Charles S. Joy Yale University

Benjamin P. Joy receiving Distinguished Flying Cross on 8 Jan 1944

BIRCHETT, JAMES W., Second Lieutenant, # 0745592, USAAF


James W. Birchett was born 1917 in Tennessee to William Nelson Birchett (1885-1942) and Goldie (Farwell) Birchett (1887-1965) (married 8 November 1905, Robertson, TN). He had sisters, Ethel Louise Birchett (1907-1994), Ada Marie (Birchett) Bell (1914-1995) and Irene Birchett (1909-1989). His parents are buried in the Fairview Cemetery, Dyersburg, TN. His father was a railroad telegraph operator.


He enlisted in the USAAF on 31 March 1942 in Nashville, Tennessee. He trained as a pilot and earned his commission and wings. On 23 January 1944, B-24J, # 42-73067 (“Rangoon Rosie”), departed Madhaigunj, India, on a bombing mission to Merguy, Malayan Peninsula. It was assigned to the 10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Group, 436th Bomb Squadron. He was the co-pilot. It was seen to crash at about 1610 hours at 12º30’ North - 95º 30’ East, in Malaya, shot down by enemy aircraft. It was noted to be a battle casualty. Its crew were killed in action, except TSgt Grant L. Butcher, who was wounded and captured by the Japanese. A Graves Registration team recovered remains from where crew was buried. Unable to distinguish the remains, they were buried in a single casket group burial in Arlington National Cemetery 25 July 1949, Section 34, grave 5023.