ELDRIDGE, MORRIS L., Second Lieutenant, # 0-744263, USAAF

 

He was born on 1917 in Jefferson County, Washington to Alfred Eldridge (1886-1967) (divorced in 1930; widowed in 1940; Irondale, Washington) and Adeline Jeanetta (Elgin) Wilder nee Eldridge (1895-1930). In 1930 census, Morris L. is spelled Maurice L. A brother was Wayne Eldridge (1921-2008).

 

He enlisted while residing in Jefferson County, Washington, on 17 February 1941, in Tacoma, Washington. He was trained as a navigator and bombardier for the B-25 Mitchell and earned his commission and wings. On 13 May 1944 B-25H, # 43-4360, assigned 14th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 491st Bomb Squadron, Yangkai, China, departed the air field at Yangkai on a combat mission to Yunnanyi, China. It was last sighted at about 1246 hours at 24º, 43’ North - 100º, 27’ East. It was returning from mission, flew into weather but not seen agan after clearing weather. All were killed in action. His remains were buried in a single-casket group burial at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lamay, Missouri. He is remembered in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart.

 

His brother, Wayne Eldridge, born 3 April 1921, enlisted in the U.S. Army (# 39186954) on 21 August 1942 in Tacoma, Washington. He died 10 July 2008.

PRIEST, WILLIAM W., Sergeant, # 32483398, USAAF

 

William W. Priest was born 1920 in New Jersey to Samuel Priest (1873-1955) and Maria (Briggs) Priest (1877-1958). Siblings included Jackson Briggs Priest (1903-1973), Ada B. Priest (1904-1977), Samuel B. Priest (1908-1908), Isabella (Priest) Lister (1909-1989), Charles Harry Priest (1910-1958), Edward C. Priest (1914-    ) and Thomas Goldy Priest (1914-2007).

 

He enlisted and was trained in the mechanical operation, maintenance and repair of the B-25 Mitchell, and earned his crewman wings. In the USAF, this position (engineer) was to be named Crew Chief. On 13 May 1944 B-25H, # 43-4360, assigned 14th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 491st Bomb Squadron, Yangkai, China, departed the air field at Yangkai on a combat mission to Yunnanyi, China. It was last sighted at about 1246 hours at 24º, 43’ North - 100º, 27’ East. It was returning from mission, flew into weather but not seen agan after clearing weather. All were killed in action. His remains were buried in a single-casket group burial at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lamay, Missouri. He is remembered in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart.

 

His brother, Charles H. Priest, enlisted 9 October 1942, in Camden, New Jersey.

Priest Family Monument