RUBALCAVA, SALVADOR F., Staff Sergeant, # 38124479, USAAF
Salvadore F. Rubalcava was born on 15 February 1921 in El Paso, Texas, to Martin Saldana Rubalcava (1880-1961) and Eugenia (Montes) Rubalcava (1885-1960). Siblings included Jose S. Rubalcava (1907- ), Eduwijes Rubalcava (1909- ), Placida Rubalcava (1911- ), Antonio Rubalcava (1913-1979), Socorro R. Rubalcava (1917-1996), Dorotea (Rubalcava) Barrios (1924-1990), Julio Roberto Rubalcava (1927-2013), Alicia Rubalcava (1928- ).
He enlisted in the USSAF at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, on 19 August 1942. After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained in the maintenance and operation of the radio equipment on the B-25 Mitchell and earned his crewman wings. He was trained as a gunner. He was sent overseas to China. On 9 January 1945, a B-25H, # 43-4361, assigned to 14th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 491st Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Yangkai, China, on a combat mission to Kep, Indochina. It was last sighted at about 1556 Z near 21º 52’ North & 104º 45’ East, as it climbed into overcast in mountainous terrain and was believed to have crashed into mountain. It was last seen by 1stLt Heinz H. Templin, 0-757123, 2ndLt Charles H. Aldrich, 0-700684, and 2ndLt Clifford G. Schillinger, 0-765327. 1stLt Templin reported that he was flying up the Red River Valley with one wing B-25H, 43-4361, when the ceiling lowered. He tried to fly under the overcast but due to rain ahead and low visibility, climbed on course. He was unable to contact 43-4361 by radio so he gestured to him to climb. At the above-stated time and coordinates, he climbed and lost sight of 43-4361. They came out of the overcast at 5,000’ and could not contact 43-4361. On 19 May 1945, very reliable information was received that the French found, in the area of Dong Cuong and Maha (21º 55’ North & 104º 40’ East – Yen Bai, Annam (Vietnam), the crashed B-25H, and the remains of the crewmen, who were buried on a hillside near the wreckage by the French, with pieces of fuselage as a marker. Major Bamman of the 69th Air Base Wing has notes on the information. The French military mission in China sent a message confirming the find. After recovery, his remains were buried in the Fort Bliss National Cemetery, El Paso, Texas, on 31 October 1947 (Sec. E, Grave 8451).
His brother, Antonio Rubalcava, born 13 February 1913, served in the U.S. Army from 18 November 1942 to 18 November 1945. He died on 22 October 1979 in Santa Cruz Co., California.