44-49451         B24L   Shirley

 

On 6 August 1945, a B-24J Liberator, “Poco Moco,” # 44-49451, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 375th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Hsinching, China, on a routine fuel transport to the airfield at Rupsi, India, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump). The B-24 was last contacted at 1714Z near Shingbwiyang, Burma. The crew were:

 

                                              Pilot                             1stLt James B. Shirley              0-925309

                                              Co-Pilot                       F/O Rolland J. Luce Jr.           T-65722

                                              Navigator                    F/O Ray A. Ringler                 T-138768

                                              Engineer                      TSgt Charles E. Whiteman      18000275

                                              Radio Operator            Sgt Franklin D. Sturtevant       11029241

                                              Asst. Engineer             Cpl David R. Ferguson                        31416038

 

The next-of-kin were listed as:

                                            Shirley             Velvet Shirley, W, 34 Montgomery St. SE, Altoona, GA

                                            Luce                Rolland J Luce, F, Rosenburg Rd, Cowands, NY (poss. Gowands)

                                            Ringler             Pearl A Ringler, M, 485 Wyomissing Ave, Shillington, PA

                                            Whiteman        Anna M Whiteman, W, 2670 Pine St, San Francisco, CA

                                            Sturtevant        Robie A Sturtevant, F, 21 Marston St, Norway, Maine

                                            Ferguson          David B Ferguson, F, 43 Britton St, Fairview, Mass.

SHIRLEY, JAMES BYRON, First Lieutenant, # 0-925309, USAAF

 

James B. Shirley was born on 1922 in Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia to Byron Shirley (1888-1960) (Tallulah Falls, GA) and Maude Alice (Holtzclaw) Shirley (1889-1981) (married 24 December 1912, Fulton Co., GA). Siblings included Margaret Pauline Shirley (1914-1935), Vera Addie (Shirley) Flockman (1920-2007), Fred Jordan Shirley (1925-1967). Living with them in 1930 were his step-paternal grandfather, John Ogilvie Meriwether (1883-1939) (SC), his paternal grandmother, Salina Josephine Meriwether (1866-1931) (GA) (paternal grandfather, James Henry Shirley (1862-1919), and his paternal great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth (Kerby) Wooddall (1846-1942) (GA) (widowed). He was married to Velva Teresa Hudgin. His father was a construction company builder in 1930.

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Miami Beach, Florida, on 1 February 1943. After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight schools through advanced school to fly the B-24 Liberator. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 6 August 1945, a B-24J, “Poco Moco,” # 44-49451, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 375th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Hsinching, China, on a routine fuel transport to the airfield at Rupsi, India. The B-24 was last contacted at 1714Z near Shingbwiyang, Burma. He is remembered on the wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.