MILFORD, BERNARD FRANKLIN, Captain, # 0-662157, USAAF

 

Bernard F. Milford was born on 20 May 1919 in Timpson, Shelby Co., Texas, to Jack Wilford Milford (1894-1954) and Johnnie (Eakin) Milford (1895-1977). A sister was Helen (Milford) Kirkwood (1924-2006). He was married to Annabell (Tyler) Southern nee Milford (1922-2005) in 1944 in Vinita, Craig Co., Oklahoma.

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 16 October 1940, resided at 219 S. Fredonia, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches Co., Texas, a student at SFAST College, and described himself as 5’7 ½”, 151 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF in Houston, Texas, on 10 November 1941. After enlisting in the USAAF, he completed flight instruction through advanced schools to fly the C-47 Skytrain and was multi-engine rated. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 15 May 1945, a C-47B, # 44-76649, assigned to 10th Air Force, 3rd Combat Cargo Group, 9th Combat Cargo Squadron, Warazup, Burma, departed the airfield at Chanyi, China, on an air supply mission to Myitkyina, Burma. The crew was killed when the C-47B crashed into a mountain during IFR flight. The last to see the C-47B was 2ndLt Arthur B. Baldwin, 0-704357. 2ndLt Baldwin was flying within sight of Capt. Milford when they entered IFR conditions at the Salween River. Capt. Milford turned North while 2ndLt Baldwin turned South. The Salween River (modernly the Thanlyin River) flows from China South, along the border with Thailand and through Burma. It empties after much meandering through jungle into the Andaman Sea where sits the modern city of Mawiamyine, Burma and Bilugyun (Island). A radio-gram from Air Jungle Rescue disclosed that the wreckage of the C-47B was found at military map grid NZ 1539. It exploded and was scattered over a large area. The first report was from a British ground search party that found a medical record of Cpl. Claude K. Puckett. A second ground search party found part of the C-47B tail. The party reported that some remains were buried with some personal items. All crewmen perished. The Graves Registration team recovered remains from the crash location and temporary burial at an American military airfield in India and, indistinguishable, the remains were buried in a group (Milford, Ketcham, Perron, and Puckett) ceremony and one casket in the Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Lincoln Co., Nebraska, on 30 August 1949 (Sec. R, Grave 13). He is remembered in the Fairview Cemetery, Vinita, OK.

KETCHAM, RICHARD FERRIS, Flight Officer, # T-63409, USAAF

 

Richard F. Ketcham was born on 15 December 1922 in Euclid, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, to Ferris Snyder Ketcham (1898-1970) and June "Junnie" Viola (Kelly) Arnett nee Ketcham (1901-1994) (married 5 April 1919, Shelby, Indiana) (2nd spouse – Vinnie Arndt, 1912-2008, married 9 January 1954). Siblings included Robert Ketcham (1920-1920) and Alice Ann (Ketcham) Christian (1927-    ). He married Marion (Onkst) Ketcham in Ohio in 1944 and they had two children.

 

An experienced pilot, he received an appointment as a Flight Officer and trained to fly the C-47 Skytrain. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 15 May 1945, a C-47B, # 44-76649, assigned to 10th Air Force, 3rd Combat Cargo Group, 9th Combat Cargo Squadron, Warazup, Burma, departed the airfield at Chanyi, China, on an air supply mission to Myitkyina, Burma. The crew was killed when the C-47B crashed into a mountain during IFR flight. The last to see the C-47B was 2ndLt Arthur B. Baldwin, 0-704357. 2ndLt Baldwin was flying within sight of Capt. Milford when they entered IFR conditions at the Salween River. Capt. Milford turned North while 2ndLt Baldwin turned South.