White replied “I am _______ [something] zero miles NE of AX-2.” Sloat asked him to repeat the message because of radio jamming and poor reception. White repeated and Sloat understood that White was “zero zero miles” and Sloat thought White was at AX-3 and replied “OK, I will circle and let you catch up,” since Sloat was about 2 miles SW of Lingling. Sloat started to circle and Lt. Shumway and Lt. Chaney told Sloat that he was right behind. Sloat completed the circle and saw a B-25 trying to get in formation with him. Sloat thought this was Lt. White but it was Lt. Luedke, who in turn thought Sloat was Capt. Loring. Luedke saw Sloat was a B-25D instead of a B-25J, and Luedke proceeded to Keilin. Sloat thought White was on his right wing. After Sloat reached Tsuikang enroute to Keilin, he heard Lt. White call, very excited, and said, “Sloat, I am being attacked by Zeros.” There was good cloud cover at 2,500 feet and Sloat was flying about 200 feet beneath. Sloat replied, “Get up into the clouds quick.” White replied, “OK.” After a few seonds, Sloat was in the overcast. Sloat called White to see if he was safe and to see if he had any trouble. There was no reply. Sloat thought White might be in the interphone talking to his gunners. After 3 – 4 minutes with no answer, Sloat descended to about 2,000 feet and circled to see if White was hit and unable to climb into the clouds. He could see a B-25 ahead about 200 yards on course for Kweilin and thought it was White. He kept callin White and then Kweilin and got no reply from either. He got a message of “Mayday through and give the warning of Zeros in the area,” but figured it was useless to try again. That was Sloat’s last successful transmission.

 

Sgt. Anderson, tail gunner of 43-4277, reported: Lt. White’s B-25 was hit in the right engine by enemy fire from a small steamer. The right engine was pouring black smoke as they left the target. About a minute and a half to 2 minutes from the target, eight Zeros jumped us. Lt. White headed for the deck. A Zero shot up our right vertical stabilizer and blew it completely off. The B-25 went into the trees. The aircraft somersaulted. The Zeros made one pass then came over again and made five strafing passes with .20 mm. rounds. Lt. White and Lt. Hopper were about five feet in front of the wreckage. It looked like Lt. White’s neck was broken and Lt. Hopper had the armor plating from behind the seat covering him. It looked like the armor pushed him right through the ship. Sgt. Lovell was a little clear of the wreckage [and was dead]. [deleted] Sgt. Dorn was beside the wreckage [and was dead]. Anderson made hand signs to 4 or 5 Chinese by digging a small hole and laying a stick in it and covered it with dirt to indicate they should bury the bodies.  

WHITE, LYLE JACK, First Lieutenant, # 0-674969, USAAF

 

Lyle J. White was born 6 September 1918 in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, to James Edward White (1892-1971) and Edith May (Watkins) White (1894-1980). Siblings included James Edward White Jr. (1913-    ), Dr. Stanley Eugene White, M.D. (1916-1949) and Cecil Ira White (1914-1984). In 1950 his parents lived at 219 Willow St., Athens, Pennsylvania. In 1940 Edith White, mother of James E. (1875-    ), age 65 years, lived with them.

 

He registered for the WW II draft in 1940, stating his DOB was 6 September 1918 and he was born in Sayre, Pennsylvania. He described himself as 5’8”, 145 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. He lived in Braford Co., Pennsylvania, when he enlisted in the USAAF on 11 March 1941 at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He completed flight school and advanced flight school and was rated for multi-engine aircraft.