43-47213         MACR 13697

 

On 5 April 1945 a Curtiss C-46 Commando, # 43-47213, assigned 10th Air Force, ATC, 1337th AAF Base Unit, Sookerating, India, completed a cargo mission through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump) to Kunming, China. It departed Kunming on a return flight. Their radio operator tried to contact Sookerating ATC and although heard by Sookerating, no contact from Sookerating got through. The C-46 was 3 ½ hours out of Kunming, at 12,000’ on a heading of 300° and was lost. A British search team located the wreckage of the C-46 on 22 November 1945 seven miles due west of Menikrai, Sadiya Pradesh, India. They found all four bodies of the crew. The crew was:

                                           Pilot                             FO Lester L. Lackey                T-183807

                                           Co-Pilot                       FO Hobson E. Hudson           T-64499

                                           Radio Operator            Pvt Stanley B. Robinson          39559101

                                           Asst. Radio Operator   Pvt Millard F. White                33921083

The next-of-kin were listed:

                                      Lackey             Betty W. Lackey, Rte 2, Box 292, El Centro, CA

                                      Hudson            Eugene W. Hudson, F, Box 42, Berry, Alabama

                                                              Fannie E. Hudson, M, Berry, Alabama

                                      Robinson         Rose K. Robinson, M, 1350 W. 40th Place, Los Angeles, CA

                                      White               Dorothy White, W, 2213 Strauss St., Pittsburgh, PA

 

LACKEY, LESTER LEE, Flight Officer, # T-183807, USAAF

 

Lester L. Lackey was born on 26 April 1915 in La Junta, Otero Co., Colorado, to James Austin Lackey (1888-1969) (CO) and Edith Martha (Boley) Lackey (1888-1975) (MO) (married 16 January 1914, La Junta, CO). Sibling was James Lawrence Lackey (1917-1977). He was married to Elizabeth “Betty” Christina Wulff (1922-2014).

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, employed by Hancock Air College, resided at 625 Cypress, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara Co., CA, and described himself as 5’11”, 185 lbs, with black hair and hazel eyes. As an appointed Flight Officer, rated to fly multi-engine aircraft, he was assigned to fly the C-46 Commando. He earned his pilot wings. On 5 April 1945 a Curtiss C-46 Commando, # 43-47213, assigned 10th Air Force, ATC, 1337th AAF Base Unit, Sookerating, India, completed a cargo mission through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump) to Kunming, China. It departed Kunming on a return flight. Their radio operator tried to contact Sookerating ATC and although heard by Sookerating, no contact from Sookerating got through. The C-46 was 3 ½ hours out of Kunming, at 12,500’ on a heading of 300° and was lost. They had run out of oxygen and 2 crewmen were passed out. A British search team located the wreckage of the C-46 on 22 November 1945 seven miles due west of Menikrai, Sadiya Pradesh, India. They found all four bodies of the crew. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal.

 

His brother, James L. Lackey, born 20 February 1917, served in the U.S. Army from 14 August 1945 to 10 December 1945. He died 1 March 1977.