Chaplin, James B., Jr., FltOff

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Flight Officer
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 1035-Bombardier
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1944-1944, M 1035, 741st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1944 - 1944
Flight Officer

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Chaplin, James B., Jr., FltOff.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
San Giovanni Air Base, Italy

Casualty Date
Nov 17, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Mediterranean Sea
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Florence, Italy
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Tablets of the Missing

 Official Badges 

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961 (2nd Award)

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  2014, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Bombardier Badge

 Unit Assignments
455th Bombardment Group, Heavy741st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1944-1944, M 1035, 455th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1944, M 1035, 741st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Anzio Campaign (1944)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-24 Liberator  
  1944-1944, B-24 Liberator
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
James B. Chaplin, Jr. was born on July 20, 1923, and entered the military on May 20, 1944, from Kansas. According to the Kansas State Census 1925, his parents were James and Lillian B. Chaplin.

First military record found for him shows he was assigned to the 455th Bomb Group, 741st Bomb Squadron, operating from San Giovanni Air Field, Italy.

On November 17, 1944, his crew was part of a 28 aircraft B-24 mission to attack marshalling yards at Gyor, Hungary. The flak over target that day was reported as "heavy and accurate."

Just after the bombs were dropped, and on the turn-off-target, the aircraft's #2 engine failed. The pilot immediately set a straight course back to base. As the aircraft approached the field, the #4 engine failed. Unable to gain enough altitude to allow the crew to bail out over land, the pilot took the aircraft over water where a rescue launch was stationed.

All ten crew men bailed out over the water; however, only 6 were rescued by the launch. It is presumed the other four drowned while trying to free themselves from their parachutes.

Flight Officer Chaplin's body was never recovered.

His name is entered on The Tablets of the Missing at Florence American Cemetery in Florence, Italy.

He was 21 years old at death, and was married.
Kanas State Census 1925


Flight Officer James B. Chaplin, Jr., was bombardier on B-24D # 42-78397, unnamed.

No crew loading or aircraft mission list has been located. From information given in Missing Air Crew Report 9938, it is known the pilot of the aircraft was 2 Lt Horace D. Redding.

NOTE: The date of entry into the military and also his rank of Flight Officer rather than Lieutenant would indicate he participated in an abbreviated or specialized course of study to qualify as a bombardier. This action was taken during this period of the war with promotion to Lieutenant delayed until after combat missions had been flown.

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