COE, HOWARD THOMAS, First Lieutenant, # 0-740369, USAAF
Howard T. Coe was born on 21 September 1915 in Meade, South Dakota, to Vance Ivan Coe (1881-1964) (NE) and Larauge “Lulu” (Buckmasetr) Michael nee Coe (1896-1930) (NE). Siblings included (from the four spouses of Vance I. Coe) Floyd Allen Coe (1906-1988), Edgar Coe (1908-####), Blanche (Coe) Albrecht (1911-1992), Rita Rose (Coe) Asheim (1913-2002), Buelah Bodeen (Coe) Winfrey (1904-1975), Vance I. Coe Jr. (1918-1921), Fanchion E. Coe (1921-1921), Patrick H. Coe (1926-1926). He married Wanda Gail Cummins (1920-2001) on 25 August 1941 in Reno, Washoe Co., Nevada.
He enlisted in the USAAF in South Dakota on 4 April 1942. 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. His last assignment was with the 411th Air Service Squadron. He was assigned to fly a B-25 with Major Christian 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. 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, his remains were buried in the Mountain View Cemetery, Rapid City, South Dakota.