43-3616           B-25


On 27 March 1944, a B-25D, # 43-3616, assigned to 10th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Kurmitola, India, on a medium altitude combat mission over Wuntho, Burma. It was seen to have been hit by enemy fire and crashed at 1115 hours near 23º 21’ North & 95º 31’ East. The crew were:


                                        Pilot                                         1stLt Gaylord G. Groff                        0-794400

                                        Co-Pilot                                   2ndLt Elroy W. O’Nan                        0-739678

                                        Navigator                                1stLt John M. Schrader                        0-733472

                                        Bombardier                              1stLt Henry C. Hampson                    0-672949

                                        Engineer-Gunner                     SSgt Raymond G. Pryor                      6541743

                                        Radio Operator-Gunner          SSgt Donald C. Wright                        32288684

                                        Armorer-Gunner                     Sgt George S. Gillooly                        31031958


The witnesses to the crash were 1stLt George F. Smith, 0-793448, and 1stLt Lawrence E. Williams, 0-733502. 1stLt Williams and 1stLt Smith reported that the B-25s were on a strafing mission south along the railroad from Wuntho to Kanbala. The B-25, 43-3616, was smoking lightly from the right erngine before it made a strafing pass on the town of Thitabiyn, then made a controlled right turn. It then went into a glide west at about 300’-500’ and the right engine burst into flames just before the B-25 hit the ground. It crashed near the above coordinateds. There was a terrific explosion when it crashed and the whole B-25 burst into flames with black smoke. Their B-25 turned to a 290º heading and before they were out of sight, the flames died away but they could not see any debris. An attached map showed the crashed B-25 on the west side of the railroad, west of Thitabiyn.


The next-of-kin listed were:


                                                          Groff               Loren E Groff, F, Rudolph, OH

                                                          Schrader          Anna G. Schrader, M, Anchorage, KY

                                                          Hampson         Dr. James K. Hampson, RFD 1, Box 40-A, Wilson, AR

                                                          O’Nan             Myrtle M Boyd, M, 1180 6th Ave, Des Moines, Iowa

                                                          Pryor                Minnie L. Ostrander, M, 451 W. Lewis St, Pocatello, Idaho

                                                          Wright             Gwendolyn M. Wright, W, 122 Rutland St, Black River, NY

                                                          Gillooly           Mary E Gillooly, M, 389 Cambridge, Allston, Mass.

                                                                                  W, Box 386, Marysville, WA