ISHAM, BILLY RAY, Staff Sergeant, # 39296231, USAAF
Billy R. Ishasm was born on 13 June 1924 in Texas to Ernest Clifton Isham (1893-1966) and Ruth Nora (Davis) Isham (1892-1988). Siblings were Glennen Earl Isham (1913-2003), Lloyd Britian Isham (1915-1978), James Henry Isham (1917-2009), Irene Mildred (Isham) Wright (1919-1991), and Howard Ernest Isham (1921-2004).
He registered for the WWII draft on 30 June 1942, a student, resided on Highway 99, Yucaipa, San Bernardino Co., CA, and described himself as 5’5”, 130 lbs, with brown hair and hazel eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF in Los Angeles, California, on 6 May 1943. He was trained to maintain and monitor the mechanical systems (crew chief or engineer) on the B-25 Mitchell. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas through India to China. On 19 June 1945 a B-25D-36NC, # 43-3663, assigned to 14th Air Force, 10th Weather Group, 2nd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, at Chengtu, China, departed the airfield at Hsinching, China, on a flight to Hsian, China. Last contact was by radio at about 0245 Zulu near Hunchung with Tower Operators Sgt John A. Stekel, 13273411, Cpl Arthur L. Kahn, 32507551, and Cpl Larence M. Epstein, 32877589. The location was east of Kwangyuan, China near a mountain and north-northeast of Langchung, China. Search was led by 1stLt Harold B. Terhune, 0-815783, Flight Leader of Flight “C”, 2nd Weather Reconnaissance Squadrom (Medium) and the Air Rescue and Chinese Rescue teams were alerted. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in he Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
His brother, Howard E. Isham, born 1921, served in the U.S. Army from 15 June 1943. He died on 24 May 2004.