PFC James J. Halterman

SAGE, DONALD H., JR., Staff Sergeant, # 12040737, USAAF


Donald H. Sage was born in 1921 in Pennsylvania to Donald H. Sage and Agnes Quay (Davidson) Skinner nee Johnstone nee Sage (married Johnstone in 1931 and was divorced in 1940) (1897-1943). Siblings included Mary H. (Sage) De Perez (1920-2006), Agnes I. (Sage) Latham (1925-    ), Louis Davidson Sage (1928-1994), Williard Henry Johnstone (1932-1978). In 1938 the family went to England. They returned on the S.S. Franconia on 19 August 1938. The trip included Agnes D. Johnstone, 41 (Beaver, PA), Mary Sage, 18 (Pittsburgh, PA), Donald Sage, 17 (Pittsburgh, PA), Louis Sage, 9 (NY, NY), Agnes Sage 13 (Pittsburgh, PA), and Willard Johnstone, 6 (NY, NY) but, all living at 812 Park Ave., NY, NY.


He enlisted while living in Pennsylvania, in New York, New York, on 6 January 1942. After his training, he was sent overseas to India. It was unusual to have an enlisted serviceman as navigator but, he had been apparently trained adequately for this flight and perhaps others. On 6 June 1944, from the 10th Air Force airfield at Kurmitola, India, a B-25H, # 43-4204, 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, departed on an ammunition ferrying mission to the airfield at Chittagong, Burma, via Saichar. The weather was bad and visibility poor. At map coordinates RK212795, the completely wrecked remains of a B-25 was found on the sheer side of a mountain, about 100 feet from the summit. A local Indian Army unit reported that the aircraft crashed into the mountainside, then obscured by clouds, at about 1100 hours local on 6 June. The crew consisted of one lieutenant and at least two sergeants, all of whom were killed, and were buried by a Ghurka patrol on 11 June. The following was given to the crash investigator: 1 burned leather flying jacket with Chinese writing on the left breats, 1 leather wallet holding 1 Rupee note, a plain Gold ring, a latchkey, a Signet rings ornamented with a skull, crest, and wings, a St. Christopher medallion with “I am Catholic, if injured notify a Priest,” inscribed. Two coupon books for a club named “Raider’s Roost.” Two identity disks inscribed with the name “Frederick R. Phelps, 13049345, T.43-44B.” He is remembered on the monument in the Manila American Cemetery & Mausoleum, Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.