|Pilot 2nd Lt. Bertrand E Major, O-760704 (MIA / KIA) IL
Gunner Cpl August F Kenzora, Jr. 36757921 (KIA, BR) Chicago, IL
Crashed January 9, 1945
Built at Douglas. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-45-DO Havoc serial number 43-22160. Disassembled and shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).
Assigned to the 475th Bombardment Group "Sky Lancers", 675th Bombardment Squadron "Dauntless Demons". No known nickname or nose art.
When lost, engines R-2600-23 serial numbers 43-84709 and 43-84729. Weapon serial numbers not listed in Missing Air Crew Report 11381 (MACR
On January 9, 1945 took off from San Jose Airfield (McGuire) on Mindoro as one of ten A-20 on a mission led by 1st Lt. John W. Nankervis on a strike mission against central Luzon.
Returning from the mission, the formation spotted mirror flashes from the beach four miles north of Polongapo Point on Subic Bay (other sources say four miles north of Olongapo) and the flight leader and this aircraft circled low over the flashes to investigate, observing five men on the beach who had written 'food and fever' in the sand.
Last contact was by radio to A-20 piloted by 1st Lt. John W. Nankervis at 10:00 when he departed for base. This aircraft was lost roughly four miles north of Bolongapo into Subic Bay. When this aircraft failed to return, the crew were officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
Statement by 1st Lt. John W. Nankervis
via Missing Air Crew Report 11381 (MACR
11381) page 4
"I was leading the [675th Bombardment] Squadron formation of ten airplanes, and enroute to the air base (San Jose A/D) after going over the target, I observed mirror flashes from the beach on Subic Bay, four miles north of Polongapo Point, Luzon. Lt. Major in airplane A-20G-45 No. 43-22160, was flying on my left wing, and we circled low over the position observing five men. The men had 'food and fever' written on the sand on the beach. I radioed the flight leader of the second element and instructed him to lead the squadron to our base.
Lt. Major remained with me, circling the position of the stranded men. I radioed him and told him that I would try to contact a Catalina, and for him to remain there until the rescue crew arrived or until his fuel supply necessitated his return to the base. Contact was made with a Catalina and I returned to my home base. I left Lt. Major at 1000/I hours, and that was the last contact made with him by any member of our Squadron. The flying characteristics of his aircraft was apparently normal in every respect, and the pilot made no indications to the contrary during the curse of radio communication."
Statement by Captain Jack W. Lingo
via Missing Air Crew Report 11381 (MACR
11381) page 5
"On 9 January 1945 the 675th Bombardment Squadron (L) while returning from a strike mission in the central Luzon area sighted mirror flashes four (4) miles north of Olongapu [sic Olongapo]. Lt. Bertrand E. Major was instructed to leave the flight and go down to the area to investigate the sighting. Lt. Major did not return to his flight or this base [San Jose Airfield].
At 1330 Lt.
Nankervis returned to the area where Lt. Major was last seen and searched the route he would have taken on the return, but no sighting was made. The 310th Bombardment Wing Air Sea Rescue Officer was notified of the missing aircraft."
Afterwards, A-20 piloted by 1st Lt. John W. Nankervis flew over the area where this aircraft was last seen but did not observe any sign of the aircraft or crew.
Recovery of Remains
Afterwards, the remains of gunner
Kenzora were recovered. Postwar, his remains were transported to the United States for permanent burial.
Both crew were officially declared dead the day of the mission.
Major earned the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Purple Heart, posthumously. He remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA). He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.
Kenzora is buried on October 23, 1948 at Saint Adalbert Catholic Cemetery in Niles, IL at section 9, block P, lot 8.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - A-20G-45-DO Havoc 43-22160
"22160 (417th BG) lost Jan 9, 1945. MACR 11381"
Missing Air Crew Report 11381 (MACR
11381) created January 10, 1945
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Bertrand E. Major
FindAGrave - 2Lt Bertrand E Major (photos, tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Corp August F Kenzora, Jr (obituary)
"CORP. AUGUST KENZORA JR., 20, an engineer-gunner on an army light bomber, was killed in action Jan. 9 over Luzon, his parents, 5430 Henderson st., have been notified. He entered the air forces July 3, 1943, a few days after he was graduated from St. Philip's High school. He also is survived by two sisters, Antoinette and Claire. Solemn requiem memorial mass will be said at 9 a.m. March 17 at St. Ladislaus church."
Cpl August F Kenzora (grave photo, obituary 1948)
"Chicago Tribune October 21, 1948 – Cpl. August F. Kenzora, of 675 Bomb Sqd. "L", A.A.F., killed in action over Luzon, P.I., Jan. 9, 1945, late of 5430 W. Henderson street, son of August Sr. and Clara Kenzora, nee Mudlaff, brother of Antoinette and Claire, graduate of St. Phillips High School, class of 1943. Member of Holy Name society. Military honors by Belmont Park post, No. 597, American Legion. Funeral Saturday Oct. 23, at 9:30 a.m., from funeral home, 3440 N. Central avenue, to St. Ladislaus church, Roscoe and Long avenue. Interment St. Adalbert."
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September 6, 2018