WHITTEN, EVERETT FRANKLIN, Staff Sergeant, # 11122053, USAAF

 

Everett F. Whitten was born on 23 August 1912 in Saco, York Co., Maine, to Joseph F. Whitten (1889-1962) and Flora Maude (Benson) Whitten (1885-1983). Siblings included Edith Evelyn (Whitten) Munroe (1916-2006), Arthur Winfield Whitten (1918-1985), Arnold Leroy Whitten (1921-1986), and Thomas A. Whitten (1925-    ). He was married to Irma Vera (Booker) Whitten (1916-1973) (on 21 November 1934, Waterboro, ME). They had two sons, Joseph F. Whitten (1936-    ) and Randall A. Whitten (1939-2013). Living with Everett and Irma were her brothers, Kenneth E. Booker (1924-2015) and Roland Henry Booker (1921-2003).

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Portland, Maine, on 7 November 1942. He was trained in the maintenance and repair of the mechanical and electrical parts of the B-24 and earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 22 October 1944, a flight of B-24Js, including # 44-40588, # 44-40992, and # 44-70414, assigned to 10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pandaveswar, India, on a bombing mission over Moulmein, Burma. The bombers were hit by anti-aircraft fire, collided, and crashed, exploding. Five minutes after bombing the target at about 1202 hours, the formation was attacked by eight to twelve enemy fighters. He saw Oscars. Lt. Blair was in the # 2 position on the wing of Lt. Young. Maj. Jack Bradford, 0-424404 (OK), was in the # 4 position behind Lt. Young. 1stLt. Bodmer was in the # 3 position and Lt. Hill was in the # 5 position. When the enemy fighters were sighted, the formation closed. On the 3rd or 4th pass by the enemy, Lt. Blair’s # 2 engine caught on fire. He pulled out slightly left and feathered the engine. The fire went out and Lt. Blair made a diving left turn into clouds. He was not seen afterwards. Five minutes later, Maj. Bradford appeared to be looking back to see what happened to the other bombers. He was flying a rough formation but none of his bomber’s movements were violent. His bomber descended slightly to the left. He pulled up just under Lt. Bodmer, who was flying to the front and left of him. As he pulled up, Lt. Bodmer climbed up and out. After Maj. Bradford moved back into position, Lt. Bodmer took his own position. Almost immediately, Maj. Bradford climbed under Lt. Bodmer, his left vertical stabilizer went into Lt. Bodmer’s bomb bay doors. It seemed the # 3 and # 4 propellars of Lt. Bodmer’s B-24 cut off the tail of Maj. Bradford’s B-24 at a point just behind the waist windows. Maj. Bradford’s B-24 climbed violently and fell into a spin. Lt. Bodmer’s B-24 lost a bomb bay door and fell off onto the right wing, did a half-turn-spin, then spiraled down. Both B-24s hit the water about 200 yards apart and exploded. No parachutes were seen. It was near Bilugynn Island, Bay of Martaban. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the missing in the Manila Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A memorial marker was placed in the Riverside Cemetery, Springvale, York Co., Maine. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with an Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Purple Heart.

 

His brother, Arthur W. Whitten, born 10 April 1918, served in the U.S. Army from 14 December 1942 to 12 December 1945. He died on 5 September 1985

 

His brother, Arnold L. Whitten, born 28 December 1921, served in the U.S. Navy from 11 January 1942 to 12 November 1947. He died on 15 October 1986 and is buried in the Trails End Cemetery, Tahoe City (Lake Tahoe), Placer Co., Caliornia (Sec. 399, Grave 6).