43-3964           B25

 

On 6 October 1944 a B-25J, # 43-3964, assigned to 10th Air Force, 12th Bomb Group, 83rd Bomb Squadron, Fenny, India, departed its airfield on a combat mission to the bridge at Nyaungyan, Burma. The B-25 was seen to crash after being attacked by enemy fighters. The crew was:

 

                                            Pilot                                         1stLt John R. Couch                            0-810114

                                            Co-Pilot                                   2ndLt Leslie W. Hodge                        0-822008

                                            Bombardier/Navigator            2ndLt George L. Mauldin Jr.                0-703142

                                            Crew Chief                              Sgt Ernest E. Wilson                           38399243

                                            Radio Operator                        Cpl John L. Russell Jr.                         11069380

                                            Armorer                                   Sgt Daren C. Engel                              18171011

 

Sgt Charles E. Quiggle, 37270775, saw it crash. He reported that it was a twelve-ship formation and they were attacked by enemy fighters head on. After hearing the warning, “Japs.” The bombers salvoed their bombs and turned to return to base. He watched the B-25 lose altitude rapidly, right engine on fire, and it crashed near Dayegaung, Burma. There was a large explosion and a parachute billowed from the crash.

COUCH, JOHN RALPH, First Lieutenant, # 0-810114, USAAF

 

John R. Couch was born on 27 January 1921 in Falcon, Laclede, Missouri to Virgil Andrew Couch (1894-1984) and/or Laura A. Nelson (1868-1938) (married 26 January 1902, Laclede Co., MO) and Vera I. (Henderson) Couch (1897-    ) (married 27 November 1916, Lebanon, Laclede Co., MO). Siblings included Ruth E. (Couch) Grossman (1919-2014) and Theodore “Ted” Couch (1922-2000)

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 16 February 1942, resided in Bosworth, Carroll Co., MO, and described himself as 6’, 175 lbs, with brown hair and gray eyes. He noted a mole under his right jaw. He enlisted in the USAAF in Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, on 19 March 1942. He completed flight instruction through advanced schools, was multi-engine rated, and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 6 October 1944 a B-25J, # 43-3964, assigned to 10th Air Force, 12th Bomb Group, 83rd Bomb Squadron, Fenny, India, departed its airfield on a combat mission to the bridge at Nyaungyan, Burma. The B-25 was seen to crash after being attacked by enemy fighters. Sgt Charles E. Quiggle, 37270775, saw it crash. He reported that it was a twelve-ship formation and they were attacked by enemy fighters head on. After hearing the warning, “Japs.” The bombers salvoed their bombs and turned to return to base. He watched the B-25 lose altitude rapidly, right engine on fire, and it crashed near Dayegaung, Burma. There was a large explosion and a parachute billowed from the crash. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A memorial marker was placed in the Wharton Cemetery, Bosworth, Carroll Co., Missouri. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.