1stLt Hart reported: He was leading “C” flight over the Chin[dwin] Hills at 11,000 feet IFR. Viibility was about ½ mile. Lt. Erickson flew just ahead and over him as if Erickson did not see him. Erickson was higher and could not see the lead but the co-pilot could see it easily. As Erickson neared, Hart lost some altitude and let Erickson cross over and at about one o’clock, Erickson began losing altitude at about 500 feet per minute and went out of sight. He appeared to be in controlled flight.
Capt. Walter D. Allen, Asst. Operations Officer, reported: The “E” group – 3rd (element) was notified immediately and given details, aid requested to search. The area SE of Homalin was searched by 10th AF aircraft. The 490th Bomb Squadron was briefed. No reports made.
1stLt Erickson was interviewed: When about 2 ½ hours from base, the right engine cut out. We were at 10,000 feet and at about 120 MPH, continuing to lose altitude. Altitude dropped to 7,000 feet and it was impossible to cross the mountain ranges, and he gave the bail out order. The engineer, co-pilot and Erickson bailed out in that order and he saw some crew returned to duty. Those of the crew MIA were not in the B-25 when it was found in the Naga Hills, Burma, nor were any parachutes found. The crew bailed out at about 7,000 feet in the vicinity of 25.7 North & 94.55 East in Burma. Later interview: The target was an enemy supply dump near Bhamo, Burma. He was at the target when he left formation. He bailed out and other crew bailed out. He ordered the brew to bail out. Before he jumped, he got no response from the rear. He did not see SSgt Corradino jump. 2ndLt Lundin jumped just before Erickson and was seen to pull his rip cord. SSgt Clayton jumped before 2ndLt Lundin from the front hatch. The British 4th Brigade searched the crash site and found no bodies or parachutes.
Sgt Pomphrey and SSgt Corradino were MIA. SSgt Clayton returned on 23 August 1944. Only those killed or who may have been captured are detailed.
POMPHREY, JOHN WILLIAM, Staff Sergeant, # 11116267, USAAF
John W. Pomphrey was born 20 April 1922 in Marlborough, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, to Thomas J. Pomphrey (1872-1930) and Mary E. (Farrell) Pomphrey (1870-1948). Siblings included William F. Pomphrey (1899-1954) and Eileen C. (Pomphrey) Lanois (1902-1970).
He was living in Middlesex County, Massachusetts and enlisted in the USAAF on 9 November 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was trained in the operation and maintenance of all radio equipment aboard the B-25 and earned his crewman wings. On 11 August 1944, B-25H, # 43-4287, assigned to 10th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, departed the air field at APO 433, India, on a high -altitude mission to bomb Kadu, Burma. The crew bailed out at about 7,000 feet in the vicinity of 25.7 North & 94.55 East in Burma. He is remembered on the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Disntinguished Flying Cross, the Ar Medal and the Purple Heart. The family placed a memorial marker in the Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Marlborough, Massachusetts. Images next page.