HELT, HOWARD R., Sergeant, # 20761157, USAAF

 

Howard R. Helt was born in 1923 in Benton County, Missouri to Nathaniel Calbert Helt (1881-1969) and Ora F. (Starkey) Helt (1886-1969). Siblings included Frank Helt (1916-    ), Lowell Nathaniel Helt (1920-2006), George Calbert Helt (1925-2003).

 

He enlisted in the USAAF at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, on 15 September 1941. He was trained in the maintenance and func tion of the mechanics of the B-25 and earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 1 June 1944, a 10th Air Force, 12th Bomb Group (Medium), 434th Bomb Squadron, a B-25J, # 43-3935, departed the airfield at Tezgaon, India, on a combat mission to bomb the railroad bridge near Moza, Burma. The weather conditions were very poor with a heavy overcast up to 10,000 feet. The aircraft was last seen by 1stLt Herbert W. Lehman, # 0-672134 and 1stLt Edwin F. Johnson, # 0-672119. An element of three aircraft, they had bombed their target and were returning to base. The element flew into a large cloud and, upon exiting, 1stLt Chalk’s aircraft was not again seen. He is remembered on the monument in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

 

His brother, Lowell N. Helt, born 22 April 1920, served in the U.S. Army from 25 March 1942 to 6 November 1945.

COONEY, ARMAND E., Sergeant, # 20107437, USAAF

 

Armand E. Cooney was born in 1918. He enlisted in Springfield, Massachusetts, on 16 January 1941. He was trained as an armorer and gunner. The armorer is responsible for the maintenance and function of all weapons on the B-25. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 1 June 1944, a 10th Air Force, 12th Bomb Group (Medium), 434th Bomb Squadron, a B-25J, # 43-3935, departed the airfield at Tezgaon, India, on a combat mission to bomb the railroad bridge near Moza, Burma. The weather conditions were very poor with a heavy overcast up to 10,000 feet. The aircraft was last seen by 1stLt Herbert W. Lehman, # 0-672134 and 1stLt Edwin F. Johnson, # 0-672119. An element of three aircraft, they had bombed their target and were returning to base. The element flew into a large cloud and, upon exiting, 1stLt Chalk’s aircraft was not again seen. He is remembered on the monument in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.