44-31243

 

On 1 December 1944 a C-87, # 44-31243, assigned to 10th Air Force, India-China Wing, 1327th AAF Base Unit, Tespur, India, departed the airfield on a cargo mission to Chengtu, Chia, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump). It was last seen on take-off. The crew was:

 

                                            Pilot                             1stLt Harold W. Playford                     0-793372

                                            Co-Pilot                       Capt. Percy B. Coker                           0-663858

                                            Radio Operatot            Cpl Max (NMI) Streicker                     32617718

                                            Crew Chief                  TSgt John E. Curley                             31365157

 

A search party on 6 February 1945 reported 2 bodies found, one identified as Mac (NMI) Streicker. A search party from Jorhat, India, led by Lt. Waldron reported 15 January 1945 that the wreckage was located at 26° 34’ North & 93° 26’ East, was searched and that two crewmen were killed in the crash and were lost in the fire. They possessed copies of crew fingerprints which were sent to Quartermaster, Graves Registration, by the 329th Service Group, Jorhat, India.

The next-of-kin were listed as:

                                                 Coker               Willie D. Coker, F, P.O. Box 1392, Kilgore, TX

                                                 Playford           Margaret L. Playford, W, 2516 Montclair Ave., Cleveland, OH

                                                 Curley              Florence I. Curley, M, 401 Howard St., Brockton, Mass.

                                                 Streicker          Jean P. Streicker, W, 30-43 34th St., Astoria, Long Island, NY

PLAYFORD, HAROLD WILSON, First Lieutenant, # 0-793372, USAAF

 

Harold W. Playford was born in 1918 in Ohio to William A. Playford (1886-1927) and Amelia (Ledel) Playford (1887-1984) (married 5 August 1912, Cleveland, OH). Siblings included William Howard Playford (1914-1997) and Clarence L. Playford (1916-1992). He was married to Margaret Rose (Lanza) Playford (1920-    ) on 6 September 1941 in Cleveland, Ohio.

 

He enlisted in the Ohio National Guard, U.S. Army, as a Private First Class, in Cleveland, Ohio, on 25 November 1940 and was subsequently activated. He completed flight instruction through advanced school. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 1 December 1944 a C-87, # 44-31243, assigned to 10th Air Force, India-China Wing, 1327th AAF Base Unit, Tespur, India, departed the airfield on a cargo mission to Chengtu, Chia, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump). It was last seen on take-off. A search party on 6 February 1945 reported 2 bodies found, one identified as Mac (NMI) Streicker. A search party from Jorhat, India, led by Lt. Waldron reported 15 January 1945 that the wreckage was located at 26° 34’ North & 93° 26’ East, in Assam Pradesh, India, was searched and that two crewmen were killed in the crash and were lost in the fire. They possessed copies of crew fingerprints which were sent to Quartermaster, Graves Registration, by the 329th Service Group, Jorhat, India. After recovery of indistinguishable remains from the American military cemetery at the airfield at Kalaikunda, India, 1stLt Playford, TSgt Curley, and Captain Coker, were buried in a group ceremony in the Fort Scott National Cemetery, Fort Scott, Bourbon Co., Kansas (Sec. 2, Grave 1826).