CHEANEY, THOMAS CHARLES, JR., First Lieutenant, # 0-696550, USAAF

 

Thomas C. Cheaney Jr. was born on 3 April 1918 in Gaines, Texas to Thomas C. Cheaney (1877-1953) and Ruth (Gowing) Hays nee Cheaney (1898-1965). His father was one of 11 children born to Charles D. Cheaney (1847-1906) and Emma E. (Graves) Cheaney (1848-1906).

 

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 to India. On 5 November 1944, a B-24L Liberator, # 44-41440, assigned to 10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pandaveswar, India, on a bombing mission over coordinates 17º 42’ North & 92º 02’ East. All of the crew were killed in the crash of the B-24L. It was last sighted by 1stLt William T. Makovic, 0-696478, 2ndLt John M. Crowley, 0-712085, and 2ndLt George J. MeNamera, 0-869350. 1stLt Makovic reported that at 1840 hours (IST) he last saw Lt. Cheaney’s B-24. Lt. Cheany was at 2,000’ on a course of 190º at about 160 MPH. Makovic was flying parallel to Cheaney and was about 3-4 miles to Cheaney’s right. The weather worsened for a few minutes. It cleared and at the same moment, Lt. Cheaney’s B-24 veered across in front of him at about an 80º angle and disappeared into clouds to Makovic’s right. It was dark and Cheaney had his lights on. Cheaney’s turn was irregular because the flight plan was to continue on course for another 15 minutes before their first turn, which would be left, not right. There was no distress call and nothing appeared abnormal as to Cheaney’s B-24. A search with Capt. Louis A. Butler, Jr., 0-558867, commanding, was by eight planes on 7 November 1944. After recovery, his remains were buried in the Fairview Cemetery, Gainesville, Texas. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

ALMONRODE, HOLLIS K., Second Lieutenant, # 0-765214, USAAF

 

Hollis K. (MI only) Almonrode was born on 27 July 1920 in Livingston, Overton Co., Tennessee, to Sherrod Wesley Almonrode (1886-1968) and Nannie Bell (Ward) Almonrode (1894-1986). Siblings included Ruby Cleo (Almonrode) Martin (1916-2007), Helen Fern (Almonrode) Crafton (1923-2003), Dorothy Jo (Almonrode) Foley (1927-    ). Living with them in 1940 was a grand-uncle, Fred Hewitt (1876-    ) in Cove, Polk Co., Arkansas. He was a student at S.H.S.T.C., Huntsville, Walker Co., TX.

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 16 February 1942, resided in Hatfield, Polk Co., AR,    described himself as 5’7”, 150 lbs, with brown hair and hazel eyes. 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 to India. On 5 November 1944, a B-24L Liberator, # 44-41440, assigned to 10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pandaveswar, India, on a bombing mission over coordinates 17º 42’ North & 92º 02’ East.