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  C-46D-5-CU Commando Serial Number 44-77341 Call Sign XA395
USAAF
5th AF
433rd TCG
70th TCS


Cook May 2, 2018
Pilot  2nd Lt Clark E. Chapman, O-711586 (KIA, BR) Alton, IL
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Versal R. Josephson, O-778496 (KIA, BR) St. Anthony, ID
Navigator  2nd Lt James R. Norton, O-694696 (KIA, BR) Alamosa, CO
Engineer  Cpl Gordon G. Vondrak, 35323126 (KIA, BR) Thompson, NB
Radio  SSgt William J. Treich, 32454260 (KIA, BR) Jersey City, NJ
Flight Nurse  1st Lt. Martha F. Black, N-787995 (KIA, BR) Altoona, PA
Flight Nurse Aid  Cpl Delbert W. Beery, 35093544 (KIA, BR) North Munebeater, IN
Passenger  Captain Harry Schuessler, O-133913 6th Infantry, HQ (KIA, BR) St. Louis, MS
Passenger  Pfc Frank W. Gorley, 34199755 (KIA, BR) Kellyton, AL
Passenger  Pfc Lewis D. Bolynn, 34891703 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (KIA, BR) Gastonia, NC
Passenger  Pvt Clifton F. Disney, 3546823 (KIA, BR)
Passenger  Pfc Harry Uller, 32892809 (KIA, BR) Ozore Park, NY
Passenger  Sgt Raeburn H. Coker, 38082206 (KIA, BR) Huntsville, TX
Passenger  Pvt Benjamin N. Crossland, 39130370 (KIA, BR) CA
Passenger  2nd Lt. Alfred S. Hazard, O-1292520 127th Infantry, G. (KIA, BR) Tekoma Park, MD
Passenger  Pfc Newman N. Finks, 20506483 (KIA, BR) Rausses, OH
Passenger  Pfc Robert E. Sosey, 35237039 126th Infantry Regiment, K Company (KIA, BR)
Passenger  SSgt Daniel Griffin, 32119789 44th Tank Battalion (KIA, BR) Long Island City, NY
Passenger  Pvt Eugene McClendon, 34493031 160th Infantry (KIA, BR) TN
Passenger  Pfc Charles H. Pretzer, 36652675 148th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division (KIA, BR) IL
Passenger  Pvt William E. Hunter, 42094307 152nd Field Artillery, 43rd Infantry Division (KIA, BR) Rochester, NY
Passenger  Pfc Raymond H. Kleiber, 36587162 (KIA, BR)
Passenger  SSgt Joseph K. Brugas, 33414767 289th Field Artillery Observation Battalion (KIA, BR) Munhall, PA
Passenger  Pftc Charles H. Fox, 33796640 8th Infantry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (KIA, BR) Philadelphia, PA
Passenger  Pfc Erwin A. Pohl, 37467406 129th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division (KIA, BR) Hampton, NB
Passenger  Pvt Thomas J. Treneman, 32215922 (KIA, BR)
Passenger  MSgt Arthur M. Ruley, 6628195 20th Infantry Regiment, 6th Infantry Division (KIA, BR) Carpenter, WY
Passenger  TSgt Lois Bell, 6274208 63rd Infantry Regiment, 6th Infantry Division (KIA, BR) Longdale, OK
Passenger  Cpl Frederick George Dyas, 16069182 6th Recon Troop, 6th Infantry Division (KIA, BR) Hinsdale, IL
Passenger  Pfc Calvin J. Snow, 38274323 (KIA, BR) OK
Passenger  Pfc Clarance M. Snyder, 39230211 (KIA, BR)
Passenger  Captain Floyd E. Walther, O-373399 127th Inf, 32 Division, HQ (KIA, BR) Oconomowoc, WI
Passenger  Pfc Alvin L. Nelson, 37159302 127th Inf, 32 Division (KIA, BR) Cannon Falls, MN
Passenger  Pvt John Garner, 34911159 2021st Quartermaster Truck Company, Aviation (KIA, BR) AL
Passenger  Pvt James H. Heiskell, 35696679 (KIA, BR) TN
Passenger  T/5 James F. Carroccio, 20153782 169th Infantry Regiment, 43rd Infantry Division (KIA, BR) RI
Passenger  Captain Abraham Adelsohn, O-446246 25th Medical Battalion (KIA) Brooklyn, NY
Crashed  March 10, 1945
MACR  13403

Aircraft History
Built by Curtiss-Wright. Constructors Number 32737. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as C-46D-5-CU Commando Serial Number 44-77341. Flown overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 433rd Troop Carrier Group (433rd TCG), 70th Troop Carrier Squadron (70th TCS). Call Sign XA395. No known nickname or nose art. When lost, engines R-2800-51 serial numbers CP-082019 and CP-082303. Aboard were two M1A1 Thompson submachine guns.

Mission History
On March 10, 1945 at 10:17am took off from Clark Field No. 2 on Luzon piloted by 2nd Lt Clark E. Chapman with two flight nurses from the 820th Medical Air Evacuation Squadron, then landed at nearby Mabalacat Airfield where thirty medical patients were loaded aboard for evacuation.

At roughly 2:00pm-2:10pm this C-46 took off from Mabalacat Airfield on a flight bound for Tanauan Airfield on Leyte. The weather conditions were unfavorable, with a low ceiling, scattered and five miles visibility at the destination. At approximately 4:30pm to 5:00pm this aircraft called to the control tower at Tanauan Airfield for landing instructions and requested five ambulances to stand by for patients. This was the last radio contact with the aircraft. When this aircraft failed to arrive it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

Search
After being reported as missing, several search missions were flown. On March 13, 1945 C-47 X146 piloted by Lt. Hayden took off from Dulag at 14:20, delayed due to bad weather searched unsuccessfully over Leyte. On March 14, 1945 C-47 Dakota X376 piloted by Captain McGinnis took off from Dulag at 10:22am and searched the northern half of Leyte and southern half of Samar without results. The same day X379 departed Dulag and searched the southern half of Leyte and Bohol. On March 15, XA363 and XA359 searched Leyte and the surrounding seas. On March 17, X346 and X347 took off from Tanauan searched northern Panay, the east coast of Mindoro, northern Cebu, Masbate, Biliran, Tabas, Burias, Sibuyan, Remblew and the Ticao Islands. These searches revealed nothing.

Wreckage
Afterwards, the crash site was located on a mountain on Leyte, likely due to bad weather.

Recovery of Remains
After the crash site was located, the remains of the crew were recovered and initially buried on Leyte. Later, they were disinterred and transported to Manila and the United States for permanent burial.

Memorials
All crew and passengers were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Since this aircraft was lost over a non-combat area, none of the crew or passengers earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

The following are buried at Manila American Cemetery:
Treich is buried at plot B row 7 grave 158.
Black is buried at Plot B Row 3 Grave 13 date of death listed as July 10, 1945 incorrectly.
Beery is buried at plot B row 11 grave 150 date of death listed as July 10, 1945 incorrectly.
Bolynn is buried at plot D row 4 grave 256 date of death listed as July 10, 1945 incorrectly.
Crossland is buried at Plot C Row 9 Grave 75.
Griffin is buried at plot D row 13 grave 25.
Pretzer is buried at plot B Row 11 grave 116.
Brugas is buried at plot C row 13 grave 75 date of death July 10, 1945 incorrectly.
Fox earned the Bronze Star and is buried at plot B Row 16 grave 133.
Pohl earned the Purple Heart and is buried at plot D row 14 grave 220.
Ruley earned the Soldier's Medal, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and is buried at plot B row 14 grave 111.
Bell earned the Purple Heart and is buried at Plot D Row 5 Grave 205.
Dyas earned the Bronze Star and is buried at Plot H Row 14 Grave 108.
Garner is buried at Plot D Row 12 Grave 202.
Carroccio earned the Purple Heart and is buried at Plot B Row 13 Grave 141.

The following are buried in the United States:
Chapman is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Alton, IL at section 8.
Josephson was buried on September 18, 1948 at Parker Memorial Park in Parker, ID.
Norton is buried at Alamosa Municipal Cemetery in Alamosa, Colorado.
Vondrak is bured at Calvary Cemetery in Cleveland, OH at section 60, lot 16, grave 1.
Schuessler was buried on September 4, 1948 at New Saint Marcus Cemetery and Mausoleum in Affton, MO.
Disney is buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery at section C, site 120.
Uller is buried at Long Island National Cemetery at section J site 16507.
Coker is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Huntsville, TX as plot 48-1, Row 34-35.
Hazard is buried at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC at Section O, Lot 248, Site 1
Finks is buried at Hoy Cemetery in Shunk, OH at row 17, plot 20.
Sosey is buried at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Nicholasville, KY at section D, site 167.
Pretzer
Hunter is buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester, NY.
Kleiber is buried at Michigan Memorial Park in Flat Rock, MI.

Nelson is buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at section C-23 site 13270.
McClendon is buried at Wolf Creek Cemetery in Spring City, TN.
Snow is buried at Fairlawn Cemetery in Snyder, OK.
Walther at buried at La Belle Cemetery in Oconomowoc, WI at plot C-682.
Heiskell is buried at Lynnhurst Cemetery in Knoxville, TN.

Adelsohn is buried at Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, NY.

The others are presumed to be buried in private cemeteries in their hometowns in the United States:
Gorley has an unknown burial, likely a private cemetery in his hometown.
Treneman has an unknown burial, likely a private cemetery in his hometown.
Snyder has an unknown burial, likely a private cemetery in his hometown.

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Clark E. Chapman
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - William E. Hunter
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Newman N. Finks
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records -
USAF Serial Number Search Results - C-46D-5-CU Commando 44-77341
"77341 (433rd TCG) lost Mar 10, 1945, SW Pacific."
Missing Air Crew Report 13403 (MACR 13403) created March 12, 1945 page 10 incorrectly lists William A. Hunter [sic, William E. Hunter] and Newman M. Finks [sic, Newman N. Finks]
Altoona Tribune "Altoona Nurse Killed In Philippines Lt. Martha F. Black Killed as Hospital Plane Hits Mountain" May 12, 1945
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - William J. Treich
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Martha F. Black date of death July 10, 1945incorrectly
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Delbert V. Beery date of death July 10, 1945 incorrectly
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lewis D. Bolynn date of death July 10, 1945 incorrectly
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Benjamin N. Crossland
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Daniel Griffin
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles H. Pretzer
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph K. Brugas date of death July 10, 1945 incorrectly.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles H. Fox
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Erwin A. Pohl
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Arthur M. Ruley
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Lois Bell
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Frederick G. Dyas
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John Garner
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - James F. Carroccio
FindAGrave - Clark E. Chapman (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Versal Ray Josephson (grave photo)
FindAGrave - James R. Norton (grave photo)
FindAGrave - CPL Gordon G Vondrak (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt William J. Treich (grave Manila American Cemetery)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Martha Frances Black (obituary, grave photos)
FindAGrave - CPL Delbert Verne Beery (grave Manila American Cemetery)
FindAGrave - Capt. Harry A. Schuessler (photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - PFC Lewis Duvall Bolynn (grave Manila American Cemetery)
FindAGrave - Clifton F. Disney (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Harry Uller (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SGT Raeburn H. Coker (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Pvt Benjamin N Crossland (grave Manila American Cemetery)
FindAGrave - 1LT Alfred S Hazard (grave photo)
FindAGrave - PFC Newman Nelson Finks (grave photo)
FindAGrave - PFC Robert E Sosey (grave photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt Daniel Griffin (grave photo)
FindAGrave - PVT Eugene McClendon (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Charles H. Pretzer (grave Manila American Cemetery)
FindAGrave - William E Hunter (grave photo)
FindAGrave - PFC Raymond B Kleiber (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Tec3 Joseph E Brugas (grave Manila American Cemetery)
FindAGrave - PFC Charles Henry Fox (grave Manila American Cemetery)
FindAGrave - Sgt Erwin A Pohl (grave Manila American Cemetery)
FindAGrave - MSgt Arthur M Ruley (grave Manila American Cemetery)
FindAGrave - Lois Bell (grave photo)
FindAGrave - CPL Frederick G Dyas (grave Manila American Cemetery)
FindAGrave - Calvin J. Snow (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Floyd Edward Walther (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Alvin L Nelson (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Pvt John Garner (grave Manila American Cemetery)
FindAGrave - James M. Heiskell (grave photo)
FindAGrave - James F. Carroccio (grave Manila American Cemetery)
FindAGrave - CPT Abraham Adelsohn (grave Beth David Cemetery)

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Last Updated
April 21, 2020

 

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