FINLEY, CLYDE CLEM, Flight Officer, # T-4898, USAAF

 

Clyde C. Finley was born on 16 October 1922 in Harrison Co., Iowa, to Clyde Clay Finley (1892-1977) (IA) and Sophia B. (McKay) Finley (1895-1984) (SD) (married 25 May 1921, Harrison Co., IA). Siblings were Dolores Ruth Finley (1919-    ).

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 30 June 1942, employed by the Missouri Valley C&NW Railroad, resided at 312 N. 4th St., Missouri Valley, Harrison Co., IA, and described himself as 5’8”, 138 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF 21 September 1942. After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight instruction through advanced school, was multi-engine rated, and were assigned to fly the Curtiss C-46 Commando. He earned his appointment as a Flight Officer and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 31 August 1945 a C-46A Commando, “Stork,” # 43-47003, assigned 10th Air Force, ATC, departed the airfield at Kunming, China, returning to Chabua, India, from a cargo mission, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump). The aircraft crashed about ten miles southwest of Pathalipan, India, enroute, was located by the 1352nd AAF Base Unit (Jungle Rescue) on 15 September 1945 but, the crew was killed. A ground search party reached the crash on 7 October 1945 and all three crewmen were found in the wreckage. They were buried at the crash site. After recovery from overseas, the remains of the crew (Rogers, Finley & Frega - indistinguishable) were buried in a group ceremony and burial in the Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Nebraska, on 30 August 1949 (Sec. R, Grave 18).

FREGA, DONALD DANIEL, Technical Sergeant, # 36636182, USAAF

 

Donald D. Frega was born on 26 September 1923 in Elmhurst, DuPage Co., Illinois, to Rudolph Carl Frega (1889-1959) and Lena Mary (Krisch) Frega (1890-1968). Siblings were Sylvester Frega (1908-1975), Raymond Frega (1911-1992), John Rudolph Frega (1913-1968), Caroline (Frega) VanHoose (1915-1999), Ralph Frega (1917-1998), Leonard Frega (1919-1985), and Bernice Lucille (Frega) Radtke (1921-2002).

 

After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained to maintain and operate the radio equipment on the C-46 Commando. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 31 August 1945 a C-46A Commando, “Stork,” # 43-47003, assigned 10th Air Force, ATC, departed the airfield at Kunming, China, returning to Chabua, India, from a cargo mission, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump). The aircraft crashed about ten miles southwest of Pathalipan, India, enroute, was located by the 1352nd AAF Base Unit (Jungle Rescue) on 15 September 1945 but, the crew was killed. A ground search party reached the crash on 7 October 1945 and all three crewmen were found in the wreckage. They were buried at the crash site. After recovery from overseas, the remains of the crew (Rogers, Finley & Frega - indistinguishable) were buried in a group ceremony and burial in the Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Nebraska, on 30 August 1949 (Sec. R, Grave 18).

 

His brother, Ralph Frega, born 4 July 1917, served in the U.S. Army, Sergeant, during WWII. He died 30 September 1998 and is buried in the Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park, Clearwater, Florida.

 

His brother Leonard Frega, born 26 March 1919, served in the U.S. Army from 2 October 1944 to 1 August 1946. He died 12 August 1985.