27 Nov 1944 — Between Bangkok, Thailand and Chittagong, Bangladesh
At the age of 23, 1st Lt Carl E. Blackwell gave his life during World War II, in a bombing mission in the Pacific theatre. Lt Blackwell was assigned to the 40th Bombardment Group, 20th Air Force, U.S. Army Air Corps.
As part of its mission, the 40th Bombardment Group flew B-29 bombers during the Pacific and East Asia offensive in World War II. Operating from bases in India, the bombers targeted transportation centers, naval installations, iron works, and aircraft plants in Burma, Thailand, China, Japan, Indonesia, and Formosa. On November 26, 1944, 15 aircraft were deployed from Chakulia Army Air Force Base to attack the Bangsue Marshalling Yards of Bangkok, Thailand. Thirteen planes returned safely to Chakulia and one, aircraft #452, proceeded to Chittagong (Bangladesh) after losing #4 engine. Leaving the primary target, the pilot of aircraft #452, Lt Carl E. Blackwell, radioed the formation commander that he had wounded personnel aboard due to the fighter attack and that he could not close his bomb bay doors. Enroute back to Chakulia, he asked permission to proceed to Chittagong. The formation commander asked if there were any major mechanical difficulties or shortage of gasoline and was assured there were none, that #452 had plenty of gas and that no escort was needed. Permission was given and #452 left the formation. Enroute a radio message was received at Chakulia that #452 was proceeding to Chittagong. This plane was not heard from again, did not arrive at Chittagong and 1st Lt Carl E. Blackwell and his 10-man crew, all members of the 45th Squadron, are still unaccounted for.
Reference: Group History 1 Nov Thru 30 Nov 44, HQ 40th Bomb Gp, APO 631, 29 Jan 45.