44-76649 C47 (MACR 14426)
On 15 May 1945, a C-47B, # 44-76649, assigned to 10th Air Force, 3rd Combat Cargo Group, 9th Combat Cargo Squadron, Warazup, Burma, departed the airfield at Chanyi, China, on an air supply mission to Myitkyina, Burma, through the Himalayan mountain range (the Hump). The crew was killed when the C-47B crashed into a mountain during IFR (Instrument Flight Rules – lack of visual) flight. The crew were:
Pilot Capt. Bernard F. Milford 0-662157
Co-Pilot F/O Richard F. Ketcham T-63409
Radio Operator Cpl. Claude K. Puckett 18182443
Engineer Sgt. Charles A. Perron 38542256
The last to see the C-47B was 2ndLt Arthur B. Baldwin, 0-704357. 2ndLt Baldwin was flying within sight of Capt. Milford when they entered IFR conditions at the Salween River. Capt. Milford turned North while 2ndLt Baldwin turned South. The Salween River (modernly the Thanlyin River) flows from China South, along the border with Thailand and through Burma. It empties after much meandering through jungle into the Andaman Sea where sits the modern city of Mawiamyine, Burma and Bilugyun (Island).
A radio-gram from Air Jungle Rescue disclosed that the wreckage of the C-47B was found at military map grid NZ 1539. It exploded and was scattered over a large area. The first report was from a British ground search party that found a medical record of Cpl. Claude K. Puckett. A second ground search party found part of the C-47B tail. The party reported that some remains were buried with some personal items. All crewmen perished. The Graves Registration team recovered remains from the crash location and temporary burial at an American military airfield in India and, indistinguishable, the remains were buried in a group (Milford, Ketcham, Perron, and Puckett) ceremony and one casket in the Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Lincoln Co., Nebraska, on 30 August 1949 (Sec. R, Grave 13).