43-4361           B25 (MACR 1377)

 

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. The crew were:

 

                                              Pilot                                         2ndLt Jack C. Davis                 0-706032

                                              Bombardier/Navigator            2ndLt Eugene W. Krute            0-765441

                                              Engineer-Gunner                     SSgt Manuel Mata                    18015556

                                              Radio Operator-Gunner          SSgt Salvadore F. Rubalcava    38124479

                                              Armorer-Gunner                     SSgt Edgar B. Nettles               13053397

                                              Armorer-Gunner                     Cpl Richard J. Roesch              33070452

 

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), 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.

 

The next-of-kin were listed as:

 

                                                  Davis               Grace E Davis, W, P.O. Box 22, Moundridge, KS

                                                  Krute               Hazel H Krute, M, Rte 1, Root Rd, Elyria, OH

                                                  Mata                Maria G Mata, M, 912 S Stanton, # 4, El Paso, TX

                                                  Rubalcava        Eugenia Montez Rubalcava, M, 1507 E Nevaca St, El Paso, TX

                                                  Nettles             Mary Rork, S, 730 Main St, Royersford, PA

                                                  Roesch             Amelia Roesch, M, 914 Western St, Tarentown, PA