42-100615       C47


On 18 January 1944, a C-47A transport departed Dinjan air field, India, on a food dropping mission in Burma. It was assigned to the Second Troop Carrier Squadron. It was last seen at 1150 hours that day. It was reported as a battle casualty, shot down by enemy fighters. The crew and passengers were:


                             Pilot                             2ndLt George (NMI) Beckwith                       0-680387         RTD

                             Co-Pilot                       2ndLt Howard D. Benson                                0-745270         KIA

                             Radio Operator            SSgt Frank M. Nelson                                      37185115        RTD

                             Drop Crew                  Pvt Adolph (NMI) Montoya                            3909913           KIA

                             Drop Crew                  Pvt Wilson L. Taylor                                       34516357          KIA

                             Drop Supervisor          1stLt Henry Gibbins                                        0-368721         KIA

                             (RTD - Returned to Duty; KIA - Killed in Action)

The last contact by radio was made by Cpl. Harold J. Peterson, 33276274. Statements by the survivors disclosed:


2ndLt Benson did not bail out. He was seen leaving the cockpit to bail out. Two bodies were found in the wreckage. U.S. Navy Lt. Guy Bolt said one of them was 2ndLt Benson. Pvt. Montoya bailed out in Burma. Pvt. Taylor bailed out. 1stLt Gibbins was fatally injured by enemy gunfire while he was still aboard on the deck of the cargo compartment. A statement by SSgt Nelson of Camdenton, Missouri, included:

L>R LtCol Douglas Gilbert, Gen. Stratmeyer, Capt. John H. Hunt, Maj. Charles J. Lutz

Martin L. Hunt & family

P-40 Warhawks