He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, resided at 31 W. Washington, Bradford, McKean Co., PA, employed by Weslet Reeder, and described himself as 5’10”, 200 lbs, with black hair and hazel eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF on 19 May 1942. He was trained to maintain and repair the mechanical systems on the B-25 Mitchell. He earned his crewman wings and was sent overseas to India on about 16 April 1945. Two of five B-25s departed the airfield at Panagarh, India, at 0830 hours, 17 October 1945, for Bangalore, India, to be later scrapped. B-25, # 43-4955, was located, crashed 13 miles from Udayagiri, India. On 23 October 1945, a jeep and 3 officers (Chaplain Capt. Claude T. Ennis, 1stLt Robert Clark, Operations Officer, and 1stLt Jack L. McAnally, Provost Marshal) were sent by C-47 to Vizigapatam, India, for a ground investigation. The aircraft and fragments of the crew but positive identification were made. The remains were given a Christian burial in the Mallikpodi Christian cemetery. This MACR holds numerous pages of Q&A of several witnesses under oath with investigators who recommended disciplinary actions against two officers, including a USAAF Colonel, Group Commander, for dereliction of duty for failing to ensure the aircraft were sufficiently maintained and prepared for flight and manned with sufficient and qualified USAAF personnel, leading the aircraft aloft to be vulnerable to navigational and pilot errors and resulted in crashes and deaths. After recovery from India, the remains of 1stLt Powers and SSgt. Keefer were buried in a dual ceremony and burial in the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, on 18 July 1949 (Sec. 34, Grave 4986).

 

His brother, Earl E. Keefer, born 8 May 1909, served in the U.S. Army, Technical Sergeant, # 33273904, from 5 August 1942 to 16 November 1945. He served overseas from 26 February 1943 to 17 August 1945. He was honorably discharged at the Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. He died on 31 December 1966 and is buried in the Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, California (Sec. 97, Grave 20).

3rd B-25 Mitchell

 

CHRISTIAN, RICHARD J., Major, # 0-662540, USAAF

 

Richard J. Christian was born in the 1910s. He enlisted in the USAAF. He completed flight instruction through advanced schools to fly the B-25 Mitchell. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to India. He volunteered, as squadron executive officer, to fly in search of the two missing crews and his B-25 Mitchell crashed in the Kulibihi Bazaar, India. Two of five B-25s departed the airfield at Panagarh, India, at 0830 hours, 17 October 1945, for Bangalore, India, to be later scrapped. B-25, # 43-4955, was located, crashed 13 miles from Udayagiri, India. On 23 October 1945, a jeep and 3 officers (Chaplain Capt. Claude T. Ennis, 1stLt Robert Clark, Operations Officer, and 1stLt Jack L. McAnally, Provost Marshal) were sent by C-47 to Vizigapatam, India, for a ground investigation. The aircraft and fragments of the crew but positive identification were made. The remains were given a Christian burial in the Mallikpodi Christian cemetery.