His father, Edward L. Pettit, born 1 April 1892, served in the U.S. Marine Corps during WW I, a Private, # 128169, from 7 July 1918 to 10 January 1919. He died 10 January 1962 and is buried in the Rosemound Cemetery, Commerce, Texas.

 

His brother, Edward Y. Pettit, born 1 March 1919, served in the U.S. Army, a Captain, Corps of Engineers, from 17 May 1942 to 2 February 1948. He died 20 July 1996 and is buried in the Rosemound Cemetery, Commerce, Texas. He was awarded the Silver Star medal for gallantry under heavy enemy fire; and the Purple Heart. He attended Texas A. & M. University. He was overseas in Ireland, Wales and England before taking part in the D-Day invasion on the coast of France. He was severely wounded in a leg and was evacuated. After treatment, he was home on a Savings Bond tour.

BROWN, JAMES, Sergeant, # 36568663, USAAF

 

James Brown enlisted in the USAAF and was trained to maintain, repair and operate the radio equipment on the C-47 Skytrain. He earned his crewman wings and was sent overseas to India. On 18 June 1945, a C-47B, “Beth Ann,” # 43-48730, assigned to Air Transport Command, 1st Air Commando Group, 319th Tactical Cargo Squadron, departed the airfield at Warazup, Burma, on a cargo (drums of fuel) air supply mission to Yewe Taung, Burma. Last contact with the C-47B was by radio with Cpl. Joe Collins, 38513054. The search for the C-47B was led by Capt. Alfred Kaufman, 0-412427. Five C-47s and 2 L-5 (Stinsons) of the 319th Troop Carrier Squadron searched the area. Air Jungle Rescue searched the target area with two L-5s. The search operation was hampered by low hanging scud clouds (heavy rain). The pilot of the missing C-47B had informed the Warazup tower he had climbed out of the top of ground fog. At 0548, the C-47B radio operator reported to the squadron their departure and destination as Bhamo, Burma. The air supply mission was to drop fuel drums by parachute to an air warning station. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines.

HELBIG, FREDERICK WILLIAM, Corporal, # 33208549, USAAF

 

Frederick W. Helbig was born on 22 February 1915 in Oakland, Garrett Co., Maryland, to Edward William Helbig (1875-1955) and Della Florence (Browning) Helbig (1882-1942). Siblings included Mary D. (Helbig) Michael (1916-2010) and Donald Edward Helbig (1920-2010). He was married to Stella B. (Shaffer) Helbig (1920-2008). Living with them in 1920 was a paternal aunt, Agnes Helbig (1870-1948). His father manufactured building lumber in 1920.

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 16 October 1940, resided in Oakland, MD, employed by F.A. Smouse, and described himself as 5’8”, 147 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF in Baltimore, Maryland, on 13 August 1942. He was trained to maintain and repair the mechanical systems on the C-47 Skytrain (engineer). He earned his crewman wings and was sent overseas to India. On 18 June 1945, a C-47B, “Beth Ann,” # 43-48730, assigned to Air Transport Command, 1st Air Commando Group, 319th Tactical Cargo Squadron, departed the airfield at Warazup, Burma, on a cargo (drums of fuel) air supply mission to Yewe Taung, Burma. Last contact with the C-47B was by radio with Cpl. Joe Collins, 38513054. The search for the C-47B was led by Capt. Alfred Kaufman, 0-412427. Five C-47s and 2 L-5 (Stinsons) of the 319th Troop Carrier Squadron searched the area.