt John R. Branz, 0-472372, 30 miles southeast of Kweilin at about 1415 hrs, above the overcast, on a 90° course. The pilot was 2ndLt Elford R. Bowman, born 22 May 1922 in Texas.

 

BOWMAN, ELFORD R., Second Lieutenant, # 0-686627, USAAF

 

Elford R. Bowman was born on 22 May 1922 in Cherokee, San Saba Co., Texas, to Tyra James Bowman (1893-1928) and Sarah “Bettie” Elizabeth (Bickley) Bowman (1889-1982). Siblings included Louis Howard Bowman (1916-1944), Geraldine Elizabeth Bowman (1918-1920), Vernelle (Bowman) Thaxton (1920-2009), and William Gene Bowman (1924-2013). Living with them in 1930 was his maternal grandfather, Edward P. Bickley (1858-1932) (widowed – Martha Elizabeth “Marthy” (Lucas) Bickley (1859-1923).