WE REMEMBER AND HONOR THE 19 MEN THAT TIME FORGOT
It took me 10 years to research and write the incredible story you’re about to read. What possessed me?
It began in March 2010. I had written an article for the Canton (Massachusetts) Citizen about my brother Ernie, who was killed when his C-119 military plane went down near Tachikawa, Japan on September 27, 1951. My article described the grief my parents and siblings experienced during the time Ernie was returned home and the subsequent memorial services. The playing of taps and the firing of weapons by the honor guard were devastating.
While writing the article, I began to think about the other men on that plane, and the fact that their families had no doubt grieved, as well. They, too, were no doubt shattered by the events that evening in Japan so long ago.
At that time, I happened to be reading a book about a glider pilot, Flight Officer Charles E. Skidmore Jr., who served in World War II. The book was written by his son as a tribute to his father’s bravery and devotion to duty. The overleaf mentioned that the Skidmore family had been transferred to an air base in Tachikawa, Japan, and lived there from May 1958 to June 1962. I wrote to the author and asked what he knew about plane crashes that had occurred near Tachikawa.
Eventually, a friend of his sent me a document describing the crash of a C-46 aircraft. At first, I was disappointed, since I was focused on learning about the C-119 accident. But my disappointment quickly turned into astonishment. The C-46 crashed on the same day – only 10 minutes before the C-119 went down! I had to know more. I decided to get a copy of the declassified report of the C-46 crash.
I already had the government’s declassified report on the crash of the C-119 that carried my brother to his death. That report contained testimony from a board of inquiry on what happened that night. The report listed the names of all the crew members who had died, but it also contained the name of one passenger – a First Lt. Eugene Hartley Class. Who was he? Where was he from? Why was he on that plane? He became, for me, the mystery passenger.
All that I learned about both accidents, along with the background of the men on the two planes – where they were from and the families they left behind – became We Remember and Honor the 19 Men That Time Forgot.
Story and research by Richard T. Carrara.
Conception and website by Garrett W. Carrara.
Editing by Robert Lovinger
At 9:35 pm on September 27, 1951, a US Air Force C-46 flying at 3,000 feet and carrying 14 men slammed into Mount Tanazawa in Odawara, Japan.
The pilot, Captain John Brown of Napa, California, was attempting to land the plane at Tachikawa Air Base, approximately 25 miles west of Tokyo. At normal speeds, the C-46 would have been about 12 minutes from touching down.
The flight was returning from Korea after delivering a Jeep to a Catholic missionary priest named Father James Pardy whose parish was located in a mountainous area of Korea. The humanitarian mission was led by Father Capt. William E. Maher of Brooklyn, New York, and five other military men, all members of the Holy Name Society.
The plane was 900 feet below the mountaintop when it crashed. All 14 men in the C-46 were killed instantly. According to the now-declassified government report, the pilot saw the mountain at the last minute and attempted unsuccessfully to climb above. The plane hit the mountain at a significant 50-degree upward angle, traveling at 150 mph.
Incredibly and mysteriously, at 9:45 pm, 10 minutes after the C-46 crash, another plane went down close by, in the same mountain range. A C-119, piloted by First Lt. Lynuel Bevers of Clear Spring, Indiana – and carrying my brother, Sgt, Ernest (Ernie) Carrara of Canton, Massachusetts – hit the same mountain, killing all five men aboard. The plane was reported to be at 3,000 feet when it hit. An after-the-crash report determined that the flight controls and trim surfaces were in a landing configuration, indicating the pilot was attempting a straight-in approach to Tachikawa Air Base.
The C-46 was found 300 feet to the west of the C-119, and 504 feet ahead of it.
Eyewitnesses on the ground stated the C-119 was on fire and took a right-hand turn, presumably to avoid the mountain terrain directly in front of it. It was unclear if the plane caught fire before or after it started the right-hand turn. The plane was 150 feet below the mountain top, and while taking the right-hand turn, the left wing hit a treetop and the plane broke in half, crashing to the ground in two pieces. The nose of the plane had turned into the mountain, resulting in the destruction of the nose and cabin area. Investigators determined that the fire suppression system had not worked. A study launched to determine the reason for the crash recommended that going forward, all planes must check fire suppression systems before takeoff and that all military personnel must wear dog tags. Landing approaches to Tachikawa were also changed.
A subsequent examination into the C-46 crash blamed both planes’ accidents on a radio homing device called “the Atsugi homer.” Investigations and testimony determined that the Atsugi homer seemed to place the planes over the mountain rather than over the valley below. Pilots had complained about this homing beacon in the past, and even stated that they heard music coming from it. The Atsugi homer was taken out of service, and pilots no longer used this device as their primary direction finder for the Tachikawa landing threshold.
Curiously, two men on the C-119 flight were thrown clear of the plane as it broke in half. One was my brother, Ernie. The other was First Lt. Eugene Hartley Class of Portland, Maine, a decorated jet fighter pilot, having received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. He was hitching a ride to Tokyo on the C-119 to attend a religious conference. He had completed 34 combat missions.
When Ernie’s body came home on March 23, 1952, the military escort asked if I wanted to view the body. I refused, thinking: How can I view a body that was in a plane crash? It turned out that while many of Ernie’s major bones were broken, the only evidence of a visible injury was a gash on the side of his head. I finally learned this after gaining access to the accident reports under the Freedom of Information Act.
First Lt. Eugene Class was a local legend in Portland. A former Marine, a fighter pilot, and a high school baseball star who had tried out for the New York Yankees, he had a three-month-old daughter he never got to meet.
There was a coincidental connection between First Lt. Bevers (the C-119’s pilot) and First Lt. Class, who was a passenger hitching a ride on the plane to Tokyo. They had never met before this flight and may have only exchanged greetings as they boarded the plane. First Lt. Bevers and his wife, Imogene, had a daughter named Lynette, who was 15 months old at the time of his death. First Lt. Class and his wife, Meralyn Trefethen, had a daughter also named Lynette, who was three months old when First Lt. Eugene Class was killed.
THE 2 PLANES
The C-119 and C-46 were standard issue planes used throughout the war, and were very dependable aircraft.
The Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar (Navy and Marine Corps designation R4Q) was an American military transport aircraft developed from the World War II-era Fairchild C-82 Packet. It was designed to carry cargo, personnel, litter patients and mechanized equipment, as well as to drop cargo and troops by parachute. The first C-119 made its initial flight in November 1947, and by the time production ceased in 1955, more than 1,100 C-119s had been built. Its cargo-hauling ability and unusual twin-boom design earned it the nickname “Flying Boxcar.”
Curtiss Twin Engine
The Curtiss C-46 Commando was a twin-engine transport aircraft derived from the Curtiss CW-20, pressurized, high-altitude airliner design. Early press reports used the name ‘Condor III’ but the Commando name was in use by early 1942 in company publicity. It was used as a military transport during World War II by the United States Army Air Forces and also the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps, which used the designation R5C. The C-46 served in a similar role to its Douglas-built counterpart, the C-47 Skytrain, but it was not as extensively produced as the latter.
CREW OF THE C-46
Captain John William Brown was born on November 28, 1919 in Napa, California.
During WW2, Captain Brown was the pilot of a B-17 Super Fortress that was shot down over Liege, Belgium on February 4, 1944. He was captured, but escaped from a German prisoner train and made his way back to the Allied lines.
John Brown, along with fellow crew member, Lt. T.H. Kleiman, were not allowed to tell their families for fear of endangering those who helped them escape. At the time of his return, Capt. Brown’s home was in Eugene, Oregon. His family members were told on September 11, 1944 that he had escaped and was alive.
Captain Brown had three sons: Michael, born on June 16, 1944; Ronald, born on October 2,1947; and James, born on July 26,1949.
He and his family were sent to Hickam Field in 1947. In April 1950, along with his family, Captain Brown was sent to Yokota Air Base in Japan. He was later transferred to Tachikawa Air Base. He was ferrying troops and supplies to Korea until the fatal crash on September 27, 1951. Some reports indicate that this was to be his last flight before he and his family were sent home.
Captain Brown was awarded the Air Medal with an oak leaf cluster. The request for a military headstone and military burial was signed by his wife, Lorene F. Brown (formerly Lorene F. Helman).
He is buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California (Section R, Site 2204).
Charles Brewer was born on June 29, 1921 in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. He came to the mainland on the 26th of September, 1929.
Second Lt. Brewer was buried in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery on March 10, 1952. At the time of his death he was a resident of Texarkana, Texas, while his draft registration card listed residence at 2222 S.W. 18th Ave. in Miami, Florida. The card also showed he was employed by Air Express International in Miami.
The burial shipping instructions were filled out by his wife, Margaret Brewer of 1224 Oliva St. in Texarkana, Texas. Charles and Margaret Brewer had two children: Charley A Brewer and Sharon Brewer. Charley Brewer died from wounds he received during the Gulf War. He also is buried at Fort Sam Houston, very close to his parents.
Margaret Brewer married Gene Townsend in 1960. They had one child, Dr. Patrick Townsend. Margaret died on November 27, 1986 and lies side by side to her beloved first husband, Charles Brewer, at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in Houston, Texas, and very close to their son, Charley Brewer.
Lt. Lawrence J. Sassu was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on July 30, 1925.
Following 3 years of service in WWII, and while a member of the Air Force Reserve, he attended the University of California and later was employed by the Martex Print and Dye Works in Clifton, NJ. He was recalled to active service in early 1951 and was stationed at Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts. In July of 1951 he was transferred to Japan to assume his duties as a navigator with the 86th Troop Carrier Squadron flying men and supplies on C-46 transports from Japan to Korea. On September 27, 1951 Lt. Sassu and other members of the Catholic Holy Name Society, volunteered to deliver a Jeep to a missionary in Korea. All would perish in the plane crash when returning from that trip. He was 26 years old.
LT. Sassu was the husband of Mrs. Irene Sefchik Sassu and the father of a 20 month daughter, Barbara Ann. In addition to his wife and daughter, he was survived by his mother, Mrs. Helen Sassu and one sister, Mrs. Teresa Ficca.
Biography Provided By Barbara Sassu Donahue.
James Lilley was born March 19, 1923 in Holly, Michigan. He was married to Marion Glenadean Lilley, also of Holly. His wife, Marion, signed the application for a military headstone. Her address at the time was given as 306 Cogshall St. in Holly. He is buried in the Highland Michigan Cemetery, alongside his parents; Mary J. Lilley and James Lilley Sr.
His gravestone shows he was in World War II and received the Air Medal with five oak leave clusters. The Air Medal is awarded for single acts of heroism while participating in aerial flights. The five oak leaf clusters indicate five separate acts worthy of the Air Medal. Unfortunately, James Lilley’s military record was destroyed in a fire at the National Record Center in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 12 1973.
T/Sgt. Donovan Morrison was born on April 8,1914 in Emporia, Kansas. His headstone shows he was a veteran of World War II and served from April 9, 1943 to March 13, 1945. His military records were destroyed in a fire at the National Records Center. He went back to active service in April 1951 and was home on furlough about three weeks prior to his death in the plane crash on Sept 27, 1951.
His wife Myrtle was born on July 29, 1919, in Hugoton, Kansas. She and Donovan were married on June 7, 1936 in Hugoton. At the time of his death his wife Myrtle and two daughters – Donna, 6, and Linda, 4, were living on Fisher road in Salem, Kansas.
PFC Cruz J. Martinez was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on Dec 15, 1931. He was only 19 at the time of the crash, the youngest member of his ill-fated flight. He graduated St. Johns High School in May 1950, and while there was a member of the basketball and baseball teams. He also served as an altar boy.
He is buried at the Fairlawn Cemetery in Oklahoma City. His military headstone application was signed by his mother, Priscilla G Martinez. The family resided at 2212 South West 19th St. in Oklahoma City. Besides his parents Priscilla and C. J. Martinez, he was survived by two married sisters. Living at home at the time were PFC Martinez’s siblings, Monica, Vincent and John Martinez.
His military headstone is engraved with the letters PH, which indicated he was awarded the Purple Heart given for those wounded or killed while in the service of their country.
Major Wallace E. Crawford USAF was born January 16,1908 in Waltham, Massachusetts. He was a standout athlete in Football and Ice Hockey, and awarded one of the top 20 athletes to come out of Waltham. He was a graduate of Bates College. He married Gladys Honora Sullivan in 1934 and they had 3 children, Julianne Crawford, Major Wallace Crawford Jr. and Robert Crawford. His children remember the day their father ran into the room telling them to quick turn on the radio, we have been bombed. After Pearl Harbor, their dad knew he had to enlist. He wanted to be a bombardier but when he enlisted he was too old. The Air Force sent him to Miami, Florida for Officer training which he completed in 1943.
During WW2 he had made dozens of missions with the 374th Combat Cargo Command of the Fifth Air Force in flying supplies into the front lines and flying the wounded out, and was awarded the Bronze Star. He was recalled to active service November 19,1948. He sailed from New York to Japan when the Korean war started. During the Korean War he was a member of the Holy Name Society and he did a lot of work with Father Pardy assisting in numerous humanitarian missions. Prior to his death. Major Crawford got some exciting news that his family could join him in Japan in December. Unfortunately, that never happened because on September 27, 1951 in his last mission for Father Pardy delivering a jeep, his plane crashed on return from Korea to Tachikawa, Japan. After his death Father Pardy sent a letter to Gladys saying that Major Wallace Crawford can look down from heaven and say “Mission Accomplished”. Gladys found out about her husband’s death while a realtor was at her home listing it so she could move and join her husband in Japan.
At the time of his death he was survived by his widow, Gladys H. (Sullivan) who never remarried after losing the love of her life, daughter Julianne age 16, sons Wallace Jr. age 12, and Robert age 8 of Lynnfield, his parents, William J Crawford and Gertrude E (Tompkins), two sisters, Mrs. Frank (Margaret) Enos of Waltham and Mrs. James (Dorothy) Womboldt of Chelmsford and one brother William C. Crawford of Waltham.
Prepared by Tiffany Rosenblum
Father (Captain) William E Maher was born on Sept 25, 1913 in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Maher of 4704 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn. He was ordained on June 11, 1938, having attended the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, Long Island.
This was Father Maher’s second tour of duty. He served in Europe from June 1944 to April 1946. While in Europe, he was heavily engaged in the chaos that came to be known as the Battle of the Bulge. He was re-called to active duty on September 25, 1948, his 35th birthday.
Father Maher, while in Japan, collected funds to purchase a Jeep for his boyhood friend, the Rev James V. Pardy, a missionary in Korea. Father Maher, accompanied by five enlisted men, all members of the Holy Name Society, personally delivered the Jeep. All would perish in the plane crash when returning from Korea to Japan. Father Maher was due to leave Japan for home sometime toward the end of 1951.
Besides his parents, Father Maher had five sisters and five brothers, nine of whom were alive at the time of his death.
Mrs. Vivian Coughlin
Mrs. Dorothy Davey
Mrs. Joan Finnan
Dr Walter Maher
S/Sgt Howard Maher
Robert Maher (deceased summer of 1950)
Father Maher is buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York (Row H Plot 41, Trinity section).
Michael A Doherty was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts on August 31, 1918. His mother was Ann G. O’Rourke Doherty, who died on March 12, 1962 in Boston. She had three sons, two of whom preceded her in death: William on Jan 18, 1962, and Michael, who died in the plane crash of Sept 27, 1951. Her other son was John E Doherty, who was born in 1918.
Michael entered active service on June 15, 1944, and was discharged on the 11th of June 1946. In October 1946, he was given the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. This was most likely a temporary rank while serving in the Air Force reserve. He was also awarded the Air medal, which means either he must have been on a mission that entailed significant danger, or the medal was given because he died in a plane crash that entailed a humanitarian mission. No date was given as to when the Air medal was awarded.
He was married in 1947, and his wife’s name on record is simply Mary M. (no last name given). All of his military records were destroyed in a fire in Kansas City, Kansas, so there is no record of when he was recalled to duty or why he was recalled as a M/SGT and not as a 2nd Lt.
His application for headstone was signed by his wife Mary M. Doherty, whose address at the time was 95 Holly Ave., Manchester, New Hampshire. He is buried next to his wife at St Joseph’s cemetery in Manchester. Michael belonged to the Holy Name Society and was accompanying Father William Maher on the flight that was delivering a Jeep to Father Pardy.
There is one inconsistency on the gravestone. His wife’s name is listed as: “His Wife … 1914 … Mary T. Monagham … 2006.”
Because of the last name, the implication is that she re-married, but the inconsistency is the letter “T,” as his wife’s name on the application for headstone is Mary M. Doherty. His mother’s name was Ann and he had no sisters, so it must be a mistake. The photo of the gravesite taken on July 11, 2020 shows a plant box placed at the grave. So, someone is visiting the grave. Most likely it was Memorial Day, as the plant looks in bloom.
Paul Bettman was born in the Bronx, New York, on March 23, 1925. His parents were Dinah and Joseph Bettman. They lived at 1258 Manor Ave. in the Bronx. His father had a position at Columbia University. He had two brothers: Theodore and Walter Bettman. His sister is Rosalyn Bettman, who was 20 at the time of his death. Paul was also accompanying Father Maher on the mission to deliver a jeep to Father Pardy in Korea.
Prior to his death, Paul Bettman spent two-and-a-half years in the Air Force, after serving in the Navy. He obviously went into the service at an early age, which accounts for his high rank of staff sergeant, just one stripe below master sergeant, the highest enlisted rank in the army.
He is buried at Montefiore cemetery in Queens New York (Block 76 Row 010L, Grave 4).
Sgt Thomas Mulhern was born on July 4, 1928 in Dayton Ohio. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.
Sgt. Mulhern was a chaplain assistant to Father William Maher of Brooklyn, New York who was also on the doomed flight. The flight was returning from a mercy trip to Korea to deliver a Jeep to a Maryknoll Priest named Father Pardy. The Jeep was purchased from the government by the Holy Name unit in Tokyo and presented to the missionary as a gift.
Sgt. Mulhern’s mother was on a trip to Ireland and did not know of her son’s death until she arrived back in New York on the Queen Mary. She was met by her two sons, Frances and Jack, along with the Rev. Daniel J. Potterton (Chaplain), who delivered the bad news. This was only two days after the official notice of Sgt. Mulhern’s death was received by the family. Before returning to Dayton, Mrs. Mulhern paid a visit to the parents of Father William Maher, who also perished on the ill-fated flight.
Besides his two brothers and his parents (Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Mulhern) Thomas left a sister, Mrs. Ray Payne of Dayton, Ohio.
After completing three years in the Air force, Thomas Mulhern was scheduled to soon be honorably discharged. He had planned to enter a Trappist monastery immediately upon his return to the United States.
Corporal Dario Monza was with the group of five men lead by Father William Maher who were delivering a Jeep to Father Pardy at an undisclosed location in Korea. All five men were members of the Holy Name Society.
Corporal Monza had been in the service for about three and a half years. He was born in the Bronx, New York, on March 12, 1929, and lived at 2328 Arthur Ave. in the Bronx. Tragically, his mother died at an early age.
As a result, he and his brother, Albert, were brought up in the MT Loretto Catholic Home in Tottenville, Staten Island, New York. They spent 13 years there, a religious school run by nuns. Albert had been in the service for eight months and was serving in Korea with the United States Marines when the accident happened. Albert was 20 years of age at the time. He is still living and remembers his brother with great love and devotion. I talked to Albert on the phone a few times, and it was a very moving experience.
Major George Gordon Bell was born on July 7, 1918, in Cumberland, England. The family moved to Southampton, England, on the 21st of November, 1926. Major Bell married Susan Rosemary Collin on March 2, 1941 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Susan Rosemary Collin was born in 1917 and died in 1967.
Major Bell was an expert in tank warfare and was the military attaché to the United Nations forces fighting in Korea. Major Bell was awarded the M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire) and TD (Territorial Decoration)
At the time of his death, his wife was living in Virginia Water, Surrey. He has two daughters – Susan Bell and Linden Caroline Bell – both of London, England.
In a cruel and extraordinary twist of fate, Major Bell’s wife, Susan Rosemary Bell was killed in the crash of an Iberian Airlines flight from Spain to London’s Heathrow Airport. She was 50. The crash of the jetliner (Caravelle) occurred on November 4, 1967, and took 37 lives. The crash was caused by a faulty altimeter that placed the airliner in a very steep glide slope and crashed into the trees just short of the runway.
In a small, private, family ceremony in 2015 with daughters Susan and Linden present, Major Bell was posthumously awarded the Queen Elizabeth Medal commemorating the fact that he “gave his life for queen and country.” The citation was read aloud, but no copies were distributed to anyone, including family members.
It was never revealed to anyone what Major Bell’s duties were in Korea or why he was on the C-46 that crashed on September 27, 1951.
Major Bell is buried in Yokohama British Military cemetery in Yokohama, Japan. His inscription reads: “YOU LIE FAR FROM ENGLAND BUT ARE EVER IN THE THOUGHTS OF WE WHO LOVED YOU.”
(Biography preparation through joint collaboration with Susan and Linden Bell.)
Gerald Arthur Martin was born in 1922 to American Methodist missionaries assigned to Korea. He spent much of his life in Korea, until he went “home” to college in America as a student at the University of Kentucky.
After graduation, he entered medical school in Richmond, Virginia. He married Virginia Stevens from Street, Maryland. Due to the war era, he entered the United States Navy to complete medical school with the military and serve. His first duty station as a doctor was as the athletic teams’ doctor at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.
As the war in Korea wound on, his expertise in epidemiology and his fluency in the Korean language became sought after in order to stem the diseases that followed war. Dr. Martin was assigned to Korea to do just that. His father, Dr. Stanley Haviland Martin, had been a revered medical doctor in China and Korea before him, and so Dr Gerald Martin’s help for the people was welcomed without restraint. He was said to have been “a brilliant and hardworking doctor” and was dearly beloved by the Korean people for his warmth and his ability to communicate in their native language.
On September 27, 1951, a day before his return to the States – to his wife and two sons, Rob and Gerald – Dr. Martin made one last trip to Japan to take specimens and to get supplies. Sadly, his transport crashed into a mountain on its way to Japan, ending his life.
He had made a noble contribution to medicine for “his” people of Korea, winning the hearts of many in peril of disease. Because of their deep love and loss, a hospital was subsequently named The Gerald A. Martin Memorial Hospital in Koje Do, where he performed his greatest service.
(NOTE: Provided by the family of Dr. Gerald A. Martin, USN.)
CREW OF THE C-119
First Lt. Lynuel Bevers of Clear Springs, Indiana was born on December 7, 1921 in Kurtz, Indiana to Lloyd and Viola Maynard Bevers. He was a graduate of Clear Spring High School and attended Canterbury college of Danville before enlisting in the Air Force prior to Pearl Harbor.
First Lt. Bevers was married to Imogene Smith in 1949 and they had one daughter named Lynette. (Lynette was 15 months old at the time of his death.)
In addition to his parents and his widow Imogene, he was survived by a daughter from a previous marriage, Amber Jo, as well as two brothers, Thomas of Clear Springs and Sgt. Jack Bevers, who was serving in Japan at the time of the crash. He was also survived by a sister, Mrs. Wayne Hanson of Clear Springs.
Colonel William P. Hippler presented the Air Medal to First Lt. Bevers’ wife and parents on September 16, 1952. The citation reads: “First Lieutenant Bevers distinguished himself by acting as pilot of an unarmed transport delivering urgently need military supplies into the battle area of Korea.”
Visit His Hometown Newspaper “The Tribune” to Read Lynuel’s Story: Clearspring man piloted plane that crashed in 1951
Lt. Joseph E Binns, co-pilot of the C-119, was born on June 10, 1925 in Martin City, Missouri. He was married to Ruby Pauline Lane of Grandview, Missouri. She was born on May 2, 1927. His father was Stephen G. Binns and his mother was Cella P. Binns, both of Martin City. Lt. Binns and Ruby Binns had one son who was 5 when Lt. Binns was killed.
Lt. Binns graduated from Grandview High School in Martin City. He entered the Air Force in World War II and was recalled to duty. After World War II, he worked in his father’s garage and service station in Martin City. The application for a headstone was signed by Ruby Pauline Binns of Grandview. Lt. Joseph E Binns is buried in the Belton Cemetery in Belton, Missouri. Martin City, Grandview and Belton are all located in Jackson County, Missouri.
Ruby Binns died on November 15, 2000.
T/Sgt. Jack Davis was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on the 21st of November, 1924. He was the son of Minnie Lee Davis of 2964 Alton Park Blvd., Chattanooga. The funeral services were held at his parents’ home (Mr. and Mrs. James Davis) at 2707 Long St. in Chattanooga. The application for headstone was signed by his father, James Davis.
Ernest D. Carrara was born on January 7, 1924 in Canton, Massachusetts. He attended Canton High School and received his diploma posthumously in 2002 under the Operations Recognition Program, for interruption of schooling to answer the country’s call to duty.
His parents were Dominic and Carmela Carrara. Ernest had five siblings: Eva, Marie, Eleanor, Dorothy and Richard. He entered military service on April 16, 1943, and was trained as a radio operator.
He survived World War II and received two Bronze Stars for landing behind enemy lines at night in Yugoslavia to deliver guns and ammunition to Yugoslavian and Albanian partisans. He also received a Bronze Battle Star for participation in the Po Valley and Apennines campaigns. This was in support of the 10th Mountain Division’s dramatic battle in 1945 for the Riva Ridge near the city of Bologna in Northern Italy.
Upon his discharge in 1945 he enrolled in the aviation school at Wiggins Airway and received a certificate for airplane mechanic. He also obtained his private pilot’s license, which he pursued as a hobby.
He was recalled to duty on March 15, 1951 and arrived in Japan on the 23rd of July, 1951.
He was also awarded a Bronze Star for a mission directed at Chinese troops during the offensive in Korea. Ernest was also awarded the Korean Service Medal and the Aviation Badge. His body was returned home on March 3, 1952, and buried with full military honors on March 5, 1952.
Visit His Hometown Newspaper The “Canton Citizen” to Read Ernest’s Story: An Extraordinary Day In Canton
Visit His Hometown Newspaper The “Canton Citizen” to Read The Latest Story: Canton Citizen Article Story Published 091820
1st Lt Eugene Hartley Class
Born July 22,1927- Died September 27,1951
What was supposed to be the start of a relaxing and restful getaway turned out to be the end of a brilliant career for 1st Lt. Eugene Class. Eugene had dreams of flying all his short life. His dreams always ended up with a nightmare of crashing into a mountain. This proved to be all too ominous as he and his seat mate (Sgt. Ernest Carrara) were thrown from the C-119 as it crashed into the mountainside. The date was Sept 27, 1951.
Eugene was born July 22, 1927. Most likely, at an early age he and his mother were abandoned by his father. Eugene lived a rough and lonely life but found great success on the baseball diamond. While at the Frank Brown Grammar School, he led his baseball team to three baseball championships. (He went unbeaten in 20 starts). Frank’s mother remarried during these early years and her name became Addie Woodrow Bragdon.
The stories told about a young Eugene started with a readiness to get into a scuffle with anyone who crossed him. His mother worried about this constantly, and felt he needed to talk to his pastor. The pastor did come by and did talk with Gene for a great amount of time. It was said afterwards that he was a changed young man.
Eugene went to South Portland High School. He lettered in baseball, basketball and football. He was named a pitcher for all Telegram League for three years. Eugene’s pitching feats enabled the S.P.H.S. to win three pennants in 1943, 1944 and 1947. He enlisted in the Marines in 1945 and returned to school after the war to finish his high school education. He was named to the “Press Herald 1946 all Western Maine School Boy Eleven” (football).
During his time in high school his grades were always excellent. An unusual pastime for Gene was visiting the local airport to inspect planes, especially any that had been in an accident or had crashed. Because of his conversion to God in his teen years, he became a devoted Christian. He was a member of the First Free Baptist church in South Portland and held the office of Sexton at the Church.
He had tried out for the New York Yankees and he was favorably received. But he decided he would not play because the team played on Sundays. Instead he played with the “South Portland Merchants” in the Twilight League. Eugene’s course of study in high school prepared him to major in aviation at the Bob Jones University, a private Christian college. His dream was to fly missionaries in and out of foreign countries. The Air Force had a program at the time that trained men to become fighter pilots in a short amount of time. It was during the Korean conflict and the Air Force needed more pilots. So, Eugene enlisted and began basic Air Force training in Waco, Texas.
On Sept 9, 1950, Eugene Hartley Class married Meralyn Louise Trefethen at the North Waco Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. For his advanced training, he and his new bride moved to Williams Air force Base in Chandler, Arizona. At that time, he also participated in gunnery training. When his training was finished, he and his wife drove back to Portland Maine. Eugene then reenlisted and left for Korea. Besides following his orders to fly his many missions, he also found time to assist and speak at “Youth for Christ” events in Korea. Youth for Christ was an outreach ministry of the Billy Graham ministry at that time. He began serving in that ministry while he was still in South Portland, Maine.
His destination the night of September 27,1951 was to attend a Chaplain convention in Tokyo. As the C-119 drew close to the airstrip to land, the coordinates for finding the airstrip were incorrect and the C-119 crashed into the side of a mountain instead of landing safely. After the news of his death was reported in Portland Maine, Blaire Davis, sports editor for the Portland Herald reported that it was suggested the new South Portland Jr. High School be named after Gene Class. The National Little League Baseball Field located by the Henly School on Maple Street is named the Gene Class Memorial Field. The Bangor Daily News (Dec 12, 1977) made mention of Gene Class’s induction into Maine’s Baseball Hall of Fame (South Portland).
He had 34 combat missions to his credit before he was killed. He left behind his wife and a 3-month-old daughter, Lynette Ann Class. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.
Prepared By: Lynette Ann Class Taylor Davidson
Crew of the C-46
|Plane||Name||Rank||Duty||Place Of Burial||Home Town||Home State||Newspaper|
|C-46||John William Brown||Captain||Pilot||Golden Gate National Cemetery||Napa,California||California & Oregon||Napa Register|
|C-46||Charles Augustus Brewer||2nd Lt.||Co-Pilot||Fort Sam Houston||St. Thomas, St. Croix||Virgin islands||Virgin Island Daily News|
|C-46||Lawrence John Sassu||2nd Lt.||Navigator||Calvary Cemetery Patterson NJ||Clifton||New Jersey||The Herald News|
|C-46||James Thomas Lilley||T/Sgt.||Engineer||Highland Michigan Cemetery||Holly||Michigan||The Herald Press|
|C-46||Donavan Curt Morrison||T/Sgt.||Student Engineer||Liberal Cemetery||Liberal||Kansas||High Plains Daily|
|C-46||Cruz Joseph Martinez||PFC||Radio Operator||Fairlawn Cemetery||Oklahoma City||Oklahoma||The Daily Oklahoman|
|C-46||Wallace Edward Crawford||Major||Passenger||St. Bernard's, Concord MA||Waltham||Massachusetts||The Daily News|
|C-46||Father William Edgar Maher||Captain (Chaplain)||Passenger||Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn NY||Brooklyn||New York||The Brooklyn Eagle|
|C-46||Michael Adrian Doherty||Master /Sgt.||Passenger||St. Joseph's||Manchester||New Hampshire||Union Leader|
|C-46||Paul Bettman||S/Sgt.||Passenger||Springfield Gardens||Bronx||New York||Bronx Times|
|C-46||Thomas Albert Mulhern||Sgt.||Passenger||Arlington National Cemetery||Dayton||Ohio||Dayton Daily News|
|C-46||Dario Christopher Monza||Cpl.||Passenger||St. Mary’s Cemetery||Bronx||New York||Bronx Times|
|C-46||George Gordon Bell||Major (British)||Passenger||Yokohama Japan||Virginia Water||Surrey, England||London Times|
|C-46||Gerald A. Martin||Lt. USN||Passenger||Emory United Methodist Cemetery||Street||Maryland||Aegis in Bel Air, MD|
Crew of the C-119
|Plane||Name||Rank||Duty||Place Of Burial||Home Town||Home State||Newspaper|
|C-119||Lynuel Bevers||1st Lt.||Pilot||Clearspring Cemetery||Clear Spring||Indiana||The Tribune in Seymour Indiana|
|C-119||Joseph E. Binns||2nd Lt.||Co-pilot||Belton Cemetery||Martin City||Missouri||Kansas City Star|
|C-119||Jack Davis||T/Sgt.||Engineer||Forest Hills Cemetery||Chattanooga||Tennessee||Chattanooga Times|
|C-119||Ernest D. Carrara||Sgt.||Radio Operator||St. Mary's||Canton||Massachusetts||Canton Citizen|
|C-119||Eugene Hartley Class||1st Lt.||Passenger||Pine Grove Cemetery||Portland||Maine||Portland Herald|