2Lt Joseph C Rich


2Lt Joseph C Rich

Maine, USA
Death 13 Sep 1944 (aged 29)
Rangoon, Yangon Region, Myanmar
Memorial Site* Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines

* A structure erected in honor of someone whose remains lie elsewhere.

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Memorial ID 56773857 View Source
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Joseph's remains were recovered in 1946 from a burial at the Rangoon POW camp.

His remains, along with others, were being transported from Rangoon to Calcutta, India by C-47 #43-48308. However this C-47 crashed on this trip on May 17, 1946. His remains were not recovered from this crash.

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Son of Joseph B. Rich & Charlotte Rich.

Husband of Bernice Regan Rich.

Joseph served as a Second Lieutenant and Navigator on B-24J "Maxwell House II" #43-73245, 373rd Bomber Squadron, 308th Bomber Group, Heavy, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.

He resided in Cumberland County, Maine prior to the war.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on March 16, 1942 in Portland, Maine. He was noted, at the time of his enlistment, as being employed as a Upholsterer and also as Single, without dependents.

B-24J #43-73245 took off on November 27, 1943 from Pandaveswar Airfield, India on a bombing mission over Insein, Myanmar (Burma). They were attacked by Japanese fighter planes which damaged their engines and the B-24 crashed approximately 150 miles northwest of Rangoon, Myanmar (Burma). At least eight parachutes were seen during bailout.

Those who were able to bail out included 2nd Lt Butterfield, Sgt Cook, S/Sgt Hart, Sgt McClung, 1st Lt Meredith, 2nd Lt Rich, 2nd Lt Stephens, and S/Sgt Temples.

Before reaching the ground, five of the crew were reportedly either shot while parachuting down or killed once they hit the ground. They included Sgt Cook, S/Sgt Hart, 1st Lt Meredith, 2nd Lt Stephens, and S/Sgt Temples.

2nd Lt Butterfield, Sgt McClung, and 2nd Lt Rich were all captured and taken to the Rangoon POW camp in Myanmar (Burma).

Sgt Pero, 2nd Lt Ryan, and S/Sgt Smeal where either killed while still in flight or were killed in the crash.

Joseph "Died While A POW" of dysentery at the Rangoon POW camp during the war.

He was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, Air Medal, and the Purple Heart.

Service # O-739054

Joseph also has a "Cenotaph" in the Brooklawn Memorial Park, Portland, Maine.
" Click Here " for that record.

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The above information on the crash and crew were provided by the only survivor of the crash, Sgt. Joseph C. McClung.

Historical Note: The Japanese Army "did not" report that they had a prison camp at Rangoon to the U.S. Military until after the war.

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Airmen who perished from B-24 #43-73245:

Butterfield, Royal D ~ 2nd Lt, Bombardier, NE
Cook, John F ~ Sgt, Gunner, WA
Hart, Fred W ~ Sgt, Radio Operator, NY
Meredith, Richard W ~ 1st Lt, Commander, IA
Pero, Charles E ~ Sgt, Gunner, NY
Rich, Joseph C ~ 2nd Lt, Navigator, ME
Ryan, Edward F ~ 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot, NY
Smeal, Thomas C ~ S/Sgt, Gunner, PA
Stephen, Thomas A ~ 2nd Lt, Pilot, IN
Temples, Ewell C ~ S/Sgt, Gunner, GA

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Airmen who survived from B-24 #43-73245:

McClung, Joseph C., Sgt, Engineer, AR

Bio & Crew Report by:
Russell S. "Russ" Pickett



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56773857
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for 2Lt Joseph C Rich (10 Aug 1915–13 Sep 1944), Find a Grave Memorial ID 56773857, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by War Graves (contributor 6) .