He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with an Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Purple Heart.
His brother, Henry L. Closen, born 19 January 1925, served in the U.S. Army from 3 May 1943 to 30 January 1946. He died 20 January 1985 and is buried in the Lutheran Cemetery, Peoria, Illinois.
CLAIBOURN, OLDEN F., Technician 5th Grade, # 36515104, USAAF
Olden F. Claibourn was born on 1918 in Missouri. A sister was Thelma Claibourn (1916- ). Olden and his sister lived with Samuel “Sam” Bass (1878- ) (KY) and Bessie Bass (1882- ) (KY) in 1930. Further familial data could not be found because of a lack of reference data.
After enlisting, he was trained in the supply of goods at the U.S. Army Quartermaster School, Ft. Lee, Virginia. On 15 June 1944, a C-47A, # 42-93372, assigned to 3rd Combat Cargo Group, 11th Combar Cargo Squadron, departed the airfield at Sookerating, India, on an air resupply mission and return. It was last seen by an eyewitness to the crash that killed everyone on board at 25º 31’ North and 96º 50’ East, when it hit some trees and crashed. Two Chinese soldiers said that the C-47A propellars hit trees before crashing. All crew members were from the 11th Combat Cargo Squadron on detached service to the 1st Troop Carrier Squadron, except 1stLt Miller, who was from Station # 10 (A.T.C.) on detached service to the 1st Troop Carrier Squadron. The three Air Supply Droppers were from the USAAF 3841st Quartermaster Truck Company. His remains were recovered from the American military cemetery at the airfield near Kalaikunda, India, and, together with the indistinguishable remains of Private Henry I. Kaler, were buried in the Woodlawn National Cemetery, Elmira, Chemung Co., New York, on 26 October 1949 (Sec. G, Grave 4592).
KALER, HENRY IRVING, Private, # 31388686, USAAF
Henry I. Kaler was born on 28 June 1910 in Westborough, Wocester Co., Massachusetts, to Robert Henry Kaler (1880-1957) and Harriet Amelia “Hattie” (Hodge) Kaler (1883-1952) (NH) (married 5 October 1905, MA). Siblings included Robert Waldo Kaler (1907- ), Ida May Kaler (1912-1931). Hattie Kaler (divorced by 1920) and her children were living with her mother, Mary Adelaide “Addie” (Culver) Hodge (1845-1931) (VT) in 1920 (widow of Roswell Beckwith Hodge (1846-1908). In 1942, Robert H. Kaler, born 9 May 1880, was working for the WPA and residing at 28 Kendall St., Framingham, Massachusetts. Henry I. Kaler was married to Dorothy Louise (Beckwith) Kaler (1914-1999) (ME) on 15 December 1937 in Maine.