44-25047 & 44-25502  P38 (MACR 14683 and 14684)

 

On 24 June 1945, a P-38-L1-LO, “Pheasants,” # 44-25047, and a second P-38-L5-LO, # 44-25502, were assigned to 10th Air Force, 33rd Fighter Group, 60th Fighter Squadron, Myitkyina, Burma, departed the airfield at Myitkyina East, Burma, on a weather check mission of the forward combat area. Last contact was by radio at 0815 hours IST with Taipingkai (SJ6868), “Gray Goose,” Fighter Control at Bhamo, Burma. The pilot of 44-25047 was 1stLt Elbert M. Ruffner, # 0-769949. The pilot of 44-25502 was 2ndLt George C. Beamer, # 0-779326. At the time of radio contact, the flight was 50 miles ENE of the Bhamo air strip. The flight then had 1 and ½ hours of fuel for flight remaining. Searches were made by 60th Fighter Squadron on the course the missing flight of two P-38s took and the last reported location and all airfields with no result.

 

RUFFNER, ELBERT MORGAN, First Lieutenant, # 0-769949, USAAF

 

Elbert M. Ruffner was born on 28 June 1920 in Miami Co., Ohio, to George Forrest Ruffner (1890-1975) (TN) and Edith Elizabeth (Crotty) Ruffner (1895-1975) (OH). Siblings included (infant) Ruffner (1925-1925) and Martha Jane Ruffner (1928-1934), Donald Ruffner (1931-    ). He graduated from Piqua High School.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF at Patterson Field, Fairfield, Ohio, on 8 May 1942. He completed flight instruction through advanced schools and was assigned to fly the P-38 Lightning. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 24 June 1945, a P-38-L1-LO, “Pheasants,” # 44-25047, and a second P-38-L5-LO, # 44-25502, were assigned to 10th Air Force, 33rd Fighter Group, 60th Fighter Squadron, Myitkyina, Burma, departed the airfield at Myitkyina East, Burma, on a weather check mission of the forward combat area. Last contact was by radio at 0815 hours IST with Taipingkai (SJ6868), “Gray Goose,” Fighter Control at Bhamo, Burma. The pilot of 44-25047 was 1stLt Elbert M. Ruffner, # 0-769949. The pilot of 44-25502 was 2ndLt George C. Beamer, # 0-779326. At the time of radio contact, the flight was 50 miles ENE of the Bhamo air strip. The flight then had 1 and ½ hours of fuel for flight remaining. Searches were made by 60th Fighter Squadron on the course the missing flight of two P-38s took and the last reported location and all airfields with no result. After recovery from Burma/India, his remains were buried in the Forest Hill Cemetery, Piqua, Ohio (Plot C-18).

BEAMER, GEORGE C., Second Lieutenant, # 0-779326, USAAF

 

George C. Beamer was born in 1923 in Wisconsin to Alonzo Lawrence Beamer (1878-1934) (IA) and Maria “Mary” (Schweitz) Beamer (1884-1970) (Wisc.). Siblings included Eleanor (Beamer) Walters (1908-2007), Lawrence Beamer (1911-    ), and James R. Beamer (1912-1976).

 

He completed flight instruction through advanced schools and was assigned to fly the P-38 Lightning. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 24 June 1945, a P-38-L1-LO, “Pheasants,” # 44-25047, and a second P-38-L5-LO, # 44-25502, were assigned to 10th Air Force, 33rd Fighter Group, 60th Fighter Squadron, Myitkyina, Burma, departed the airfield at Myitkyina East, Burma, on a weather check mission of the forward combat area. Last contact was by radio at 0815 hours IST with Taipingkai (SJ6868), “Gray Goose,” Fighter Control at Bhamo, Burma.