Dad attended the University of Idaho, south branch, in Pocatello, Idaho for two years. During the time he attended the student body was approximately 900 students. He received recommendations form some of his superiors of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Upon graduation he went right into the US Army Air Corps in March 1940.
In March 1940 dad began his flying career with primary pilot training (3 months) at Allen Hancock Field in Santa Maria California. From there he attended Basic pilot training at Randolph Field Texas, and then Advanced training at Kelly Field near San Antonio Texas.
Before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor dad was stationed at Airbrook Field, Panama Canal Zone - Defense of the Panama Canal and Antisubmarine Operations. After Pearl Harbor he was brought back to the US to train in the LB-30, also known as the B-24, and returned to flying patrols off the beaches in Salinas Ecuador. Later he was sent to Pandaveswar India. This was the 10th AF, 493d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)(7th Bomb Gp)(885 NY)- Pandaveswar, India. Here is a video on YouTube of activity of the 7th Bomb Group in October 1943.
After completing 35 missions crews were allowed to return to the United States, however dad volunteered to say on. On his 53nd mission he was shot down near Rangoon Burma (east of Mandalay), November 14, 1943. He was able to crash land the aircraft in a creek bed, and although burned on his arms and legs, survived and was captured by the Japanese. He was initially taken to the Japanese Headquarters building in Rangoon. In the Spring of 1944 was taken to the central prison in Rangoon.
I was able to narrow down his aircraft from the following 3 that were lost on November 14, 1943:
MACR Serial # Battle #
1108 42-73059 Battle 44 <---- This is my fathers aircraft
1117 42-73304 Battle 41
3109 42-73194 Battle 50
I next heard about a group which researches the old archives, and for a reasonable fee, provides copies of relevant information. The company is Accident-Report.Com. I gave them the date of when my father was shot down and they were able to locate and provide 24 pages of information about my father, the aircraft and crew:
The Missing Air Crew Report, Page 1, Page 2, Page 3 (November 16, 1943)
A report, hand written, by my father after release from the POW camp about his crew: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3 (August 22, 1945), and Casualty Report Page 1 (July 4, 1945)
A report, hand written, by Francis Daly (the only other surviving crew member) after his release from the POW camp about the crew: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4 (October 10, 1945)
The following information was provided by Jim Miller, whose effort to make contact with me and provide information about the POWs in CBI which included both his father and mine is greatly appreciated:
This is a copy of an article about CBI prisoners of war including a picture of my dad while recuperating at the 142 GH in Calcutta India. Page 1. Page 2. Page 3. It also identifies my dad as the pilot of the Rangoon Rambler. I was able to verify this from this WEB page. Also a list of those awarded the Purple Heart, Jim's dad is listed 4th on the page, my dad 2nd on the page. Page 1. Page 2.
Jim also provided pictures of the Central Prison in Rangoon: Pics. And a report on the description and conditions of the prison, a MUST read!
The following pictures are of Jim's dad and others:
Donald Miller - far left: Donald Miller - bottom row far left
Lt Hilton Weesner - either bottom right or top row 2nd from right
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