LARRECOU, EMILE ALBERT, JR., Second Lieutenant, # 0-1552538, USAAF

 

Emile A. Larrecou Jr. was born 26 October 1921 in California to Emile A. Larrecou (1895-1945) and Grace Louise (Flemming) Larrecou (1899-    ). Sibling was Richard Eugene Larrecou (1926-1991).

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 16 February 1942, employed by Methlehem Steel, resided at 631 Octavia St., San Francisco, CA, and described himself as 5’9”, 200 lbs, with black hair and hazel eyes. He noted that he had a one-inch scar on his left elbow. He enlisted in the USAAF in San Francisco, California, on 9 April 1942. After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight instruction through advanced school, was multi-engine rated, and were assigned to fly the B-25 Mitchell. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 30 May 1945 a B-25J, # 43-27810, assigned 14th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, Hengchung, China, departed the airfield on a low-level bombing and strafing mission over the Sincheng railroad bridge. It was seen to crash by 2ndLt Frank D. Browning, 0-716339, at about 1140 Zulu 1 mile south of the Sincheng railroad yards (34° 13’ North & 113° 48’ East). 2ndLt Browning reported that he was navigator on another B-25 (tail # 588), was about 4-5 miles north of the target. B-25 tail # 810 had dropped his bombs. Saw him strafing a line of 12-15 railroad cars in the railyard, several miles north of Quang Tri. He completed the run, turned left, leveled out and flew straight then went into the ground at about 1145 hrs Zulu 1-2 miles southeast of the line of railroad cars. The B-25 slid along the ground. He saw no damage to the B-25 before he hit the ground. Stayed overhead to 1200 hrs but could not see the B-25 again. 1stLt John Thomson, 0-700821, reported on return from a mission on 31 May 1945, searched where 43-27810 was reported down. Found the B-25 at 1115 hours Zulu at 34° 22’ North & 113° 46’ East. He was at 6,000’ and took photographs. The B-25 was about 1,500’ east of the Sincheng, Vietnam, railroad yards, lying north of a row of trees on the edge of a gully. The B-25 was severely damaged, fuselage visible and faces north. The wings and engine nacelles appear destroyed and considerable wreckage is strewn about. It appears that the B-25 slid on its belly from the southwest to where it stopped. There were no visible signs of activity at the wreckage. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

 

His brother, Richard E. Larrecou, served in the U.S. Navy, on the U.S.S. Mount McKinley (AGC-7), Fireman 1st Class, # 3783397, the U.S.S. St. Louis (CL-49), Seaman 2nd Class, from 6 May 1943.

DURKEE, LESLIE ROBERT, JR., Second Lieutenant, # 0-717404, USAAF

 

Leslie Robert Durkee Jr. was born 1924 in Massachusetts to Leslie R. Durkee (1895-1941) and Marian (Underwood) Harvey nee Durkee nee Moffett (1898-1965). Siblings were Raymond Jesse Durkee (1923-2008), Leon Carl Durkee (1926-2009), and Clayton Allen Durkee (1930-1996). He married Gladys Jean (Franklin) Durkee on 24 August 1944 in Lansing, Ingham, Michigan.