43-4204           B25

 

On 6 June 1944, from the 10th Air Force airfield at Kurmitola, India, a B-25H, # 43-4204, 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, departed on an ammunition ferrying mission to the airfield at Chittagong, Burma, via Saichar. The weather was bad and visibility poor. The crew were:

                                          Pilot                                         1stLt William H. Halterman                 0-672023

                                          Navigator                                SSgt Donald H. Sage                            12040737

                                          Radio Operator – Gunner        SSgt Paul W. Stewart                           33532672

                                          Armorer – Gunner                   Sgt Angelo Maronne                            32087933

                                          Engineer – Gunner                  Sgt Frederick R. Phelps                        13049345 

A letter from Operations Officer, 490th Bomb Squadron, says that the route flown by the B-25 flown after taking off from Imphal, India, is frequently flown by the squadron aircraft and no sight of the loss had been seen by 8 June 1944.

A letter from Capt. James G. Resseguie, of the 22nd S.C.U., dated 13 June 1944, says that in response to a request for investigation of a crash at map coordinates RK212795, the completely wrecked remains of a B-25 was found on the sheer side of a mountain, about 100 feet from the summit. A local Indian Army unit reported that the aircraft crashed into the mountainside, then obscured by clouds, at about 1100 hours local on 6 June. The crew consisted of one lieutenant and at least two sergeants, all of whom were killed, and were buried by a Ghurka patrol on 11 June. The following was given to the crash investigator: 1 burned leather flying jacket with Chinese writing on the left breats, 1 leather wallet holding 1 Rupee note, a plain Gold ring, a latchkey, a Signet rings ornamented with a skull, crest, and wings, a St. Christopher medallion with “I am Catholic, if injured notify a Priest,” inscribed. Two coupon books for a club named “Raider’s Roost.” Two identity disks inscribed with the name “Frederick R. Phelps, 13049345, T.43-44B.” A search was made of the crash site but no further identification means was found. Getting to the crash site required a two-day journey on foot with guides and a river crossing on a creeper bridge. Smashed equipment was removed and carried back.

 

On 28 June 1944, a message by radio, # JN-326-R-7 to McCarten Info Davidson from Callahan, regarding missing B-25H 43-4204 and crew, 1stLt W.H. Halterman, as reported. Sgt. Frederick R. Phelps was one of three crew members killed when the bomber struck a mountainside near Imphal. The crash investigation was by a Britishairman, 221 Group, and information was received from the British by the 52d Service Group. The exact site of the crash is RK-112795, southeast of the town of Churachandpur, India.

The next-of-kin were listed as:

 

                                    Halterman       Mr Arthur R Halterman, father, 136 Wood St, Buckhannon, W.VA.

                                    Sage                 Mrs Robert F Latham, sister, 911 Park Ave, NYC, NY

                                    Stewart            Mrs Lustra N Stewart, mother, 711 3rd St SW, Roanoke, VA

                                    Marrone           Mrs Ray F Marrone, wife 2275 Baseford Ave, [Bronx}, NY

                                    Phelps              Mrs Revel S Phelps, 201 Springs St, Chevy Chase, MD