2nd LT. JOSEPH C. RICH (19?? - 1944)


I am seeking help from anyone from WWII/CBI Theatre. My uncle, Joseph C. Rich, 2nd LT., 14th AF, 308th Bomb Group, 373rd. He was a navigator aboard the Maxwell House II, 42-73245. He was shot down on November 27, 1943. He survived the shoot down but was taken prisoner in the Rangoon Prison Camp. He died in that prison camp on September 13, 1944. After the war his body along with 38 others were disinterred from that prison camp and placed about a C-47 43-48308 on 17 May 1946. That C-47 was to fly from Rangoon Burma to Calcutta, India. It never made its destination. Last contact with the C-47 was that the pilot had already crossed Akyab about 45 minutes earlier and was to arrived in Barrackpore at 8:00z this was at 7:05z. He did not indicate any problems, there was bad weather though. There were thunderstorms and the wind was blowing approximately 24- 30 mph. Last contact put him 55 minutes out of Barrackpore at an altitude of 12000 ft. I am wondering if anyone may know of the search for this aircraft? Or where this C-47 may have crashed. I have the accident report and it is noted that there was some green dye from possible an emergency beacon noted at the tip of the Bay of Bengal - near the mouthes of the ganges. Two or Three other C-47's had flown that same flight path that day and made it to Barrackpore. Then there was a search conducted for a week or two to try to find this C-47. If anyone knows about this please contact me. I am trying to bring the 38 POW remains home along with the flight crew for a proper burial here in the USA. My uncle endured a lot of torture in the prison camp as I am sure the others did. My uncle only weighed 80 lbs at his death and I feel he deserves a proper burial - they all do.

Thank you,

Lisa Phillips

2nd Lt. Joseph C. Rich

bottom row, thrid from left is 2nd Lt. Rich
Here is a list of men in this picture, but we do not know the order:
Ed Ryan (pilot)
Thomas Stephens (co-pilot)
RD Butterfield (Bomb)
Joseph Rich (navigator)
John Cook (ball turret)
Ewell Temples (radio)
Fred Hart (assistant radio)
Charles Per (tail turret)
Thomas Smeal (engineer)
Joseph McClung (AE)

If you would like to share any information about 2nd Lt. Joseph C. Rich
or would like to be added to my POW/Internee e-mail distribution list,
please let the me, Tom Moore, know.

"I'll Be Seeing You"
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