4th B-25 Mitchell - #


HOFFMEISTER, DONALD ALBERT, First Lieutenant, # 0-831186, USAAF


Donald A. Hoffmeister was born on 7 January 1919 in Sebewaing, Huron Co., Michigan, to Otto William Hoffmeister (1887-1966) and Alma Martha (Mueller) Hoffmeister (1892-1959). Siblings included Margaret M. (Hoffmeister) Schwab (1914-1979), Raymond George Hoffmeister (1915-1969), Franklin Otto Hoffmeister (1922-2010), Lorna Ruth (Hoffmeister) Smith (1924-2000), Infant Hoffmeister (1925-1925), Adeline Louise (Hoffmeister) Grigg (1927-2009).


He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, resided at 10 Camp St., South Meriden, New Haven, CT, employed by Chandler Evans Co., and described himself as 5’8”, 167 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF. He completed flight school and advance flight schools to pilot the B-25 Mitchell. He was multi-engine rated. He earned his commission and pilot wings. In India, he was assigned to fly on a B-25 in search of the two missing crews and his B-25 Mitchell crashed in India. Two of five B-25s departed the airfield at Panagarh, India, at 0830 hours, 17 October 1945, for Bangalore, India, to be later scrapped. B-25, # 43-4955, was located, crashed 13 miles from Udayagiri, India. On 23 October 1945, a jeep and 3 officers (Chaplain Capt. Claude T. Ennis, 1stLt Robert Clark, Operations Officer, and 1stLt Jack L. McAnally, Provost Marshal) were sent by C-47 to Vizigapatam, India, for a ground investigation. The aircraft and fragments of the crew but positive identification were made. The remains were given a Christian burial in the Mallikpodi Christian cemetery. This MACR holds numerous pages of Q&A of several witnesses under oath with investigators who recommended disciplinary actions against two officers, including a USAAF Colonel, Group Commander, for dereliction of duty for failing to ensure the aircraft were sufficiently maintained and prepared for flight and manned with sufficient and qualified USAAF personnel, leading the aircraft aloft to be vulnerable to navigational and pilot errors and resulted in crashes and deaths.


His brother, Franklin O. Hoffmeister, born 16 December 1922, enlisted in the USAAF on 24 June 1942 in Detroit, Michigan, and was married on 31 December 1943. He died on 19 September 2010.

NATHANSON, ARNOLD MORTON, Second Lieutenant, # 0-835693, USAAF


Arnold M. Nathanson was born on 7 March 1918 in Ohio to Morris Phillip Nathanson (1888-1972) (immigrated 1893 - Russia) and Ruth Helen (Klausner) Nathanson (1888-1962) (married 22 August 1918, Cleveland, OH). Siblings included Nelson Samuel Nathanson (1921-1967) and Shirley Rose (Nathanson) Waxler (1927-2003). He graduated from Glenville High School and attended Cleveland College. His father was a tailor in 1910. His father was a men’s clothes merchant in 1920. His wife, Ruth (Schmitman) Nathanson recorded him as a missing Jewish serviceman. Living with them in 1920 was his maternal grandmother, Sarah Klausner (1855-    ) (widowed – arrived 1891 – Austria/Hungary).