MATHIS, ROBERT DODDS, Second Lieutenant, # 0-826245, USAAF


Robert D. Mathis was born on 1 September 1919 in Douglas, Polk Co., Iowa to John William Mathis (1879-1960) and Mary M. (Dodds) Mathis (1884-1976). Siblings included Vera Pearl (Mathis) Zimmerman (1905-1986)


He enlisted (enlisted # 13105023) in the USAAF on 30 January 1943. He completed basic flight instruction and earned his commission and wings. He was selected for advanced flight instruction to pilot the B-29 Superfortress. He was multi-engine rated. Afterwards, he was sent overseas to 20th Air Force in India. From there, the B-29 was sent to an advance airfield in China. On 27 December 1944, a B-29, # 42-6343, assigned to 20th Air Force, 444th Bomb Group, 678th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Dudhkundi, India, on a ferrying mission to Kwaghan, China. The B-29 was lost at about 0315 Zulu. Over Kwanghan at 13,000 feet altitude, 42-6343 was cleared to decend and to report its position every 2,000 feet. At 0310 Zulu, 42-6343 reported southeast of the airfield at 11,000 feet. The tower received no further contact. Chinese troops reported a crash about 25 miles northeast of the airfield. Air searches did not find it. A foot search early on 28 December 1944 located the crash at about the same position as the Chinese report. Chinese witnesses said the B-29 was spinning. It crashed in a small Chinese compound at the foot of a steep cliff. The B-29 was totally demolished and incendiary bombs exploded. The tail section was found ½ mile away. The remainder of the wreckage was in a small area. Nine bodies were recovered burned beyond recognition. Nothing could be found of the two other crewmen. Major Merrill F. Patrick, Operations Officer, 678th Bomb Squadron, speculated that the B-29 spun in from about 11,000 feet, the reason was unknown. The pilot had reported icing and mechanical problems may have distracted the pilot from IFR flight. The tail section separated in the tight spin. Six Chinese, three cows and one pig were killed on the ground. The highest elevation in the vicinity was less than 4,000 feet. The elevation at the crash scene was 2,500 feet, measured by an L-5 Sentinel. After recovery of unidentifiable remains in China and retrieval from burial in Hawaii, there was a two-casket group burial of the remains of the crew in the Keokuk National Cemetery, Keokuk, Lee Co., Iowa, on 16 August 1949 (Sec. D, Graves 81-82).

ALLEN, ALBERT NELSON, Second Lieutenant, # 0-809736, USAAF


Albert N. Allen was born on 14 February 1922 in Sidney, Richland Co., Montana, to Fred Fallon Allen (1881-1954) and Deva Quendolyn (Coleman) Allen (1903-1988) (both born in Missouri). Siblings included Charles Frederick Allen (1920-2016), Donald Ivan Allen (1922-1923), Dean Wallace Allen (1922-2006), Thomas Ray Allen (1924-    ), Orianna Jean Allen (1927-    ), James Fallon Allen (1932-    ), and Donna Arlene (Allen) Aastrom (1934-2010). In 1940 Fred and Albert lived with their mother in Willamette, Benton Co., Oregon, and graduated from Corvalis High School.