1stLt Berry reported that he saw the fire and the B-24 crashed beyond a ridge. 2ndLt Bittner reported that he heard Lt. Miller say, “Mead has an engine on fire.” The left wing seemed on fire, the flames back to the rudder. The B-24 hit the trees and exploded. Bombs then exploded. 2ndLt Probst reported that a puff of smoke appeared near engine # 2. Flames grew and spread to engine # 1. The B-24 hit the ground about 2 ½ miles from the target. It exploded on impact and burned. The bombs then exploded. It was about twenty-five miles southwest of Bhre, Thailand. The remains of the crew were recovered from the crash site but were indistinguishable. They were buried in a group ceremony (Duff, Beutecale, Cochran, Eickhorst, Kooi, Litzell, Mead, Randall, Schrump, Sita, Ullmann) in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, on 22 November 1949 (Sec. 82, Grave 93A). He is remembered in the Resthaven Cemetery, Phelps, Ontario Co., New York.

 

BEUTECALE, SANTO JAMES, JR., Staff Sergeant, # 39014707, USAAF

 

Santo J. Beutecale Jr. was born on 29 June 1916 in New York, New York to Santo J. Beutecale (originally Buttacavoli) (1887-1975) and Helen (Ferry) Beutecale (1886-1969). A sibling was William John Beutecale (1929-2009).

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, employed by Bowers Roofing, resided in Oakland, CA, and described himself as 5’10”, 163 lbs, with brown hair and gray eyes. He noted that he had a birthmark on the right side of his neck. He enlisted in the USAAF at the Presidio of Monterey, Monterey, California, on 23 November 1941. He was trained to maintain and fire the weapons (armorer/gunner) on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his crewman wings and was sent overseas to India. On 21 November 1944 a B-24J, “Cabin In The Sky,” # 44-40811, assigned to 10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Group, 492nd Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Madhaicanj, India, on a combat mission over Geang Luang. It was seen by 2ndLt John E. Bittner, 0-696419, 2ndLt John J. Probst, 0-703520, and 1stLt John J. Berry, 0-696738, to crash, killing all on board, at about 1650 hours after a fire and explosion occurred in the wing between # 1 and # 2 engines, likely caused by anti-aircraft fire. 1stLt Berry reported that he saw the fire and the B-24 crashed beyond a ridge. 2ndLt Bittner reported that he heard Lt. Miller say, “Mead has an engine on fire.” The left wing seemed on fire, the flames back to the rudder. The B-24 hit the trees and exploded. Bombs then exploded. 2ndLt Probst reported that a puff of smoke appeared near engine # 2. Flames grew and spread to engine # 1. The B-24 hit the ground about 2 ½ miles from the target. It exploded on impact and burned. The bombs then exploded. It was about twenty-five miles southwest of Bhre, Thailand. The remains of the crew were recovered from the crash site but were indistinguishable. They were buried in a group ceremony (Duff, Beutecale, Cochran, Eickhorst, Kooi, Litzell, Mead, Randall, Schrump, Sita, Ullmann) in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, on 22 November 1949 (Sec. 82, Grave 93A).

 

LITZELL, LENNARD MAGNUS, Technical Sergeant, # 37307245, USAAF

 

Lennard M. Litzell was born on 21 April 1920 in Brake, Sweden to Magnus Litzell (1883-1962) and Beda Litzell (1895-    ) (both born in Sweden). Siblings included Helge Litzell (1913-    ), Esther Litzell (1918-    ) (all born in Sweden).

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 1 July 1941, employed by Kelly, Howe, & Thompson, resided at 3814 W. Third St., Duluth, St. Louis Co., Minn., and descrbied himself as 5’11”, 184 lbs, with brown hair and green eyes. After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained to maintain and fire the weapons (armorer/gunner) on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his crewman wings and was sent overseas to India.