LUCE, ROLLAND J., JR., Flight Officer (Second Lieutenant), # T-65722, USAAF
Rolland J. Luce Jr. was born 1923 in Collins, Erie Co., New York, to Rolland J. Luce (1894-1957) and Ruth I. (Lingenfelter) Luce (1898-1941). Siblings included Lorain Dewey Luce (1920-1972), Donald Allan Luce (1925-1987).
He enlisted in the USAAF in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on 26 February 1943. He was appointed a Flight Officer after he completed flight schools through advanced school to fly the B-24 Liberator. He earned his pilot wings and was sent overseas to India. On 6 August 1945, a B-24J, “Poco Moco,” # 44-49451, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 375th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Hsinching, China, on a routine fuel transport to the airfield at Rupsi, India. The B-24 was last contacted at 1714Z near Shingbwiyang, Burma. He was appointed a Second Lieutenant upon his death. He is remembered on the wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A memorial is in the Liberty Park Cemetery, Cattaraugus, Cattaraugus Co., New York. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.
His father, born 19 December 1894, served in the U.S. Army in WWI. He enlisted at Fort Slocum, New York, on 1 August 1917. He was assigned to the 68th Aero Squadron 25 August 1917 and the 49th Aero Squadron until his honorable discharge. He was promoted to Corporal, # 25209, 10 May 1918. He was overseas 9 January 1918 to 24 March 1919 and discharged 4 April 1919. He was admiited to a U.S. National Home for Disabled Volunter Soldiers in 1931 in Bath, Steuben Co., New York. He died 2 November 1957.
His brother, Lorain D. Luce, born 21 June 1920, enlisted in the USAAF on 4 January 1942. He died 4 October 1972 and is buried in the Sunny Ridge Memorial Park, Crisfield, Somerset Co, Maryland.
His brother, Donald A. Luce, born 11 May 1925, served in the U.S. Navy from 8 May 1943 to 10 March 1946. He died 4 August 1987 in Broward Co., Florida.