44-23144         P38

 

On 15 November 1944, a P-38J-15-LO, “Bttlin Betty,” # 44-23144, assigned to 10th Air Force, 459th Fighter Squadron (TE), dearted the airfield at Chittagong, Burma, on a strafing mission o the primary Heho Airdrome and airfield in Burma. The fighter was seen to crash at about 1010 hours near Sedaw, Burma, about 10 miles SE of Mandalay. The pilot was 2ndLt Edward C. Spieler, # 0-763884. Last to see him were 2ndLt Nelson W. Rogers, 0-376758, and F/O Victor J. Veroda, T-2164.

 

2ndLt Rogers reported that the flight made a strafing pass on a railroad siding at Sedaw, Burma. He glanced over his shoulder and saw Lt. Spieler’s P-38 with its right engine on fire as it did rolls and left his sight. F/O Veroda reported that he was on Lt. Spieler’s wing when strafing. Half way across the railroad yard he saw an explosion near the right wing root of Spieler’s P-38. The right wing fell from the P-38 and it began to roll. Veroda pulled up and then saw a smoke column from the target area.

 

SPIELER, EDWARD CHRISTOPHER, Second Lieutenant, # 0-763884, USAAF

 

Edward C. Spieler was born in 1922 in California to Christos (Spiros Sfakianos) Spieler (1887-1966) (Xirohorion, Greece – arrived 9 November 1907 New York) and Anita (Lopez) Spieler (1890-1947) (Mexico) (married 28 January 1921, Hermosillo, Mexico). He graduated from Lincoln High School, Los Angeles, CA. He married Oralia “Rory” (Madrid) Spieler (1921-2015) and they had a daughter.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF as an aviation cadet in Santa Ana, California, on 9 March 1943. He completed flight instruction through advanced schools and earned his commission and pilot wings as a fighter pilot. On 15 November 1944, a P-38J-15-LO, “Battlin Betty,” # 44-23144, assigned to 10th Air Force, 459th Fighter Squadron (TE), dearted the airfield at Chittagong, India, on a strafing mission o the primary Heho Airdrome and airfield in Burma. The fighter was seen to crash at about 1010 hours near Sedaw, Burma, about 10 miles SE of Mandalay. The pilot was 2ndLt Edward C. Spieler, # 0-763884. Last to see him were 2ndLt Nelson W. Rogers, 0-376758, and F/O Victor J. Veroda, T-2164. 2ndLt Rogers reported that the flight made a strafing pass on a railroad siding at Sedaw, Burma. He glanced over his shoulder and saw Lt. Spieler’s P-38 with its right engine on fire as it did rolls and left his sight. F/O Veroda reported that he was on Lt. Spieler’s wing when strafing. Half way across the railroad yard he saw an explosion near the right wing root of Spieler’s P-38. The right wing fell from the P-38 and it began to roll. Veroda pulled up and then saw a smoke column from the target area. 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.