BROWNEWELL, FREDERICK MARTIN, JR., Second Lieutenant, # 0-469877, USAAF


Frederick M. Brownewell Jr. was born on 25 March 1917 in Ohio to Frederick M. Brownewell (1887-1972) and Lauura Antoinette (Landrum) Brownewell (1889-1970) (married 10 October 1910, Franklin Co., OH). Siblings included John Landrum Brownewell (1914-1992) and George Edwards Brownewell (1918-1983). Living with them in 1930 was his maternal grandmother, Emma B. (Hopkins) Landrum (1868-1951) (widowed from George Cully Landrum (1855-1927) (married 10 October 1885).


He enlisted in the USAAF in Ohio and was commissioned on 15 June 1942. He completed flight instruction through advanced school and was multi-engine rated. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to India and assigned to pilot the C-46 Commando. On 4 July 1944 a Curtiss C-46 Commando, # 41-24698, assigned to 10th Air Force, 1332 AAF Base Unit, Mohanbari, India, departed its airfield at Mohanbari, India, on a transport mission to Chenyi, China, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump), and crashed after departure clearance was given. A 10th Air Force search party reported: it was investigating wreckage at map coordinates NX 1552. The wreckage is of 41-24698, located at military map coordinates NX 1552. It lies on its right side, heading 296°. No wings or engines were visible. It burned when it crashed. Gasoline drums exploded. The burned out cockpit was open to the jungle. The unburnt left engine was found 25 yards ahead of the fuselage. The landing gear was extended and the tires were still inflated. There was no evidence of structural failure. The tail assembly was slightly mutilated. In the left side of the cockpit, they found a .45 caliber M1911; in the radio compartment, they found 2 .45 cal. M1911s and a damaged Kodak camera. Bones were near the rear door, inside the fuselage, with officer’s collar insignia among the bones; also found false teeth plates, a Parker 51 pentop, a watch, and melted silver (likely pilot wings). Found parachute parts, a jungle knife & compass, and a ripcord buckle. No other bones found. The remains were buried. An embedded cross states “Unknown American, 17 November 1944,” signed by D.M. Westling, U.S. Army. All confidential matter and equipment was destroyed. They painted a large yellow X on a left wing part for I.D. from air. The IFF transmitter was intact and was destroyed with .45 cal. fire. His remains were recovered and buried in the Greenlawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio.


His brother, John L. Brownewell, born 8 October 1914, served in the USAF from 1 February 1939 to 30 September 1960. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 1 August 1944. He died 20 September 1993 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery (Sec. 3-Z, Grave 4).


His brother, George E. Brownewell, born 23 May 1918, served in the USAAF from 15 July 1942 to 20 December 1946. He died 27 December 1983 in Cook Co., Illinois.