43-25226         MACR 14722

 

On 5 July 1945 a North American P-51C-10NT Mustang, “Gladys,” # 43-25226, assigned 14th Air Force, 51st Fighter Group, 26th Fighter Squadron, Kunming, China, departed the airfield at Nanning, China, on a bombing and strafing mission over Chikhom, China. When diving, it clipped off the end of a wing on a boat mast and flipped over, exploding upon impact into the docks, northeast of the target near 21° 14’ North & 110° 22’ East. The pilot was 2ndLt Robert B. Black, # 0-627369. 1stLt Grant H. Forsythe witnessed the crash.

 

BLACK, ROBERT BRUCE, First Lieutenant, # 0-627369, USAAF

 

Robert B. Black was born on 5 May 1924 in Maiden, Catawba Co., North Carolina, to Augustus Clarence Black (1894-1959) and Cleo Elise (Whitener) Black (1902-1956). Siblings were Mary Hilda Black (1922-1986) and Clara Ruth (Black) Little (1928-2012) and four more siblings. He was a Lees-McRae graduate of 1942. He was married to Martha Gladys (Sanburg) Burnside nee Black (1918-2007) (married 1944).

 

He registered for the WWII draft, resided at 222 W. 6th St., Charlotte, Mecklenburg, NC, employed by K.F. Conrad, and described himself as 6’, 152 lbs, with brown hair and hazel eyes. He noted that he had a scar on his left thumb. After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight instruction through advanced school and was assigned to fly the Curtiss P-51. He earned his commission and fighter pilot wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 5 July 1945 a North American P-51C-10NT Mustang, “Gladys,” # 43-25226, assigned 14th Air Force, 51st Fighter Group, 26th Fighter Squadron, Kunming, China, departed the airfield at Nanning, China, on a bombing and strafing mission over Chikhom, China. When diving, it clipped off the end of a wing on a boat mast and flipped over, exploding upon impact into the docks, northeast of the target near 21° 14’ North & 110° 22’ East. 1stLt Grant H. Forsythe witnessed the crash. After recovery, his remains were buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Hawaii, on 26 January 1949 (Sec. C, Grave 1518).