43-4493           B25

 

On 17 January 1945, a B-25H, # 43-4493, “Gloria,” assigned to 10th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Warazup, Burma, on a mission to drop O.W.I. propaganda pamphlets over villages from Kyaukme to Namhsan; the hill villages in the vicinity of Namhsan; and Mongtat village; and crashed enroute at about 1340 hours. The route took them over enemy-occupied territory. The crew were:

 

                                            Pilot                                         2ndLt John L. Rigali                0-764374

                                            Navigator/Bombardier            2ndLt Robert L. Sylvernale      0-712696

                                            Engineer-Gunner                     Cpl Warren G. Hess                 17151692

                                            Radio Operator-Gunner          Cpl Stanley J. Zaiontz Jr.          18232866

                                            Armorer-Gunner                      Cpl Gerald L. Welsbacher        35174416

 

 

The crew was briefed to fly to Mongmit, fly a heading SE to the Namhsim River, pick up and follow the road and turn South toward the rail-line, but to avoid the rail-line and Kyaukme. From a point a few miles North of Kyaukme, they were to fly along the road North to Namhsan, covering the villages enroute. From there, they were to skirt the Namtu mines area enroute to Mongtat and head for their base. The aircraft did not return from the mission.

The next-of-kin listed were:

                                                 Rigali               Joan E Boanness, S, 4015 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA

                                                 Sylvernale        Lillian G Sylvernale, M, College Hwy, Southwich, Mass.

                                                 Hess                William P. Hess, F, RFD 2, Walcott, Iowa

                                                 Zaiontz            Tolka M Zaiontz, M, 609 Gulf St, San Antonio, TX

                                                Welsbacher      Dorothy M Welsbacher, W, 402 Linwood Ave, Canton, OH

RIGALI, JOHN LOUIS, Second Lieutenant, # 0-764374, USAAF

 

John L. Rigali was born on 9 October 1921 in Glendale, Los Angeles Co., California, to Albert Joseph Rigali (1882-1960) and Florence M. (Calderwood) Rigali (1890-1930). Siblings included Elizabeth F. Rigali (1915-2000), Marjory Charlotte Rigali (1917-1975), Albert Joseph Rigali Jr. (1919-1965), and Richard Anothony Rigali (1924-1993).

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 14 February 1942, resided at 4015 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, California, employed by Vega Aircraft Co., and described himself as 5’8”, 150 lbs, with brown hair and hazel eyes. After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight instruction through advanced school for the B-25 Mitchell and was multi-engine rated. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 17 January 1945, a B-25H, # 43-4493, “Gloria,” assigned to 10th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Warazup, Burma, on a mission to drop O.W.I. propaganda pamphlets over villages from Kyaukme to Namhsan; the hill villages in the vicinity of Namhsan; and Mongtat village; and crashed enroute at about 1340 hours. The crew was briefed to fly to Mongmit, fly a heading SE to the Namhsim River, pick up and follow the road and turn South toward the rail-line, but to avoid the rail-line and Kyaukme.