Tribute to ``Hot as Hell’‘by Representative George Holding
Posted on 2013-01-25
of north carolina
in the house of representatives
Friday, January 25, 2013
Mr. HOLDING. Mr. Speaker, on January 25, 1944 a B-24 assigned to the
Air Force's 425th Bombardment Squadron set out on a resupply mission to
Chabua, India from Kunming, China as part of the Pacific campaign in
World War II. Tragically this plane named ``Hot as Hell''--and its
crew--never reached their final destination.
I rise to honor the 69th anniversary of the fatal crash that took the lives of the eight crew members proudly serving in the United States Air Force. Extreme weather conditions caused the formation that day to separate and eventually led to the downing of five B-24's--two of which were not immediately recovered.
For years the families of those brave servicemen remained without answers and closure. In the post-war years, the Army conducted search operations in an attempt to locate the downed aircraft but failed to discover any signs of the aircraft. Eventually, all the members of the crew--1st Lt. William A. Swanson, F/O Sheldon L. Chambers, 1st Lt. Irwin Zaetz, 1st Lt. Robert E. Oxford, SSgt. Harry B. Queen, SSgt. Charles D. Ginn, Sgt. Alfred H. Gerrans, Jr., and Sgt. James A. Hinson--had their names inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines.
In 2006, over sixty years after the fact, the families of those airmen received some closure. Arizona native Clayton Kuhles, who has dedicated part of his life to locating and recovering missing-in-action US airmen from World War II in China, Burma, and India, successfully located the aircraft that went down in the mountains of northeast India. This incredible discovery is one example of the work Mr. Kuhles continues to do on behalf of those families and friends who lost loved ones defending our nation.