44-39265         MACR 14361

 

On 5 May 1945 a C-87 Express Liberator (B-24 variant for cargo transport), # 44-39265, assigned to 10th Air Force, ATC, India-China Wing, 1330th AAF Base Unit, Jorhat, India, departed the airfield on a cargo mission through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump) to Kunming, China. Last contact was by radio at about 0036 Zulu with Capt. William Mitchell, 0-575647 near Gologhat, India. The crew was:

                                       Pilot                             1stLt Richard H. Beckwith                              0-672556

                                       Co-Pilot                       1stLt Richard J. Beckett                                   0-662235

                                       Radio Operator            PFC Willie C. Weaver Jr.                                 34845384

                                       Crew Chief                  Pvt Michael J. Bak                                           37#20281

The next-of-kin listed were:

                                          Beckwith         Clara Burmeister, M, 131 Elm Rd, Stow, OH

                                          Beckett            Helen A. Beckett, M, 1409 S. Delaware St., Tulsa, OK

                                          Weaver            Hester M. Weaver, M, 630 Dunbar Ave., Cayce, SC

                                          Bak                  Arline W. Bak, W, 2718 Hayes St. Northeast, Minneapolis, Minn.

BECKWITH, RICHARD H., First Lieutenant, # 0-672556, USAAF

 

Richard H. Beckwith was born 1918 in Ohio to Howard B. Beckwith (1897-1923) (WVA) and Clara Anna (Manning) Burmeister nee Beckwith (1898-1987) (married H. Beckwith on 12 May 1917, Washington, OH). In 1920, he and his mother were living with his maternal grandmother, Catherine (Holst) Manning (1866-1946) and a maternal uncle, Alfred E. Manning (1896-1961). The 1940 census shows him living with a step-paternal grandmother, Louise (Bucher) Nash nee Burmeister (1870-1959), his step-father, Henry Roy Burmeister (1893-1960), his mother (married Henry Burmeister on 10 June 1920, Chicago, IL), and a step-brother, Henry Frank Burmeister (1927-2016). He was married to Marion Claire (Haube) Hester nee Beckwith (1921-2006) on 26 November 1944 in Guilford, North Carolina.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Cleveland, Ohio, on 29 March 1942. After enlisting, he completed flight instruction through advanced school and was assigned to fly the C-87 Express Liberator. He was multi-engine rated and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 5 May 1945 a C-87 Express Liberator (B-24 variant for cargo transport), # 44-39265, assigned to 10th Air Force, ATC, India-China Wing, 1330th AAF Base Unit, Jorhat, India, departed the airfield on a cargo mission through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump) to Kunming, China. Last contact was by radio at about 0036 Zulu with Capt. William Mitchell, 0-575647 near Gologhat, India. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal.

 

His step-father, Henry R. Burmeister, born 1894, served in the U.S. Army, Infantry, Second Lieutenant, during WWI, from 24 June 1916 through 10 December 1918. He died 29 May 1960 in Akron, Ohio.