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