In the book, 7th Bombardment Group/Wing 1918-1995, authorRobert F. Dorr wrote about this crash: “On 26 October, Bombardier 2ndLt Gustaf E. (Gus) Johnson was aboard a 436th [Squadron] B-24 piloted by 1stLt Roy G. Vaughan when it ran into trouble. ‘[We were] hit by Japanese Tojo fighters over Rangoon. We lost at least one engine, then had a running gunfight for 50 minutes, at which time the Japanese started using two fighters each pass instead of one. Using two was a new tactic for them. They misjudged a pass from seven o’clock low, with one fighter flying through the waist windows. Our B-24 broke in half, the front portion ending up in a glide, inverted, with no tail section. The navigator, Waller, exited through the astrodome and I followed, very close to the jungle, and then got turned over to the Japanese Army.’ Johnson, the only survivor of his crew, joined the Allied prisoners being held in Rangoon.

VAUGHAN, ROY GARRETT, First Lieutenant, # 0-435815, USAAF


Roy G. Vaughn was born 6 January 1920 in Liberty Hill, Williamson Co., Texas, to John Herschel Vaughan (1882-1965) and Elsie Elizabeth (Frederick) Vaughan (1887-1977). He had three siblings: Jo Ella Vaughan (1912-1997), Fredrick McCarver Vaughan (1914-1959) and Rosylene Elizabeth “Rosey” Vaughan (1917-2005). His father was a physician who graduated from the University of Texas Medical School on 29 May 1909. On 6 February 1942, he married Emelyn Braugh Calhoun (1922-    ) at Luke Field, Phoenix, Arizona (now Luke AFB).


He graduated from Amarillo High School and attended the University of Texas, Auston, and graduated in 1941. He enlisted in the USAAF on 12 July 1941 in Lubbok, Texas, as an aviation cadet. He survived the crash but died as a POW in the Rangoon Cantonment (former British prison) on 27 October 1944. He is remembered on the wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart.

Book Excerpt