ENGEL, DAREN CLARENCE, Sergeant, # 18171011, USAAF


Daren C. Engel was born on 31 December 1923 in Washington Springs, South Dakota to John Clarence Engel (1892-1963) and Violet Marie (Rainy) Engel (1901-1989) (married 15 July 1921, Sanborn, SD). Siblings included Doris Marie (Engel) Caperton (1922-2004), Lois Jean (Engel) Pitkin (1926-2004), Lorraine Ruth (Engel) Charnstrom (1929-1988), Loren Ward Engel (1930-1988), Elaine L. (Engel) Newsome (1933-    ), and John Neil Engel (1934-1994). On 11 May 1947 he was married to Billie Louise Rowley (1927-2009) in Springfield, Greene Co., Illinois.


He registered for the WWII draft on 30 June 1942, resided in Springfield, Lane Co., Oregon, and described himself as 5’10”, 167 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF in Santa Ana, California, on 17 April 1943. He was trained to maintain the weapons (armorer) (excluding bombs) on the B-25 Mitchell (crew chief/engineer). He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 6 October 1944 a B-25J, # 43-3964, assigned to 10th Air Force, 12th Bomb Group, 83rd Bomb Squadron, Fenny, India, departed its airfield on a combat mission to the bridge at Nyaungyan, Burma. The B-25 was seen to crash after being attacked by enemy fighters. Sgt Charles E. Quiggle, 37270775, saw it crash. He reported that it was a twelve-ship formation and they were attacked by enemy fighters head on. After hearing the warning, “Japs.” The bombers salvoed their bombs and turned to return to base. He watched the B-25 lose altitude rapidly, right engine on fire, and it crashed near Dayegaung, Burma. There was a large explosion and a parachute billowed from the crash. He was captured and imprisoned by the Japanese in the Rangoon Cantonment (former British prison). He was liberated on about 4 May 1945. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. He died on 22 May 2011 in Bend, Deschutes Co., Oregon.


His father, born 4 March 1892, served in the U.S. Army, Private, during WWI. He died 7 May 1963 and is buried in the Lane Memorial Gardens, Eugene, Lane Co., Oregon.


His brother, John N. Engel, born 16 September 1934, served in the U.S. Air Force, Airman 2nd Class, during the Korean War, from 13 November 1953 to 12 November 1957. He died 6 June 1994 and is buried in the Springfield Memorial Gardens, Springfield, Lane Co., Oregon.