He enlisted in the USAAF in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on 7 July 1943. After he enlisted in the USAAF, he was trained to maintain and operate the radio equipment on the B-25 Mitchell. He earned his crewman 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 father, born 31 July 1900, served in the U.S. Army, retired a Lieutenant Colonel. He died 17 November 1993 and is interred with his wife in the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

VAN WART, PAUL HENRY, Sergeant, # 11082263, USAAF

 

Paul H. Van Wart was born in 1922 in Massachusetts to Henry “Harry” Addison Van Wart (1887-1931) and Abigail Frances (Barrett) Van Wart (1890-1974) (married in 1920, Boston, MA). Siblings were , Arthur Francis Van Wart (1923-2002), Infant Van Wart (1925-1925) and Robert Joseph Van Wart (1926-1997).

 

After he enlisted in the USAAF, he was trained to maintain the weapons (armorer) and to man a .50 caliber machinegun on the B-25 Mitchell. He earned his crewman 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.