Franklin W. Seelig

FETZER, ROBERT C., Corporal, # 16045540, USAAF

 

Robert C. Fetzer was born on 8 August 1920 in Michigan to Charles Leroy Fetzer (1899-1954) and Helen Margaret (Waber) Fetzer (1900-1993). He had a sister, Betty Jean Fetzer (1923-2005). He was married to Jane L. Fetzer, Route 2, Otsego, Michigan, and had a daughter.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on 19 December 1941. He was trained in the maintenance and operation of the radio equipment on the C-47 Skytrain. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 27 October 1944, a C-47B, # 43-48634, assigned to 10th Air Force, 443rd Troop Carrier Group, 315th Troop Carrier Squadron, departed the airfield at Ledo, India, on a routine flight to Myitkyina, Burma. It crashed enroute at map coordinates NR5554. All were killed in the crash. Last contact by radio was with Cpl. Lester J. Phillips, 31120129. A C-64 of the 443rd Troop Carrier Group, was dispatched to the area of the crash. The crashed plane was identified as a C-47 with large yellow tail markings such as the one missing. The “political agent” for the area, Mr. Walker, reported that it will take 3 days to reach the crash after the search party is rganized. 1stLt Rueben C. Zirbel, 0-745775, Operations Officer, is in charge of the search. 1stLt Guy E. Tadlock, Assistant Operations Officer, reported that he was climbing on a course west of Digboi Mountain. He saw a large fire and black smoke. He changed course and identified the fire as a burning aircraft. He sent a message to “Tapleak” at Ledo Air Base and gave the location. He circled until a UC64-A, 43-5321, arrived and located the fire, then proceeded to his destination. His remains, indistinguishable from other crew members (Fetzer, Krolikowski) were recovered from the American military airfield cemetery at Barrackpore, India, and buried in a common grave in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky on 19 August 1949 (Sec. E, Graves 115/116).