BLUMER, PHILIP EDWARD, First Lieutenant, # 0-682046, USAAF
Philip E. Blumer was born on 19 December 1919 in Fayette Co., Kentucky, to Sherry John Blumer (1883-1954) and Anna C. (Eckman) Blumer (1888-1980). Siblings included Clarice M. (Blumer) Ruddell (1907-1992), Cole Hasting Blumer (1910-1942), Helen Eckman (Blumer) Gray (1913-2001), Sherry J. Blumer Jr. (1916-1990), Stella Blumer (1920- ), Margaret P. Blumer (1922- ), Robert Joseph Blumer (1925-2007), Jane Anna Blumer (1932- ). He was recorded as a missing Jewish serviceman by his mother.
After enlisting in the USAAF in Lexington, Kentucky, on 2 April 1942, he was trained in the dual role of navigator & bombardier for the B-25 Mitchell. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 26 May 1944 a B-25F, # 43-3611, assigned to 10th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, Kurmitola, India, departed the airfield at Chittagong hauling supplies to Imphal, India. Last contact was when it was near Silchar and encountered severe turbulence and poor visibility. The crashed bomber was located 20 miles from Shillong on the Cheripanji Rd. An ID tag was found with “Miller”. A recovery party was sent and arrived on 28 May 1944. The B-25 had crashed into a 6000’ cliff and completely disintegrated. It hit about 80’ below the rim and wreckage fell about 2,000’ to a ledge. Natives said the crash was at about 1600 hrs on 26 May 1944. One unrecognizable corpse was found. An American and a British officer got there before the party and one of them cut the Group insignia off the jacket on the corpse. Recovered from the wreckage were a .45 cal. M1911, part of a .45 cal. Thompson machinegun trigger assembly, knives and pieces of a jungle kit, a piece of a tan shirt with Sergeant stripes and a C.B.I. patch on the left shoulder/sleeve, leather jacket with name “H.C. Miller,” and a kit of aircraft tools. Also found was a fatigue cap, a pair of eye glasses, a spent case of 75mm cartridges, a compass, a headnet, 26 Silver rupees, a secret packet, and 12 Silver ½ rupees. Provost Marshal office Capt. Sherman went to the crash. He considers the wreckage to be of a B-25. He found 75mm cartridges scattered in the area but the 75mm cannon cannot be found. He found an aircraft tire and a shirt with Sergeant chevrons and the USAAF insignia. He found human body parts scattered and so decomposed that recognition was impossible. No identity discs were found.
1stLt Gari F. King reported that he departed Chittagong about 10 minutes after Mesnik. At 15:15 he heard Mesnik calling B-25 # 77 and there was no answer. King answered Mesnik. King was IFR for about 30 minutes. Mesnik said the weather was bad and they should return to base. King understood that Mesnik was returning. It was later reported that the B-25 was not armed with a 75mm cannon but was loaded with 75mm ammunition being ferried to Imphal. Photographs of the cliff and wreckage were sent to headquarters. After recovery from the American military cemetery in Barrackpore, India, the remains of 1stLt Harry T. Mesnik, 1stLt Philip E. Blumer, SSgt Albert E. Germaine, Sgt Herbert C. Miller, and Cpl. Earl W. Quigley, were buried together in the New Albany National Cemetery, New Albany, Indiana, on 13 August 1949 (Sec. B, Grave 1041B). He is remembered in the Calvary Cemetery, Lexington, Kentucky.
His brother, Sherry J. Blumer Jr., born 22 October 1916 served in the USAAF, First Sergeant then Sergeant Major, from 4 April 1942 to 13 January 1946. He died 4 April 1990 and is buried in the Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky.
His brother, Rev. Robert J. Blumer, born 15 September 1925, served in the USAAF from 10 December 1943 to 3 November 1945, in England as an 8th Air Force tail gunner on a B-17 and subsequently trained as a fighter pilot. He died 11 February 2007 and is interred in the John Knox Columbarium, Greenville, Greenville Co., South Carolina.