BODKER, MAURICE S., Private First Class, # 32500256, USAAF
Maurice S. Bodker was born in 22 December 1922 in New York, New York to Solomon George Bodker (1898-1936) and Florence (Unk. maiden name) Friedlander nee Bodker (married 17 September 1919 to Solomon G. Bodker – 2nd marriage to Ira M. Friedlander on 20 October 1936, Bronx, NY). In 1943, his paternal uncle, Julius Bodker (1893- ) resided at 27 W. 23rd St., New York, New York, and his mother at 230 Riverside Drive, New York. He was recorded by his mother as a missing Jewish serviceman. He completed four years of college.
He enlisted in the USAAF at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York, New York, on 11 September 1942. He was trained as an aerial photographer and earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 30 October 1944, a B-25H, # 43-4968, assigned to 10th Air Force, 12th Bomb Group, 82nd Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Feni, India, on a bombing mission over the Mu River by-pass in Burma. The B-25H was last seen on a course of 360º at 9,800 feet as it disappeared through an overcast over the jungles of Burma. Witnesses were 1stLt George D. Carpenter, 0-479418, TSgt Walter B. Marsh, 12034601, and SSgt Elton D. Shinpoch, 7009428. TSgt Marsh reported that he was the radio operator-gunner in the lead B-25 and had completed the bomb run and were RTB when they flew into monsoon weather. Shortly after entering the monsoon, he saw Capt. Hummel descend, pass under their B-25’s tail, barely missing it. That B-25 flew to the right in a turn 90º from their lead B-25. When last seen, that B-25 was descending. 1stLt Carpenter reported that on their return course, he climbed through an alto stratus cloud at 1126 hours. Before entering it, the missing B-25 dropped back as ig he was going to change position. He did not do this but continued to bear right. TSgt Marsh kept 1stLt Carpenter informed of the course of the B-25. During its descent and turn, the B-25 disappeared in the overcast. SSgt Shinpoch reported that during the return to base, and about 30-4 miles from Feni airfield, the missing B-25 slid in and out of position several times. He last saw the B-25 slide out of sight then suddenly shot past their tail, left to right and descended almost vertically, barely missing their tail. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.