43-30610         MACR 14585

 

On 6 June 1945 a C-87 (B-24 cargo variant – Express Liberator), # 43-30610, assigned 10th Air Force, Assam Wing (ATC), Squadron B, 1330th AAF Base Unit, departed the airfield at Jorhat, India, on a cargo mission through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump) to Kunming, China. At about 1515 Zulu, the pilot lost control due to weather (severe icing), which through the C-87 into a spin and a dive and ordered the crew to bail out. The co-pilot and radio operator successfully jumped but, the pilot and crew chief could not and were killed in the fiery and explosive crash near Htawgaw and Lagwi, Burma. Natives found parts of two bodies and buried them near the wreckage. The crew was:

                                                   Pilot                             FO William J. Montgomery      T-193222

                                                   Co-Pilot                       1stLt Albert A. Arline               0-484097

                                                   Radio Operator            TSgt Jasper N. Bailey Jr.          34526841

                                                   Crew Chief                  PFC J. Warren Tharp               18194359

The next-of-kin were listed as:

                                       Montgomery    Sarah K. Montgomery, W, 1007 N. Queen St., Palestine, TX

                                       Arline              Wilma J. Arline, W, 1820 W. Brady St., Tulsa, OK

                                       Bailey              Jasper N. Bailey, F, 103 Arnold Ave., Cooksville, TN

                                       Tharp               Alva R. Tharp, F, 523 S. 5th St., Chickasha, OK

The report by radio operator TSgt Bailey is quite gripping and detail. It is included on the fold3.com MACR web pages for this crash.

MONTGOMERY, WILLIAM JORDAN, Flight Officer, # T-193222, USAAF

 

William J. Montgomery was born on 21 February 1911 in Lawton, Anderson Co., Texas, to Robert Estell Montgomery (1872-1937) (MI) and Jennie (Jordan) Montgomery (1889-1974) (AL). Siblings were Robert H. Montgomery (1909-1984), Edward Ready Montgomery (1917-1989), and Wallace Chamberlain “Pete” Montgomery (1919-2003). Living with them in 1930 was his maternal grandmother, Minnie Jordan (1857-    ) (GA) (widow). His father was an oil company manager in 1920 and President in 1930. William J. and Sarah Flournouy (Kolstad) Glass nee Montgomery (1912-2004) resided at 919 N. Queen, Palestine, Anderson Co., Texas, in 1935.

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, self-employed, resided at 108 Jones, Navasota, Grimes Co., TX, and described himself as 6’3”, 235 lbs, with blond hair and blue eyes. After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight instruction through advanced school, was multi-engine rated, and were assigned to fly the B-24/C-87 Express Liberator. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 6 June 1945 a C-87, # 43-30610, assigned 10th Air Force, Assam Wing (ATC), Squadron B, 1330th AAF Base Unit, departed the airfield at Jorhat, India, on a cargo mission through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump) to Kunming, China. At about 1515 Zulu, the pilot lost control due to weather (severe icing), which through the C-87 into a spin and a dive and ordered the crew to bail out. The co-pilot and radio operator successfully jumped but, the pilot and crew chief could not and were killed in the fiery and explosive crash near Htawgaw and Lagwi, Burma. Natives found parts of two bodies and buried them near the wreckage. The report by radio operator TSgt Bailey is quite gripping and detail. It is included on the fold3.com MACR web pages for this crash. After recovery, the remains of Montgomery and Tharp were buried in a group ceremony burial in the Fort Smith National Cemetery, Fort Smith, Sebastian Co., Arkansas (Sec. 1, Grave 115).