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Archive Report: US Forces
1941 - 1945

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

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10th Air Force
10.08.1944 9th Bombardment Squadron (H) B-24J 42-73435, 1st Lt. Warren R. Kauffman

Operation: Burma to Siam railway in Burma (Myanmar).

Date: 10th August 1944 (Thursday)

Unit No: 9th Bombardment Squadron (H), 7th Bombardment Group (H), 10th Air Force

Type: B-24J

Serial No: 42-73435

Code: Unknown

Location: About 28 miles NE of Ye in Burma (Myanmar)

Base: Karachi, India

Pilot: 1st Lt. Warren Richard Kauffman DFC, O-742726 AAF Age 22. KiA

Co-Pilot: 1st Lt. Charles Kenneth Pittman DSC, DFC, O-666814 AAF Age 24. KiA

Nav: 1st Lt. Alexander Long ‘Sandy’ James III. DFC, O-735314 AAF Age 21. KiA

Bombardier: FO. Gene Gambale DFC, T-121946 AAF Age 23. PoW */ MiA/DED

Engineer: T/Sgt. James Morris Faulkner DFC, 34266447 AAF Age 25. KiA

Radio Operator: T/Sgt. Donald Edward Ball DFC, 31167451 AAF Age 26. KiA

Assist Engineer: S/Sgt. James Micheal McKernan DFC, 32281809 AAF Age 22. PoW *

Assist Engineer: Sgt. Edward J. Harris 6708432 AAF Age 33. KiA

Gunner: S/Sgt. Tyman Hines Wells Jr., DFC 34478136 AAF Age 22. PoW *

Gunner: S/Sgt. Melville Edward Schultz, DFC 35669388 AAF Age 22. KiA

Observer: Capt. James Woolsey Dorst O-396039 AAF Age 24. KiA

* Burma #5 (Moulmein & Rangoon Jail)

REASON FOR LOSS:

2nd Lt. Edward J. Thielen O-684912 described the mission and when 1st Lt. Kauffman’s aircraft was last seen:

‘While participating in a combat mission on the 5th April 1944 I was flying #2 position in a three plane formation. The bombing was done individually. After I have completed my bombing run I made a turn to the left. After my turn I could see Lt Warren R. Kauffman’s aircraft on its bombing run and saw his first two bombs drop. After which I lost sight of him. That was the last time I saw him’.

Capt. Dorst was the squadron Intelligence Officer and was acting as an Aerial Observer on the mission.

The aircraft was last seen making a bombing run between mile 44 and mile 61 on the Burma to Siam railway at about 17:00 hrs at Latitude/Longitude 98 07 E, 15 32N. This position is about 1¾ miles NE of Win Kha Na and some 28 miles NE of Ye in Burma (Myanmar) and close to when the crew baled out.

S/Sgt. McKernan in his Individual Casualty Questionnaire (ICQ) described that FO. Gambale was slightly injured and baled out just after he did and although he did not seen S/Sgt. Wells Jr. bale out he evidently did as he was a PoW with him.

1st Lt. Kauffman was injured by ground fire and died whilst 1st Lt. James was attempting to help him. 1st Lt. Pittman was last seen on the flight deck flying the aircraft. T/Sgt Faulkner was last seen on the flight deck assisting 1st Lt. Pittman.

T/Sgt. Ball was last seen aboard the aircraft trying to radio their position. S/Sgt. Schultz and Sgt. Harris did not bale out for unknown reasons. Capt. Dorst was last seen baling out of the aircraft but evidently lost his life in unknown circumstances.

The aircraft exploded when it hit the ground and as the remains of seven of the crew recovered from the wreckage could not be individually identified were interred in a group burial.

(1) The circumstances leading to the death of Flight Officer (FO) Gambale were determined by a British Military Court convened in Rangoon, Burma between the 18th and 24th April 1946.

Two members of the Imperial Japanese Army were charged with committing a war crime in that they, at the New Law Courts Jail Annex, Rangoon, Burma, between the 1st March 1944 and 27th July 1944, being in violation of the laws and usages of war, were together concerned in brutality towards and ill-treatment of American and British PoWs, resulting in the physical suffering of thirteen PoWs and the deaths of five of the thirteen.

The accused were:

Capt. (Rikugun-tai-i) UYENO Masakaru who was the former Commanding Officer (CO) of Futo Buntai, Rangoon, Burma and also the CO of the Futo Buntai prison;

Capt. (Rikugun-tai-i) YAMAZAKI Kaname was the Medical Officer (MO) of the prison.

Note: the Japanese word Rikugun preceding a rank indicates that it relates to the army.

Both were also members of or attached to the Kempeitai who were the military police of the Imperial Japanese Army and functioned much like the Gestapo in Nazi Germany.

Capt. UYENO was in post at the Futo Buntai prison, also known as the New Law Courts Jail Annex, from 1st March 1944 until 31st December 1944. Capt. YAMAZAKI was in post during the same period, and was responsible for the sanitary conditions of the Annex and the health and physical well being of its inmates.

During the period they were in charge a number of American and British airmen were incarcerated in the Annex where they were kept in confinement under harsh and oppressive regulations without proper or adequate food, covering, sanitation facilities and medical attention.

On or about the 5th or 6th July 1944, the following thirteen airmen were brutally beaten with clubs, iron pipes, belts and were kicked to such an extent that at least two of them were seriously injured:

Capt. John H. McCloskey; Capt. Wayne R. Westberg; Capt. William R. Gilhousen; 1st Lt. Louis W. Bishop; FO. Gene Gambale; 2nd Lt. John T. Whitescarver; 1st Lt. Amel Boldman Jr.; T/Sgt. Edward F. Niland; S/Sgt. James M. McKernan; S/Sgt. Norman L. Snyder; S/Sgt. Leland W. Waltrip; T/Sgt. Tyman H. Wells Jr. and Sgt. John G. Parker, Royal Air Force.

The treatment meted out to the PoWs directly contributed to the deaths of Capt. Westberg, Capt. Gilhousen, FO. Gambale, 1st Lt. Boldman Jr. and Sgt. Parker.

The court found YAMAZAKI not guilty of the charges.

However, UYENO was found guilty of causing the deaths of Capt. Gilbousen 1st Lt. Boldman Jr. and Sgt. Parker. He was found not guilty of causing the deaths of Capt. Westberg and FO. Gambale but guilty of the brutality inflicted upon them.

UYENO was sentenced to death by hanging which was carried out on the 19th June 1946 at the Rangoon Central Jail.

FO. Gambale’s remains were recovered on the 5th May 1946 from the Rangoon Cantonment Cemetery. His remains along with those of 12 other recovered personnel, 29 passengers and 3 crew were lost when the C-47B #43-48308 transferring his remains went missing in a heavy storm on the 17th May 1946 during the return flight to Barrackpore in India. An extensive airborne search of a flight path 300 miles wide from Calcutta to Rangoon and a special search as far south as the Andarman Islands, failed to locate any evidence that the aircraft crashed on land and no floating wreckage was found to indicate that the aircraft had crashed into the Bay of Bengal.

Burial Details

1st Lt. Warren Richard Kauffman. DFC, Air Medal. Repatriated and laid to rest on the 9th August 1949 in a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia in Section 34, Site 5021/5022. Born on the 30th March 1922 in Greybull, Wyoming. Son of Harmon Sylvester and Amanda Ellen (née McCleary) Kauffman of Sacramento, California. Husband to Lois (née Brockley) Kauffman of Bakersfield, California, USA.

1st Lt. Charles Kenneth Pittman. DSC, DFC, Air Medal, Purple Heart. Repatriated and laid to rest on the 9th August 1949 in a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia in Section 34, Site 5021/5022. Born on the 22nd July 1920 in Meade County, South Dakota. Son of Charles Edward and Jennie Dorothy (née Hlavka) Pittman of Marcus, South Dakota. Husband to Herma R. (née Durst) Pittman of South Dakota, USA.

1st Lt. Alexander Long ‘Sandy’ James III. DFC, Air Medal. Repatriated and laid to rest on the 9th August 1949 in a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia in Section 34, Site 5021/5022. Born on the 12th December 1922 in the District of Columbia. Son of Alexander Long and Viola Elise (née Burden) James Jr. of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

Above: FO. Gene Gambale, Walls of the Missing (courtesy of the ABMC)

FO. Gene Gambale. DFC, Air Medal, Purple Heart. Manila American Cemetery, Walls of the Missing. Born on the 1st September 1920 in New York. Son of Alphonse and Rose (née Cafra or Cafaro) Gambale of Brooklyn, New York. Husband to Helen Josephine (née Ricci) Gambale of Brooklyn, New York, USA.

FO. Gambale was Declared Dead (DED) on the 10th August 1944.

T/Sgt. James Morris Faulkner. DFC, Air Medal. Repatriated and laid to rest on the 9th August 1949 in a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia in Section 34, Site 5021/5022. Born on the 23rd August 1918 in Monroe, Georgia. Son of William Columbus (deceased in 1938) and Martha Mae (née Rowe) Faulkner of Covington, Georgia, USA.

T/Sgt. Donald Edward Ball. DFC, Air Medal. Repatriated and laid to rest on the 9th August 1949 in a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia in Section 34, Site 5021/5022. Born on the 4th December 1916 from Saugatuck, Connecticut. Son of John Henry (deceased in 1942) and Anna T. (née England) Ball of Westport, Connecticut. Husband to Angelina Florence (née Carusone) Ball of Westport, Connecticut, USA.

Sgt. Edward J. Harris. Air Medal. Repatriated and laid to rest on the 9th August 1949 in a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia in Section 34, Site 5021/5022. Born on the 18th December 1909 in Washington DC. Son of Edward Augustus and Anna M. (deceased in 1931) (née Abel) Harris of Providence, Rhode Island. Husband to Helen M. (née Billich) Harris of Washington DC, USA.

S/Sgt. Melville E. Schultz. Air Medal. Repatriated and laid to rest on the 9th August 1949 in a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia in Section 34, Site 5021/5022. Born on the 10th May 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio. Son of John M. and Amelia Schultz of Lockland Ohio, USA.

Capt. James W. Dorst. Repatriated and laid to rest on the 9th August 1949 in a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia in Section 34, Site 5021/5022. Born on the 31st May 1919 in Newburgh, New York. Son of James Archer and Catherine Helene (née Woolsey) Dorst of Berkeley, Alameda, California, USA.

Researched by Ralph Snape and Traugott Vitz for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. Thanks also to Traugott Vitz for his work on the ‘VitzArchive’.

Other sources listed below:

RS & TV 04.09.2023 - Initial Upload

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Acknowledgments: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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