43-3671           MACR 12978

 

On 10 March 1945 a B-25D-36NC, “Bit of Lace,” # 43-3671, assigned to 10th Air Force, 10th Weather Region Group, 2nd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Guskhara, India, departed the airfield at Myitkyina, Burma, on a staging mission to Chengtu, China, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump). Last contact was by radio when it was near Myitkyina, Burma, after landing there and refueling. A pilot of another B-25, Lt. John C. Scales, tried to contact 43-3672 and got no replies. The crew was:

 

                                           Pilot                             1stLt William L. Knowlan Jr.               0-701066

                                           Co-Pilot                       2ndLt Charles A. Cannon Jr.                0-704460

                                           Weather Observer       2ndLt Charles H. Janssen                    0-874309

                                           Radio Operator            SSgt William H. Hutchings                  11064264

                                           Crew Chief                  SSgt Fred E. Keup                               36325666

                                           Navigator                    2ndLt Calvin D. Sigrist                        0-2058570

                                           Passenger                     TSgt John Zok                                     31072294

The next-of-kin listed were:

 

                                          Knowlan          Luella E. Knowlan, W, c/o Dr. J.R. Edwards, Blanco, TX

                                          Cannon            Mildred W. Cannon, W, 2300 Nebraska St., Sioux City, Iowa

                                                                  Charles A. Cannon

                                          Janssen            Edith G. Janssen, M, 1728 Highland Parkway, Saint Paul, Minn.

                                          Hutchings        Bertha A. Hutchings, M, 613 Maple St., Fall River, Mass.

                                          Keup               Mary Keup, W, 220 E. Howard St., Pontiac, IL

                                          Sigrist              Beatrice D. Sigrist, M, 4716 19th Southeast, Seattle, WA

                                          Zok                 Annie Zok, M, 71 Oxford, Lawrence, Mass.

KNOWLAN, WILLIAM LEE, JR., First Lieutenant, # 0-701066, USAAF

 

William L. “Billy” Knowlan Jr. was born on 16 July 1917 in Victoria, Victoria Co., Texas to William L. Knowlan (1886-1977) (TX) and (2nd spouse) Florence “Flossie” (Killian) Knowlan (1900-1993) (MO). Sibling was Donald Allen Knowlan (1926-    ). The 1920 census shows him living with his father, who is widowed, in Victoria, Victoria Co., Texas. He was married to Luella (Edwards) Knowlan (1918-1984).

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, resided at 302 E. Forest St., Victoria, Victoria Co., TX, and described himself as 6’, 160 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, on 17 March 1941. He completed flight instruction through advanced school and was assigned to fly the B-25 Mitchell. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent to India. On 10 March 1945 a B-25D-36NC, “Bit of Lace,” # 43-3671, assigned to 10th Air Force, 10th Weather Region Group, 2nd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Guskhara, India, departed the airfield at Myitkyina, Burma, on a staging mission to Chengtu, China, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump). Last contact was by radio when it was near Myitkyina, Burma, after landing there and refueling. A pilot of another B-25, Lt. John C. Scales, tried to contact 43-3672 and got no replies.