B-25 Mitchell, # 43-4955
OSTERMAYER, LAWRENCE JUSTICE, First Lieutenant, # 0-831256, USAAF
Lawrence J. Ostermayer was born on 16 November 1922 in Homestead Park, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania, to Robert William Ostermayer (1895-1975) and Maguerite (Paschall) Pstermayer (1898-1975). Siblings included Robert William Ostermayer (1921-2000) and Arta Carolyn (Ostermayer) Neubert (1925-2013). A memorial scholarship was established at his college. He was married to Priscilla Jane Beatty (1923-2014) in 1944. Ascholarship was established by his father at Pennsylvania State University in his honor.
He registered for the WWII draft on 30 June 1942, resided at 525 Mitchell Ave., Clairton, PA, a student at Pennsylvania State College, and described himself as 6’, 150 lbs, with blond hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF and was activated 17 May 1943. 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 about 25 November 1944. 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 Jefferson Memorial Park, Pleasant Hills, Allgheny Co., Pennsylvania.