43-3896           B25

 

On 20 May 1944 a B-25J, # 43-3896, assigned to 10th Air Force, 12th Bomb Group (Medium), 434th  Bomb Squadron, Kurmitola, India, departed its airfield on a combat mission to Mawlu, Burma. It was shot down by enemy small caliber weapons. The crew was:

 

                           Pilot                             Capt. John H. McCloskey Jr.                0-796848            POW/RTD

                           Co-Pilot                       2ndLt Thomas W. Snee                        0-677300             KIA

                           Navigator                    Capt. Wayne R. Westberg                     0-732792 POW/died of starvation and dysentery on

                                                               22 August in the Rangoon prison. McCloskey prepared Westberg’s body for burial in the                                                                       Rangoon cemetery

                           Radio Operator            TSgt Edward F. Niland                        32251492

                           Crew Chief                  SSgt Herman L. Snyder                       39828641

                           Armorer                       SSgt Leland H. Waltrip                        39251861 POW

(All enlisted men served dually as gunners)

The last to see the B-25 aloft was 1stLt John B. Walker while making a bomb run on the target.

The listed next-of-kin were:

                                     McCloskey                  John H. McCloskey, F, 57 N. Bryant Ave., Pittsburgh, PA

                                     Snee                             Ruth Snee, W 3317 N. Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA

                                                                          T. W. Snee, F, 7176 Ambay Rd, Tottenville, NY

                                     Westberg                     Zelma K. Hines, M, 712 Minneapolis Ave., Albert Lea, Minn.

                                     Niland                         Augusta L. Niland, M, 145 Elm Rd, Tonawanda, NJ

                                     Snyder                         W, P.O. Box 382, Iraan, TX

                                                                          Fla W. Snyder, F, Hawthorne, NV

                                     Waltrip                        Kathryn M. Lowery, M, 729 Lambert Ave., Elmonte, CA

Waltrip, liberated & assigned to 420th AAF Base Unit, reported Westberg’s death; as did McCloskey.

MCCLOSKEY, JOHN HENRY, JR., Captain, # 0-796848, USAAF

 

John H. McCloskey Jr. was born on 1 December 1921 to John H. McCloskey (1884-1972) and Marie Anna (Dany) McCloskey (1887-1978) (married 1907). Siblings included Anna Marie (McCloskey) Meyers (1915-2000), Dorothy Jane (McCloskey) Westfall (1920-2003), Richard Joseph McCloskey (1926-2001). He was married to Orlandina M. (Marino) Weaver nee McCloskey (1927-2014) on 25 November 1943.

 

He registered for the WWII draft in 1942, resided at 57 N. Bryant Ave., Bellevue, PA, and described himself as 6’, 155 lbs, with brown hair and gray eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 9 May 1942 and served through 20 November 1945. After enlisting, he completed flight instruction through advanced schools, was multi-engine rated, and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. He flew more than fifty missions before his bomber was shot down. On 20 May 1944 a B-25J, # 43-3896, assigned to 10th Air Force, 12th Bomb Group (Medium), 434th Bomb Squadron, Kurmitola, India, departed its airfield on a combat mission to Mawlu, Burma. It was shot down by enemy small caliber weapons.