My Aunt's fiancee, TSGT Frank Maxwell, USAAF flew in the 431st BS(H) in the 11TH Bomb Group, 7th Air Force. I think they were originally IN the 43rd BS(h)but "splintered off" after PEARL HARBOR. SOME CREWS and A/C went out to Midway,and may have evolved into the 431st later on? But about half of the 43rd / 431st flew missions against the Japanese Fleet from Midway, and eventually the survivors flew their B-17's back to HI, and transitioned into the B-24's either there or back in California. But they originally flew out of Wheeler (?) Field in Hi in B-17's. The 431'st (with Frank in it) eventually flew missions out of FUNAFUTI, and Frank was killed in action on Jan 2, 1944 DURING the bombing preps for the invasion of KWAJALIEN . He was killed there or at another island during that campaign. He was remembered at every family holiday dinner---and he was not moved from MIA to the KIA list until well after the war. But your Mom once told me that your Dad was in a B-24 called PAPPY's PASSION. But i think he was in the 5th AIR FORCE? Frank went down in a B-24 called "JUICY LUCY" -OR AT LEAST flew in that bird most of the time. He was a radioman. I have every letter he ever wrote to my Aunt, and he wrote about an OLYMPIAN in the 43rd. (Subject of UNBROKEN). The PACIFIC THEATER was under-supplied - due to the EUROPE FIRST strategy, and so the the under-stenght squadron swapped parts, aircraft and even crew members often. gOOD LUCK IN YOUR RESEARCH.NARA -up in ADELPHI is a great place to look- for they have most of the US ARMY UNIT RECORDS. The USAAF unit records are there- but mosot of the US ARMY PERSONNEL RECORDS were destroyed in a fire in 1973. Say hello to mom and Dad. Tommy Strother, BHS '72.
Hello! I am the grandson of Kenneth M Hillas. He flew a B24 with the 65th. I am trying to find out some more information about his service. It looks like he served with a crew someone else posted in... more
43rd AND 431ST bs(H) Tommy Strother ,Wed Aug 10 22:46
Hi Robert, I have found reference to your grandfather in several previous newsletters. I will forward those to you momentarily - maybe there will be a few clues there. Louise Terrell Secretary, 43rd... more
Robert, Your grandfather, Ken Hilas,, served his tour in the 65th, at Clark Field, overlapping my tour as a pilot in the 65th. After so any years have passed since 1945, I really can't remember much... more