44-77300

 

On 19 December 1944, a Curtiss C-46D Commando, # 44-77300, assigned to Combat Cargo Task Force, 4th Combat Cargo Group, 16th Combat Cargo Squadron, Sylhet, Assam, India, departed the airfield at Chandina airfield, Chandina, Assam, India, on a cargo mission to Yazagyo Field, Burma. The crew were:

                                        Pilot                             1stLt Jack Wright Jr.                0-711294 KIA GP

                                        Co-Pilot                       2ndLt Jack D. Oyler                0-779978

                                        Engineer                      SSgt Frank J. Bottino Jr.           11118055 KIA GP

                                        Radio Operator            Sgt Walter F. Cathell Jr.           33596527 KIA GP

Last to see the C-46D was Capt. Lester M. Brewer, 0-664957. He reported: at 1045 hours, local, flying C-46, # 42-101235, from Chandina to Yazagyo, he saw black smoke right of course. A detour revealed a C-46 on the ground burning around the engines and leading inboard wings. The fuselage seemed damaged little. None was separated. At Yazagyo, a report was made. Location of the crash was on 265º, about 30 miles out of Yazagyo, China. They unloaded cargo and returned. They found only about 10’ of the right wing was left; the rest burned. Time – 1205 local. Their radio operator, SSgt L.C. Dick, sent a coded message to Sylhet.

A C-46 flying over the Hump

WRIGHT, JOHN “JACK,” JR., First Lieutenant, # 0-711294

 

John Wright Jr. was born in about 1920 in Chasetown, Staffordshire, England, to John Wright (1890-1968) (England) and May (Brothwood) Wright (1900-1960) (England). He had five siblings, including Maisie Wright (    -1985), Ada Wright (    -1998), William Davis Wright, and another brother and sister.

 

After enlisting, 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 19 December 1944, a C-46D, # 44-77300, assigned to Combat Cargo Task Force, 4th Combat Cargo Group, 16th Combat Cargo Squadron, Sylhet, Assam, India, departed the airfield at Chandina airfield, Chandina, Assam, India, on a cargo mission to Yazagyo Field, Burma. Last to see the C-46D was Capt. Lester M. Brewer, 0-664957. He reported: at 1045 hours, local, flying C-46, # 42-101235, from Chandina to Yazagyo, he saw black smoke right of course. A detour revealed a C-46 on the ground burning around the engines and leading inboard wings. The fuselage seemed damaged little. None was separated. At Yazagyo, a report was made. Location of the crash was on 265º, about 30 miles out of Yazagyo. They unloaded cargo and returned. They found only about 10’ of the right wing was left; the rest burned. Time – 1205 local. Their radio operator, SSgt L.C. Dick, sent a coded message to Sylhet.