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).

 

His father, born 10 May 1898, served in the U.S. Army from 3 June 1917 to 10 May 1919, during WW I. He was in 10th Infantry, Co. A, until 22 October 1918; 10th Infantry, Co. F until honorable discharge. His highest rank was Corporal, # 900694. He died on 17 March 1970 and is buried in the Chardon Municipal Cemetery, Chardon, Geauga Co., OH.

Richard F. & Marion Ketcham

Ferris S. & June Ketcham

PUCKETT, CLAUDE KEESE, Corporal, # 18182443, USAAF

 

Claude K. Puckett was born on 28 August 1922 in Keota, Haskell Co., Oklahoma, to Claude Miller Puckett (1894-1955) (Greenwood, AR) and Eva Irene (Keese) Puckett (1895-    ) (AR – 1900 resided Indian Territory, Choctaw Nation, OK) (married 11 April 1920, Keota, Haskell Co., OK). Siblings included Anita Jean (Puckett) Stookey (1920-2002), Elizabeth Ann (Puckett) Carroll (1925-2016) (OK), James Aaron Puckett (1927-2003) (TX). His father was a public school teacher in 1930 in Keota, Haskell Co., Oklahoma.

 

He registered for the WW II draft on 30 June 1942, resided at 412 Academy, Tahlequah, Cherokee Co., Oklahoma, employed by W.W. Bowman, Pawnee Rock, Kansas, and described himself as 5’9”, 180 lbs, with brown hair and gray eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on 31 October 1942. He was trained to maintain and operate the radio equipment on the C-47 Skytrain. 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.