PITTARD, CHARLES AUGUST, Technical Sergeant, Service # 39251123, U.S. Army Air Force
Charles A. Pittard was born in 1921 in Massachusetts to Charles Pittard and Emma Mathison. He resided in Long Beach, California, when he married Helen Louise Fox, 20, of Dracut, Massachusetts, on 19 November 1941, in Los Angeles County, California. Minister of the Gospel, Brethren, Rev. Jessee Hall, performed the ceremony. He enlisted 4 August 1942 in Los Angeles County. After training, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 9th Bombardment Squadron, 7th Bombardment Group, Heavy, 10th Air Force.
The B-25D, Tail #41-24126, departed Pandavesar, India, on a bombing mission of the Japanese Heho Airdrome in Northern Burma. The aircraft was last seen on 14 October 1943 at 1225 hours at about 21 degrees 23 minutes North and 95 degrees 19 minutes East. The nine-man crew included pilot 2ndLt William S. McHenry Jr., 0-797159 (Mrs. William S McHenry, wife, 118 Prospect St., K burgh, New York), co-pilot 2ndLt Arthur W. Zipperian or Sipperian, 0-746505 (Mrs. Carol L. Zipperian, wife, 914 1st Avenue South, Great Falls, Montana), navigator 2ndLt Irving Raubitschek, 0-798878 (Mrs. Sylvia Raubitschek, wife, NY, NY and Mr. Herbert Raubitschek, 1789 Davidson Ave., NY, NY), bombardier 2ndLt Gerald C. Funk, 0-671415 (Mr. Gerald C. Funk, father, Grand Rapids, Michigan), engineer-gunner TSgt John W. Hubbard, 34279839 (Mrs. Kate G. Hubbard, mother, Mississippi), radio operator-gunner TSgt Charles A. Pittard, 39251123 (Mrs. Helen L Pittard, wife, 618 Wheeler Road, Massachusetts), assistant radio operator-gunner SSgt Orbra A. Wagoner, 35163717 (Mrs. Flora I. Wagoner, mother, Jamestown, Indiana), armorer-gunner SSgt Horace B. Doyal, 14139069 (Mrs Hettie D. Miller, mother, 629 Piedmont Avenue, Northeast, Atlanta, Georgia), armorer-gunner SSgt Benedict A. Lukas, 32559293 (Mrs. Mary W. Lukas, sister, 588 Baldwin Ave., Jersey City, New Jersey). Witnesses to the last sighting were SSgt. Edward T. Friedmann, 6664211 and SSgt Banner, 19002764.
Killed in action included 2ndLt McHenry, 2ndLt Raubitschek, 2ndLt Sipperian and TSgt Pittard. Reported as POWs in the Rangoon Cantonment were 2ndLt Funk, TSgt Hubbard, SSgt Wagoner, SSgt Doyal and SSgt Lukas (letter to Commanding General, 10th Air Force, dated 15 June 1945), Major N.W. Reed, Notification Branch. The men listed as POWs were returned to military control at the 142nd General Hospital, India. SSgt Friedmann’s statement is “On 18 October 1943 I participated in a bombing mission with the object being Heho Airdrome. I was flying as rear turret gunner in the last ship in a seven ship formation. During the enemy attack one of the gunners in my own ship reported that one of our ships had been hit. The crippled ship fell back to about six o’clock on our tail and losing altitude, about that time one man bailed out. The ship followed along behind the formation still losing altitude and falling back farther. The enemy seeing this turned the attack towards the crippled ship. One of the passes a Zero fighter made I saw the left wing blown off and go down in a sheet of flames at the same time the fuselage, with the right wing intact, nosed down and was last seen plunging through the clouds. I did not see any more parachutes open.”