41-11800         MACR 1648

 

On 26 November 1943 a C-87 (B-24 cargo transport variant), # 41-11800, assigned to 10th Air Force, Eastern Sector, Station 4, departed the airfield at Kunming, China, on a flight through the Himalayan mountain range to Jorhat, India. It crashed in China and two crewmen survived. The crew was:

                                         Pilot                 Capt. Hays B. Mast                  0-483497         KIA

                                         Co-Pilot           2ndLt Townsell G. Marshall    0-796418         Evacuated to U.S.

                                         Crew Chief      Sgt Aldo H. Cereghino             19005501        Returned to Duty

                                         Radio Opera.   Cpl Leon Greenspahn              36376177        KIA

At about 2100 IST the C-87 lost two engines and could not maintain altitude. Capt. Mast ordered the crew to don parachutes. 2ndLt Marshall jumped before Sgt Cerephino. Capt. Mast and Cpl. Greenspan did not make it out before the crash and were killed. There was no next of kin list in the folder.

 

MAST, HAYS BIGELOW, Captain, # 0-483497, USAAF

 

Hays B. Mast was born on 26 February 1909 in Remerton, Pennsylvania, to Wade Hays Mast (1882-1963) and Merle Elizabeth (Bigelow) Mast (1883-1957) (married 1907). Siblings were Kenneth Charles Mast (1911-1975), Herbert Frank Mast (1911-1983), Dent McClintock Mast (1913-1979), and Margaret Rose (Mast) Kennerdell (1915-2003). He was married to Nelia Carol (Prewett) Mast (1908-1992).

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, a Hancock College student, resided at Paicines, San Benito, California, and described himself as 6’2 ½”, 190 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. After enlisting, he completed flight instruction through advanced schools and was assigned to fly the C-87 Express Liberator. He was multi-engine rated and earned his appointment as a Flight Officer and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 26 November 1943 a C-87 (B-24 cargo transport varian), # 41-11800, assigned to 10th Air Force, Eastern Sector, Station 4, departed the airfield at Kunming, China, on a flight through the Himalayan mountain range to Jorhat, India. It crashed in China and two crewmen survived. At about 2100 IST the C-87 lost two engines and could not maintain altitude. Capt. Mast ordered the crew to don parachutes. 2ndLt Marshall jumped before Sgt Cerephino. Capt. Mast and Cpl. Greenspan did not make it out before the crash and were killed. After recovery, the remains of Capt. Mast and Cpl. Greenspahn were buried together (indistinguishable) in the Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Lincoln Co., Nebraska, on 9 November 1949 (Sec. R. Grave 4).

 

His brother, Dent M. Mast, born 3 March 1913, served in the U.S. Army, Private, 2nd Infantry Division, 23rd Infantry Regiment, Co. L, from 21 January 1941 to 20 May 1941. He died 23 May 1979 and is buried in the Slatelick Cemetery, South Buffalo Township, Pennsylvania. From 1937 to 1942, the 23d Infantry, as a part of the 2nd Division, pioneered in the development of the triangular infantry division and in perfection of airborne infantry tactics and logistics. During 1941 and 1942, the 23d Infantry furnished three full regimental cadres for newly activated units and numerous smaller cadres.