HODGE, WILLIAM LEON, Sergeant, # 34652508, USAAF
William L. Hodge was born on 2 May 1923 in South Carolina to Henry Staniel Hodge (1898-1987) and Daisy (Hammett) Hodge (1902-1979). Siblings included James Edward “Budgy” Hodge (1924-2012) and Earleene Hodge.
He enlisted in the USAAF on 10 April 1943 at Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina. He was trained in the maintenance and repair of the mechanical parts of the B-25 Mitchell and earned his crewman wings. He also shot one of the .50 caliber machineguns. He was sent overseas to 10th Air Force in India. On 11 September 1944, a B-25J, # 43-3970, assigned to 10th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, departed an airfield in India on a bombing mission of the Hsenwi Road Bridge. It was last seen at about 1440 hours in the vicinity of the target before it crashed, killing all the crewmen. It was last seen by 1stLt Donald F. Karschner, 0-813388. He reported that the last he saw of the missing bomber was at 1440 hours and that bomber was at about his 7 o’clock, 2 miles behind him. He went IFR and climbed to 11,000 feet and cleared the clouds. About 5 minutes later, his tail gunner reported a B-25 about 10 miles back. He is remembered on the wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A marker was placed in the Oakland Cemetery, Gaffney, South Carolina. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
His brother, James E. Hodge, born 12 December 1924, served in the U.S. Army during WW II, a Private First Class. He died 4 November 2012, and is buried in the Frederick Memorial Gardens, Gaffney, South Carolina.
ESPOSITO, CARMINE A., Staff Sergeant, # 32410125, USAAF
Carmine A. Esposito was born on 3 March 1921 in New York, New York, to Esposito and Maria F. Esposito (1882-1972). Siblings included Phillip Esposito (1908- ), Joseph Esposito (1910- ), Jennie Esposito (1914- ), Frances (Esposito) DiBartolo (1917-2009), and Michael Paul Esposito (1923-2010). He married Vincenza Cachia (1923-2003).
He enlisted in the USAAF at Fort Jay, Governor’s Island, New York, on 21 July 1942. He was trained in the maintenance and operation of the radio equipment on the B-25 Mitchell. He earned his crewman wings.