ANDREWS, JOHN, Staff Sergeant, # 39612333, USAAF
John Andrews was born on 13 October 1914 in Malta, Missoula Co., Montana to Henry Andrews and Sophia (Suskivich) Andrews. Siblings included Nina H. (Andrews) Warren (1908-1969), Anna Andrews (1909- ), Mary Andrews (1911- ), Michael “Mike” Andrews (1916-1934). Half siblings were Peter John Zaparynuk (1919-2008) and Ella W. (Zaparynuk) Hastings (1921-1974). He was married to Helen (Foss) Andrews, in Harlem, Blaine Co., Montana, on 1 January 1938.
He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, resided at Rte 2, Missoula, MT, and described himself as having black hair and brown eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF in Butte, Montana, on 21 September 1942. He was trained as an armorer on the B-25 Mitchell, responsible for the maintenance and function of the weapons (excluding bombs) on the aircraft. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 17 October 1944, a B-25H, # 43-4905, assigned to 10th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, departed its airfield on a bombing mission over Nawnghkio Air Base, Burma. Its last contact was by radio with 1stLt Harry A. Fisher, 0-750362, at about 1500 hours while in the target vicinity. One B-25 and eight P-47s were sent on a search mission by 10th Air Force. 1stLt Fisher reported that he led a flight of three B-25s on the mission during bad weather. About 5 minutes from the target, they went through a cloud for about 20 seconds and encountered mild turbulence. Upon cloud exit, his right wing-man was missing. The other two completed the bomb run. About 15 minutes away from the target, the missing bomber contacted him. He directed him to go ahead and make his bomb run. The reply was “Okay” and about 5 minutes later, Fisher tried to contact him again but was unsuccessful. The B-25 crashed in Burma. After recovery, his remains were buried in the Hillside Cemetery, Dodson, Phillips Co., Montana.
His half brother, Peter J. Zaparynuk, born 9 October 1919, served in the U.S. Army during WW II, a Sergeant, from 8 October 1942 to 1 March 1946. He died on 30 September 2008 and is buried in the Big Sandy Cemetery, Big Sandy, Montana.