PLANTE, NAPOLEAN E., Staff Sergeant, # 31108138, USAAF

 

He was born 27 March 1922 in Strafford Co., New Hampshire to Joseph E. Plante (1890-1980) (NH) and Lydia (St Cyr) Plante (1894-1936) (Canada). Siblings included Phillippe Plante (1914-1997), Marie Anne (Plante) Morais (1916-    ), Adriene A. (Plante) Gagnon (1917-2007), Gerard L. Plante (1918-2012), Emile A. Plante (1920-2008), “Rita” Marie Rose (Plante) Lepage (1924-1999), Andrew Joseph Plante (1926-2005), Alice M. (Plante) Millard (1927-2017), Joseph Plante (1929-    ), Louise (Plante) Grenier (1931-    ), Martin Plante (1932-    ), Irene B. (Plante) Allard (1933-    ), Cecile Plante (1935. Living with them in 1930 was his maternal great grandmother, Annathalie Plante (1863-    ) (ME) (widowed).

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Manchester, New Hampshire, on 22 April 1942. He was trained as an armorer, responsible for the maintenance and function of the weapons aboard the B-25 Mitchell. He operated one of the .50 caliber machineguns. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to 14th Air Force in China. On 18 March 1944, a B-25H, # 43-4216, assigned to 14th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group (Medium), 722nd Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Yangkai, China, on a bombing mission over Nanning, China. It was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire at about 1030Z, near Vinh, Annam (then French Indochina invaded by the Japanese; later North Vietnam). The crash was seen by Sgt G.L. Dailey, 36431505, and PFC T.J. Milarowitz, 18068315. Sgt Dailey reported: Before 1stLt Smith crashed, he was flying parallel with the target, over the river. He lost altitude and his left wing hit first and the B-25 flew to pieces. After circling, no crewmen could be seen on the surface. After recovery, his remains were buried in the Mount Olive Cemetery, Dunning, Illinois. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. 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.

 

A brother, Philippe Plante, born 2 March 1914 served in the U.S. Army, a Technician 5th Grade, from 6 May 1942 to 19 December 1945. He died 14 February 1997 and is buried in the Mount Calvary Cemetery, Somersworth, New Hampshire.