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Chester S. Anderson
10 November 1945 | Pruden, Kentucky
Prior to entering the military, Chester worked for a year at a defense plant in California, and then was trained as a pilot instructor and served for two years as a civilian instructor with the CAA Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) under contract to the military with the War Training Service (teaching air cadets who would have been in primary pilot school or part of a college training detachment) at Rochester, St. Cloud, and Northfield, all in Minnesota.
Chester S. Anderson enlisted in the Army Air Corps on 1 Feb 1944 at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. He completed his basic training at Lincoln Army Air Field (AAF), Nebraska; and his initial gunnery training at Harlingen AAF, Texas. His follow-on advanced gunnery and initial combat crew training was at Fairmont AAF near Geneva, Nebraska and Wendover Field near Salt Lake City, Utah; where he was assigned to the 393rd Bomb Squadron of the 504th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy).
Chester was transferred away from Wendover Field in late December 1944, reporting to Smoky Hill AAF near Salina, Kansas, 247th AAF Base Unit, and subsequently to the 382nd Bombardment Group (VH), where he completed further training for combat in Boeing B-29 Superfortress aircraft.
Just prior to the end of the Pacific conflict, the 382nd BG began downsizing, and Chester was sent to Sioux City Army Air Base (AAB), Iowa, and assigned to the 47th Bombardment Wing, Headquarters Squadron, where he flew for the commanding officer, Brig. Gen. Hugo Rush.
After leaving Smoky Hill AAF, Chester was reclassified as a B-25 flight engineer-crew chief, and assigned first to the Headquarters Squadron of the 47th Bomb Wing and later to the 240th AAF Base Unit, 17th Bombardment Operational Training Wing (BOTW), both at Sioux City AAB.
On 10 Novemeber 1945, he flew aborad a North American RB-25H Mitchell bomber (serial #43-4241) on a cross-country training flight from Bowman Field near Louisville Kentucky to Knoxville, Tennessee.
Tragically he was killed (along with four other crew members) when his plane crashed in the Cumberland Plateau Mountain range approximately 55 miles north of Knoxville near Pruden, Kentucky.