GONSALVES, ELIAS EDWARD, Sergeant, Service # 6570123, U.S. Army Air Force

Elias E. Gonsalves was born 20 July 1924 in Orange County, California. He enlisted 4 June 1942 and after training was sent overseas, assigned to the 88th Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Bomber Group, Heavy, 10th Air Force. He was reported to have died on 29 November 1943 while a POW in the Japanese Rangoon Cantonment. His remains were recovered by the Graves Registration team from the cantonment cemetery, grave # 96. He was awarded the Silver Star for valor in combat and the Purple Heart.

The 7th Bombardment Group arrived in Karachi, India, 12 March 1942. They first flew B-17s to aid in the fight against the Japanese in Burma. The 88th Recon Squadron was designated the 436th Bomb Squadron Heavy, on 22 April 1942.  It suffered its first loss in India when a bomber piloted by Capt. Elmer L. Parcel crashed on take-off. The unit completed bombing raids on Akyab, Rangoon and other Burma targets. On 7 June 1942 a lone B-25 of the squadron attacked a Burma target at 300 feet altitude. It was badly shot up and was forced to ditch in the Bay of Bengal.  On 29 June 1942 the group was moved to Calcutta, India. In December 1942, the Group moved to Pandaveswar, India, and engaged targets in Thailand, Burma and the Andaman Islands. In the latter part of 1943, it began bombing Japanese shipping in the Bay of Bengal and hit enemy airfields at Meiktila, Lashio and Rangoon and throughout Burma. During this time it began flying the B-24.