BAKER, RAYMOND, Sergeant, # 36660448, USAAF
Before leaving for his overseas assignment, he was married to Bernice P. Baker. He was trained as an armorer for the B-25 and was responsible for the maintenance and function of the weapons on the B-25. All enlisted personnel also served as gunners, shooting the aerial Browning .50 caliber aircraft machinegun. On 19 June 1944, a B-25H, # 43-4392, a 10th Air Force bomber, assigned to the 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, departed the air base at Kurmitola, India, on a mission ferrying ammunition to Imphal via Silohan, India. At about 0830 hours, the B-25H was seen to crash from an unknown cause. The crew was killed in the crash. Never recovered, he is remembered on the memorial at the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Purple Heart
On 4 March 1944, B-25H, # 43-4259, assigned to 10th Air Force, 5318 P.A.U., departed the air base at Hailkandi, India, on a combat mission to the Irrawady River. At about 1530 hours, near Tagaung, Burma, it was last sighted making a low gunner attack on the target when the left wing hit trees and caused it to crash. The crew was killed and were:
Pilot 1stLt Murrell J. Dillard 0-438672
Navigator/Bombardier 2ndLt Fay L. Nielson 0-739569
Engineer SSgt Joseph B. Klaus 6958946
Gunner TSgt William H. Postlewait 7025559
Gunner PFC William J. Winn 6113568
Witnesses were: 1stLt Brian F. Hodges, 0-433523 and 1sLt Randolph K. Owen, 0-417033. No parachutes were used.
1stLt Hodges reported: 1stLt Dillard was flying lead for the second element and was number 4 in the gunnery circle. Hodges was # 2 in the first element and # 2 in the circle. Hodges made about 3 runs on the target. Hodges was to the side of the target at about 1,000 feet watching a B-25H make a run. He came in low and was firing both machine guns and cannon. He seemed too intent on the target and waited too late to pull up. The B-25H seemed to mush when he pulled up and struck trees and part of the wing came off. The B-25H climbed a little and then the left wing went down and the B-25H crashed into some woods, cart-wheeling about 100 yards then exploded.
DILLARD, MURRELL D., First Lieutenant, # 0-438672, USAAF
Murrell J. Dillard was born 1919 in Eustis, Lake County, Florida to Barney J. Dillard Jr. (1891-1980) and Tallulah Agnes (Wainwright) Dillard (1895-1990). Siblings included Emery Warner Dillard (1916-1984), Arlie Agnes Dillard (1921-2006), Barney Edward Dillard (1923-1974), Garard Miller Dillard (1928-2005), Charles Aubry Dillard (1931-1960), Mary Jane Dillard (1935-2008) and another.
He enlisted while residing in Lake County, Florida, with three years of college, at MacDill Field, Florida, as an aviation cadet, on 15 August 1941. He completed flight schools, was multi-engine rated, and earned his commission and pilot wings. On 4 March 1944, B-25H, # 43-4259, assigned to 10th Air Force, 5318 P.A.U., departed the air base at Hailkandi, India, on a combat mission to the Irrawady River. At about 1530 hours, near Tagaung, Burma, it was last sighted making a low gunner attack on the target when the left wing hit trees and caused it to crash.