On 27 October 1944, a C-47B Skytrain, # 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. The crew and a passenger were:
Pilot 2ndLt Werner A. Kriese 0-706065
Co-Pilot Capt. Franklin W. Seelig 0-322319
Radio Operator Cpl Robert C. Fetzer 16045540
Passenger Pvt Alexander Krolikowski 36291614
Hqs Co., Engineers Div. 2, Pipeline – Ledo, India
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.
The next-of-kin listed were:
Seelig Beth E. Seelig, W, 2311 Lothrop Ave, Detroit, Mich.
Kriese Betty W. Kriese, W, 23023 Melrose St, East Detroit, Mich.
Fetzer Jane L. Fetzer, W, Rte 2, Otsego, Mich.
Krolikowski Angeline Krolikowski, M, 3433 A – North 5th St, Milwaukee, Wisc.