By 29 April 1945, they were liberated by the British Army. Shanks, Lentz and Sommers were imprisoned in the Rangoon Cantonment. Upon liberation, they were taken to the 142nd General Hospital, Calcutta, India. He was liberated from the Rangoon prison (former British prison) about 11 May 1945 and returned to duty. He was separated from the USAAF on 7 Novem- ber 1945. He died on 17 October 2013 in Birmingham, Jefferson Co., Alabama.

MAJORS, FARRELL THOMAS, Staff Sergeant, # 39273801, USAAF


Farrell T. Majors was born on 13 May 1918 in Argonia, Kansas, to Thomas Terry Majors (1894-1935) and Alberta Anna (Smith) Majors (1898-1974). Siblings included Allen Burton Majors (1916-2000) and Maion Francis Majors (1921-1995). He married Marion Olga Bryant (1919-1987) on 19 April 1941 and they had two children. In 1940, he reported his mother married to Burton Samuel Moore (1907-1997).


He registered for the WW II draft on 16 October 1940, resided at 217 S. Burlington Ave., Los Angeles, CA, and described himself as 5’8 ½”, 135 lbs, with brown hair and hazel eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF on 6 January 1943. He was trained in the maintenance and operation of the radio equipment on the B-29 Superfortress and was sent overseas to India. On 14 December 1944, a B-29 40BW, # 42-24574, assigned to 20th Air Force, 40th Bomb Group, 45th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Chakulia, India, on a bombing mission at 20,000’, over Rangoon railway yards, Burma, and Bangkok, Siam (Thailand). It crashed about 70 to 80 miles west of Rangoon. Its last known location was near 16º 46’ North & 94º 46’ East. According to 1stLt Etherington, the crew was able to bail out, were captured by enemy Burmese and turned over to the Japanese enemy, who imprisoned them in the Rangoon Cantonment (old British Prison). The pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier, engineer, and radio operator bailed out through the nosewheel well. The waist gunners, senior gunner, tail gunner, and radar operator bailed out through the rear door. The co-pilot sprained an ankle upon landing. The rest were uninjured by the jump. Therington, Benedict, Fletcher, Majors, Oglesby, Pisterzi, Basche, and Cochran were marched through the jungle by the enemy for 65 miles when the Japanese abandoned them in a Burmese village about 10 miles NW of Pegu, Burma. By 29 April 1945, they were liberated by the British Army. Shanks, Lentz and Sommers were imprisoned in Rangoon. He was repatriated on 2 May 1945. He died on 14 October 1992 in Fullerton, Orange Co., California, and is interred in the Mortuary at the Memory Garden Memorial Park, Brea, California.

SOMMERS, LEWIS MICHAEL, JR, Staff Sergeant, # 35589579, USAAF


Lewis M. Sommers Jr. was born on 9 January 1918 in Martins Ferry, Belmont Co., Ohio, to Lewis M. Sommers (1888-1973) and Rosa J. (Webb) Sommers (1892-    ). A brother was Robert Michael Sommers (1912-1980). He married Theresa Fitzpatrick on 26 April 1941, in Belmont Co., Ohio.