BEDETTE, RICHARD JOHN, Second Lieutenant, # 0-81217, USAAF
Richard J. Bedette was born on 5 July 1920 in Palmyra, Wayne Co., New York, to Marinus Bedette Jr. (1894-1986) and Jennie Mary (Boeye) Bedette (1897- ). Siblings included Ellsworth Henry Bedette (1923-2006), Janet Anne Bedette (1927- ), and Caroline Bedette (1928-1934). He graduated from Palmyra High School.
He enlisted in the USAAF in Rochester, New York, on 1 July 1943. He completed flight instruction and advanced school and earned his commission and pilot wings at Freeman USAAF Airfield on 1 October 1943. On 8 October 1944, a C-47A, # 100595, assigned to 10th Air Force, 443rd Troop Carrier Group, 1st Troop Carrier Squadron, departed the airfield at Myitkyina, Burma, for Sookerating, India, on a cargo (food) supply mission. It was last contacted by radio with SSgt Robert F. Ethridge, 14151748, at about 1740 hours IST. All aircraft to and from the Squadron searched and 3 made extensive searches. The Chabua airfield and 10th AF rescue search squadrons were alerted. The C-47 crashed in Burma. After recovery of indistinguish-able remains, 1stLt DeCapito, 2ndLt Bedette, and SSgt Bowman’s remains were buried in a common grave in the Keokuk National Cemetery, Keokuk, Lee Co., Iowa (Sec. D, Grave 187). He is remembered in the East Pamyra Cemetery, East Palmyra, Wayne Co., New York.
His brother, Ellsworth H. Bedette, born 2 April 1923, served in the USAAF and the USAF from 12 March 1944 to 29 November 1945 and then 11 October 1948 to retirement, a pilot and Lieutenant Colonel, in 30 September 1968. He died on 10 October 2006 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.