COLLINS, STEPHEN MERCER, Sergeant, # 141006 1, USAAF


Stephen M. Collins was born on 16 January 1918 in Georgia to Ben Leavy Collins (1882-1970) and Anna (Mercer) Collins (1887-1963) (married 21 May 1908, Cobbtown, GA). Siblings included Vondell Collins (1909-    ), Frank J. Collins (1914-1937), and Carrie Lee Collins (1921-1921).


After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained as an armorer (responsible for the maintenance of the weapons) on the B-25 Mitchell and as a gunner. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 15 February 1945, a B-25H, # 43-4977, assigned to 10th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Warazup, Burma, on a bombing and strafing mission of Kemsi Mansam. It was last sighted by 2ndLt William H. Dugan, 0-718895, at about 0900 hours near Kemsi Mansam (coordinates 21º 55’ North & 97º 50’ East). 2ndLt Dugan reported that he was flying east to the target and met 43-4977 flying west. Dugan called him and told him the weather that direction was extremely bad but received no reply and did not see the B-25 again. After recovery from India, the crew’s remains (Cobb, Collins, Malovich, Plunkett, & Thorn) were buried in a common grave in the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas, (Sec. J, Grave 135). A memorial marker was placed in the family plot in the Sunlight Cemetery, Cobbtown, Tattnall Co., Georgia.