On 26 June 1944, a B-29, #42-6323, assigned to 20th Air Force, 444th Bomb Group, 678th Bomb Squadron, crashed on takeoff from the airfield at Chabua, India. The aircraft was a total loss and all of the crew were killed. Some were deemed “killed during an operational flight.” Once the crew remains were recovered, they were buried in the airfield cemetery at Kalaikunda, India. Those crew killed included:

                                            Pilot                 Capt. James L. Schleicher                                0-439684

                                            Co-Pilot           1stLt Robert H. O’Shea                                    0-808580

                                            Bombardier      2ndLt John M. Cumming                                 0-746991

                                            Left Gunner     SSgt George F. Chesebro                                 37303393

                                            Right Gunner   MSgt Warren E. Thieman                                19051718

                                            Senior Gunner Sgt Ralph H. Groff Jr.                                      19090114

                                            Radio               Sgt Chester A. Jennings                                   39037379

The following could not be identified in the wreckage and were deemed “missing” but in time declared dead by Public Law.

                                            Navigator        2ndLt Walter B. Miklosh                                 0-746594

                                            Engineer          F/O Chester L. Rinke                                      T-192820

                                            Radar               SSgt Donald C. Aiken                                     19193152

                                            Tail Gunner     TSgt John M. Larkins                                      34188347


Next-of-kin were listed as:

                                           Schleicher        Mrs James L Schleicher, W, 420 W. Thompson, Sullivan, IN

                                           O’Shea            Mrs Ruth O’Shea W, Prentis Kitchen C/O Col. Scott C. Runnels, Williamsburg, VA

                                           Cumming         Mrs Edna N Cumming, W, 1154 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA

                                           Miklosh           Mrs Bernice Z Miklosh, M, 5924 S. Francisco Ave, Chicago, IL

                                           Rinke               Mrs Clara M Galey, M, 1109 Pine St, Marquette, Mich.

                                           Larkins            Mr William F. Larkins, F, 400 N.Main St, Dickson, TN

                                           Chesebro         Mr George J Chesebro,605 Newton Ave. North, Minneapolis, Minn.

                                           Thieman          Mr Otto K Thieman, F, Lockwood, MO

                                           Aiken               Mrs Ida R Crowder, M, R # 2, Box 360, Everett, WA

                                           Groff               Mr Ralph N Groff, F, 1094 Postola Drv, San Francisco, CA

                                           Jennings           Mrs Geraldine Jennings, W, 640 S. 17th St, Richmond, CA