COLE, CARSON EUGENE, Corporal, # 36899345, USAAF
Carson E. Cole was born on 25 June 1912 in Shell Rock, Butler Co., Iowa, to Eugene Carson Cole (1890-1948) and Cassie Lenore (Betsinger) Cole (1892-1975). Siblings included Forest Edward Cole (1914-1969), Floyd Robert Cole (1916-1984), Roger Lee Cole (1921-1995), Leo Don Cole (1932-1975), and LeRoy Gene Cole (1934-1997). He was married to Dorothea L. (Goertz) Cole, 523 Jackson St, Wausau, Wisconsin.
After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained as an armorer and gunner, responsible for the maintenance and function of the weapons on the B-29 Superfortress (except bombs) and earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 27 November 1944, a B-29, # 42-24452, “Devil May Care,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 40th Bomb Group, 57th Bomb Squadron, and fourteen othe B-29s departed the airfield at Chakulia, India, on a bombing mission over Bangkok, Thailand (aka Siam). Last radio contact was at about 0649Z 130 miles south of Chittagong, India. The B-29s were deployed from Chakulia Army Air Force Base to attack the Bangsue Marshalling Yards of Bangkok, Thailand. Weak enemy fighter opposition was encountered. One enemy Zeke attacked the formation from straight ahead, damaging four B-29s. 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. It was lost and never located. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
His brother, Floyd R. Cole, born 28 September 1916, served in the U.S. Army during WW II. He died on 17 May 1984 and is buried in the Grandview Memorial Gardens, Rochester, Minnesota.