Preece continued.

The same newspaper, 15 December 1948, reported that funeral services and military rites were conducted at 2 p.m., Weds., at the Aberdeen Chapel, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Bishop Bruce Beck. He is survived by his wife, parents, a brother, and paternal grandmother, Mrs. Ella Preece, Brigham City, Utah. Military rites were conducted by the American Legion post of Aberdeen.

B-24J Bomber Loss – 1 December 1943 – Rangoon, Burma


On 1 December, 1943, B-24J, # 42-74194, departed Panagarh, India, on a bombing mission over Rangoon, Burma. It was shot by anti-aircraft fire and attacked by enemy fighters and was last seen at 1225 hours over Insein, Burma. The crew was comprised of:


Pilot                 2ndLt John E. McLauchlen Jr.             0-797160

C0-Pilot           2ndLt Elden W. Watts                         0-680554

Navigator        2ndLt Pershing E. Bowes                    0-674124

Bombardier      2ndLt Gilbert A. Rauh                         0-738787

Engineer          TSgt Roman J. Ropinski                      16034281

Radio Oper.     TSgt Harold L. Seifreid                        13080602

Gunner            Sgt Charles W. Morley                         19017399

Gunner            SSgt Frank J. Tedone                           11094405

Gunner            SSgt Claude E. Nixon                          38114201

Gunner            SSgt Edward K. Pyle                           35300957

A witness to the crash was 1stLt Emil A. Kremer, 0-791450, who reported that “on or about 1 December 1943 at 1225 hours, 1stLt Emil A. Kremer was flying number 2 position, 436th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, element. Our formation of three planes were tacked on to the 9th Bombardment Squadron’s formation. After turning from the bombing run, Lt. McLauchlen’s left wing was hit by anti-aircraft fire and started to smoke badly. He then dove sharply to the left and three enemy aircraft followed him down. He was last seen going into a cloud bank.”

The next of kin were listed as:

2ndLt McLauchlen – Father, John E. McLauchlen, 898 Lothrop Ave., Detroit, Michigan

2ndLt Watts – Grandmother, Mary Frederick, 123 So. 6th St., Yukon, Oklahoma

2ndLt Bowes – Mother, Elizabeth Bowes, 151-10 35th Ave., Flushing, New York

2ndLt Rauh – Father, J.C. Rauh, Thornwood, New York

TSgt Ropinski – Father, Pat J. Ropinski, Rte # 1, Jefferson, Wisconsin

TSgt Seifreid – Mother, Anna Seifreid, 1729 No. 53rd St., Phildelphia, Pennsylania

SSgt Tedone – Mother, Celia Tedone, 36 Blinn St., East Hartford, Connecticut

SSgt Nixon – Mother, Mary F. Nixon, Rte # 3, Box 525, Corpus Christi, Texas

SSgt Pyle – Wife, Claudine Pyle, 2246 So. Rockhill St., Alliance, Ohio

Sgt Morley – Brother, Alvin George Morley, 1123 Forsythe St., Aberdeen, Washington