Benedict, Charles C., Capt

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Captain
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1024-Pilot, Four-Engine Aircraft
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1943-1944, AAF MOS 1024, 794th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1943 - 1944
Foreign Language(s)
French
Spanish
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
Captain

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
California
California
Year of Birth
1921
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Benedict, Charles C., Capt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Los Angeles
Last Address
Pengshan, China

Casualty Date
Dec 21, 1944
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
China
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 39, Site 4847

 Official Badges 

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961


 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1944, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar


Pilot Badge


 
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)468th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy794th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1943-1943, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 1091, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1943-1943, AAF MOS 1024, 468th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 1024, 794th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater/Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)
  1944-1944 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater/Air Offensive Campaign Japan (1942-45)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1939-1943, United States Military Academy
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-29 Superfortress  
  1943-1944, B-29 Superfortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Charles Calvert Benedict was born December 15, 1921 in Los Angeles, California. He was the son of Major Charles Benedict, the US Air Attache at the US Embassy in London. The major died in an aircraft accident in 1925 at Langley Field, Virginia.

Charles was only 9 weeks old when he was with his father in London. The family returned to the U.S. when he was 8 months old. After that tour, the Major was stationed in Washington, D.C. where Charles grew up. After 2 years of high school, Charles went to Belgium and Spain to study the languages. He soon spoke fluent French and Spanish.

He returned to the U.S. for his last 2 years of high school. He took the test for entry to West Point, passed, and was accepted as a cadet in 1939. He played football, baseball, and ice hockey as well as excelled in academics.

In June 1942 the class was asked to submit choice of service. Charles requested the Army Air Forces. He received basic, primary, and advanced pilot training, then returned to West Point where he graduated with the Class of '43 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant.

His next assignment was to Hobbs, New Mexico where he received transitional training in the B-17. Then on to Pyote, Texas, where he was assigned a crew and trained with them. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in May 1943.

After crew training, the crew moved to Dalhart, Texas for the final stages of combat training. From there, it was on to Dyersburg, Tennessee to act as a model crew and check other personnel.

In October 1943, he and his crew were assigned to the 794th Bomb Squadron of the 468th Bomb Group, the first B-29 unit to go overseas. He was first stationed at Karagphur, India, but later moved to a forward base at Pengshan, China. The crew began regular bombing missions over China and Manchuria, assigned to an aircraft they christened "Old Campaigner," later replaced by "Old Campaigner II."

On December 21, 1944, Benedict and his crew were scheduled for a mission over Mukden, Manchuria to attack aircraft industries and arsenals at Shenyang. During the mission, a Japanese fighter plane, making a head-on attack, rammed the B-29 just inboard of #1 engine. The wings came off, and the bomb load exploded. Only one crew member was able to bail out. He landed near the Hunhe River and was captured by Japanese troops. He remained a POW until May 1945.

An observer in another aircraft stated he believed the Japanese pilot was dead when he rammed the B-29 as it appeared his aircraft had been severely damaged by guns on Benedict's B-29 prior to impact.

According to cemetery records, all of the crew that perished were buried in Arlington National Cemetery. There is a gravestone containing all the names at Section 39, Site 4847.

  

Comments/Citation
The aircraft Captain Benedict was flying was B-29 # 42-24715, nicknamed "Old Campaigner II." of the 794th Bomb Squadron, 468th Bomb Group.

The Japanese aircraft that rammed the B-29 was supposed to have been a "Zeke" type fighter, flown by 2nd Lieutenant Tahei Matsumoto, flying for the Manchurian Air Force.

According to crew loading lists, the crew was composed of:

Capt Charles C. Benedict       p
1 Lt  Robert C. Baer          c-p
1 Lt Tom C. Evans     nav
1 Lt Warren D. Dailey     bomb
1 Lt Arthur R. Mahoney     eng
1 Lt Jack L. Roberts    radar op
SSgt Elbert L. Edwards      radio op
SSgt Charles A. Versafsky    central fire control
SSgt Elmer Jelgerhuis       rg
SSgt Stanley J. Berger      lg
SSgt Carl J. Drummond     tail gun

SSgt Edwards was the lone survivor. He blacked out after bailing out and believed the rest of the crew was saved. He did not know of the crew's fate until he was liberated from the POW camp.

Missing Air Crew Report 10592 is applicable.

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