4th B-25 Mitchell - #
HOFFMEISTER, DONALD ALBERT, First Lieutenant, # 0-831186, USAAF
Donald A. Hoffmeister was born on 7 January 1919 in Sebewaing, Huron Co., Michigan, to Otto William Hoffmeister (1887-1966) and Alma Martha (Mueller) Hoffmeister (1892-1959). Siblings included Margaret M. (Hoffmeister) Schwab (1914-1979), Raymond George Hoffmeister (1915-1969), Franklin Otto Hoffmeister (1922-2010), Lorna Ruth (Hoffmeister) Smith (1924-2000), Infant Hoffmeister (1925-1925), Adeline Louise (Hoffmeister) Grigg (1927-2009).
He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, resided at 10 Camp St., South Meriden, New Haven, CT, employed by Chandler Evans Co., and described himself as 5’8”, 167 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF. He completed flight school and advance flight schools to pilot the B-25 Mitchell. He was multi-engine rated. He earned his commission and pilot wings. In India, he was assigned to fly on a B-25 in search of the two missing crews and his B-25 Mitchell crashed in 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.
His brother, Franklin O. Hoffmeister, born 16 December 1922, enlisted in the USAAF on 24 June 1942 in Detroit, Michigan, and was married on 31 December 1943. He died on 19 September 2010.