44-40822

 

On 9 August 1944 a B-24J, # 44-40822, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 425th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Kunming, China, on a mission to lay mines in Hong Kong Harbor. This B-24 and another were shot down and crashed into the harbor. The crew was:

 

                                          Pilot                             2ndLt Evert P. Mitchell                       0-693390

                                          Co-Pilot                       2ndLt Francis G. Steiger                      0-699869

                                          Navigator                    2ndLt Fred R. Massing                        0-685679

                                          Bombardier                  FO Howard J. Lundberg                      T-123326

                                          Crew Chief                  SSgt Leonard W. Habel                       36585589

                                          Radio Operator            SSgt Reese (NM) Hunter Jr.                 33522234

                                          Gunner                        Sgt Robert H. Kuhns                           39560642

                                          Gunner                        Sgt Byron E. LaBlanc                          36805260

                                          Radar Observer           Cpl Lawrence C. Hedlund                   17106825

                                                        (All enlisted crewmen served also as gunners)

MITCHELL, EVERT PORTER, Second Lieutenant, # 0-693390, USAAF

 

Evert P. Mitchell was born on 17 February 1922 in Bayfield, La Plata Co., Colorado, to Elmer Mitchell (1887-1965) and Sophronia E. “Fronia” (Milligan) Mitchell (1893-1977). Siblings were Luetta E. Mitchell (1919-1920) and Leahbelle (Mitchell) Neil (1924-2013).

 

He registered for the WWII draft in 1942, resided seven miles north of Ignacio, La Plata Co., CO, and described himself as 6’1”, 165 lbs, with brown hair and gray eyes. He noted that he had a small mole on his right cheek. After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight instruction through advanced schools and was multi-engine rated. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 9 August 1944 a B-24J, # 44-40822, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 425th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Kunming, China, on a mission to lay mines in Hong Kong Harbor. This B-24 and another were shot down and crashed into the harbor. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A memorial marker was placed in the Bayfield Cemetery, Bayfield, La Plata Co., Colorado. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.