42-98839 – Stinson L-5


On 18 October 1944, a Stinson L-5,  # 42-98839, assigned to 14th Air Force at Kunming air base It was assigned to the 69th Composite Wing, the 19th Liaison Squadron. It was on detached duty to Poa-Shan, China. It departed Tengchung, China to fly to Poa-Shan, China, on a combat courier mission. It was believed that the aircraft crashed as it tried to fly over the Kaolikung Shan mountain range. It had the name “Herky.” It was piloted by SSgt Hugh F. O’Neill Jr., # 11068695.


In another L-5, TSgt Charles E. DeVane, #14048326, last had radio contact with SSgt O’Neill. TSgt DeVane could not find a cloud hole to fly through so he climbed to 11,000 feet and flew over the cloud cover. His last contact with SSgt O’Neill was that SSgt O’Neill was trying to find a hole as well, at 9,000 feet. No further radio contact was made. According to 1stLt Dominic V. Divincenzo, 0-671638, several search flights were flown but to no avail.

O’NEILL, HUGH F., JR., Staff Sergeant, # 11068695, USAAF


Hugh F. O’Neill Jr., was born in 1922 in Middlesex County, Massachusetts to Hugh F. O’Neill. He enlisted in the USAAF in Boston, Massachusetts, on 27 March 1942, with one year of college.

He is remembered on the Manila American Cemetery, Fort William McKinley, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart.

42-66981         P38              MACR 2089


KOROTKIN, LOUIS, First Lieutenant, # 0-749567, USAAF


On 3 February 1944, a flight of P-38 Lightnings assigned to the 80th Fighter Group, the 459th Fighter Squadron, departed its 10th Air Force base in India to bomb and strafe Oskshitpin (Proma), Burma, at 1100 hours. The P-38H-5-10, # 42-66981, flown by 2ndLt Louis (NMI) Korotkin, 0-749567, was last sighted at about 1220 hours by Capt. Willard J. Webb, 0-429200, and 1stLt Hampton E. Boggs, 0-728557. Four P-38s conducted search sorties on 5 February 1944 at 1300 hours to search the area of the Oskshitpin bridge.


Capt. Webb reported: 2ndLt Korotkin was flying on my wing in an eighteen-ship combat mission over Burma. His flight was the second to reach the target and, as they withdrew from the target, 2ndLt Korotkin could not be sighted. Smoke and haze obstructed visibility. When aircraft present was checked, he was not there.