44-10794

 

On 3 December 1944 a P-51C-11 (North American Mustang), # 44-10794, assigned to 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 74th Fighter Squadron, Luliang, China, departed the airfield at Kenchow on a combat sweep over Wuhu, China. The pilot was 1stLt Manchester B. Watson Jr., # 0-460014, “Mustang.” He was seen to crash near the target, into dock warehouses, by Maj. Philip G. Chapman, 0-389284. Maj. Chapman reported that there was a large explosion and fire.

 

WATSON, MANCHESTER BOYINGTON, JR., # 0-460014, USAAF

 

Manchester B. Watson Jr. was born on 7 September 1921 in Greenville, Greenville Co., South Carolina, to Manchester B. Watson (1884-1958) and Ruby (Frontis) Watson (1885-1979). Siblings included David Frontis Watson (1908-1910) and Marjorie Watson (1911-2009). He was married to Erin W. Watson, of Bessemer, Alabama.

 

After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight instruction through advanced school. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 3 December 1944 a P-51C-11 (North American Mustang), # 44-10794, assigned to 14th Air Force, 23rd Fighter Group, 74th Fighter Squadron, Luliang, China, departed the airfield at Kenchow on a combat sweep over Wuhu, China. He was seen to crash near the target, into dock warehouses, by Maj. Philip G. Chapman, 0-389284. Maj. Chapman reported that there was a large explosion and fire. Remains recovered were buried in the Ridge Spring Cemetery, Ridge Spring, Saluda Co., South Carolina.

ROTC - Future Fighter Pilot

44-10812

 

On 11 November 1944 a P-51C-11NT, # 44-10812, assigned to 14th Air Force, 51st Fighter Group, 25th Fighter Squadron, Yunnanyi, China, departed the airfield on a tactical reconnaissance mission. It was last seen near Lampang, China, after the flight engaged a number of enemy fighters. The pilot was 2ndLt Henry F. Minco, # 0-821754. 1stLt Roger R. Vadenais reported that 2ndLt Minco was his wingman and asked if he saw three enemy Nates, “Do you see them, Vad?” They attacked the enemy fighters and he did not see 2ndLt Minco again.

 

MINCO, HENRY F., Second Lieutenant, # 0-821754, USAAF

 

Henry F. Minco was born in 1923 in France, arriving in the U.S. in 1924, to John Clyde Minco (1896-1933) and Marie Minco (1898-    ). Sibling John F. Minco