CAREY, OTTIS OLIVER, Captain, # 0-789450, USAAF


Ottis O. Carey (born surname Leath) was born on 27 August 1918 in Burkburnett, Texas. Siblings included Alvis Gordon Leath (1895-1967), Adelaide Allen Leath (1900-1962), Harriet A. “Babe” Leath (1904-1930) (OK), Edward Leath (1915-    ) (TX). In 1940 he and his mother, Martha “Mattie” Belle Featherston) Carey (1875-1953) (widowed) (1st married James Alexander Leath (1856-1911) on 10 December 1893, Clay Co., TX) were living with Atlas Sewell Gilbert (1896-    ), the sister of Ottis – Adelaide Allen (Carey) McGowan nee Gilbert (1900-1962) and their children, William Howard Gilbert (1922-1995) and Betty Gilbert (1924-    ) in Nocona, Montague Co., Texas. He was married to Marguerite J Carey, and had a son, Edward S Carey, 1213 N. Lea St, Roswell, New Mexico. He attended the University of Texas, Austin, TX.


He registered for the WW II draft on 10 October 1940, resided at Box 359, Nocona, Montague Co., Texas, employed by Shell Oil Co., and described himself as 5’10”, 170 lbs, with blond hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF at Camp San Luis Obispo, California, on 13 September 1941. He was trained as a navigator for the B-29 Superfortress. He was sent overseas to India. On 28 November 1944, a B-29, # 42-24706, “Windy City II,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 794th Bomb Squadron (of which Lt.Col. Hennin was Commander), departed the airfield at Kharagpur, India, on a training flight over Halliday Island and return. The # 3 engine was losing power, then caught fire. The Kidde system (fire surpression) was activated and the fire was under control. The electrical system was deactivated. SSgt Metzger was sent to turn on the “putt-putt” (small generator) and did so. As it was activated, the entire right wing exploded. King, Salisbury, Metzger, Dilioway, Davis and Vavra bailed out and saw the B-29 roll over twice as it went down. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal.