NORWOOD, EVAN WILKINS, JR., Sergeant, # 34451777, USAAF
He was born 21 June 1921 to Evan Wilkins Norwood (1894-1979) and Emma Fedora (Wilson) Norwood (1894-1994). Siblings included George Alexander Norwood (1924- ) (born in Shanghai, China), John Spicer Norwood (1928-1993). In 1924-1928, his parents were members of the Missionary Southern Baptist Convention, residing at 494 Rue Lafayette, Shanghai, China. George A. Norwood was born at the Victoria Nursing Home, 24 Haining Rd, Shanghai. They had three previous children. The family returned on the S.S. Taiyo Maru, which departed Shanghair on 12 August 1928 and arrived in San Francisco, California, 3 September 1928. The family was comprised of Evan W. Norwood, age 34 (DOB 6 Aug. 1894), Emma W. Norwood, age 33 (DOB 17 Nov. 1894), Betty S. Norwood, age 8 (DOB 28 Aug. 1919), Evan W. Norwood Jr., age 7 (DOB 21 Jun 1921), Nathaniel W. Norwood, age 5 (DOB 14 Feb. 1923), George R. Norwood, age 4 (DOB 23 Jul 1924), and John S. Norwood, age 3 (DOB 17 May 1928), with a home address of 529 Spruce St., Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
He enlisted at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on 14 September 1942, with four years college completed. He was assigned to the 396th Service Squadron, 12th Air Service Group. The 396th Service Squadron was activated at Camp Blythe, Blythe, California, on 1 January 1943 and assigned to the 12th Air Service Group (aka 12th Air Base Group – Special). It was disbanded on 8 October 1948. The 12th A.S.G. was responsible for the maintenance of all aircraft assigned to the 14th Air Force, growing out of the needs of the American Volunteer Group and the China Air Task Force. It was also responsible for all provisions and supplies to feed, clothe and house all 14th Air Force personnel. On 25 January 1944, a B-24D, # 41-23889 (converted to ferry passengers and cargo – Sgt. Norwood was a passenger), departed Chabua, India, at 7:40 a.m., to fly to Kunming, China. At 10:45 a.m., over the Himalayas, the formation of five B-24Ds “was forced to break up due to extreme instrument weather conditions.” All five aircraft crashed. B-24D, # 41-23889, near Jorhat, India. Crews parachuted from two and a third, which crashed, had two survivors. The fourth and fifth, “Hot as Hell” and “Haley’s Comet,” disappeared, the crews presumed dead (Tara Copp, Stars & Stripes, 8 Apr 2016). The B-24D flown by Captain Rosser was last contacted by radio at about 1200 hours. The Chabua field had zero visibility.