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.