On 4 February 1944, a P-38-5-LO Lightning, assigned to 10th Air Force, 459th Fighter Squadron, departed with a flight of P-38s from the air field at Chittagong, Burma, on a fighter sweep mission to Heho and Meiktila. The P-38 was last seen at about 1210 hours about 3 miles west of the target area. The pilot was 2ndLt John T. Whitescarver, 0-749135. The witnesses were Capt. Verl D. Luehring, 0-429578; 1stLt William S. Broadfoot, 0-790857; 2ndLt Paul A. Jarvis, and 2ndLt Robert A. Hargis, 0-750582.
Capt. Luehring reported: He was leading the squadron on a fighter sweep over the Heho air strip with 2ndLt Whitescarver as his wingman. The attack was at 1210 hours. They made a strafing run on the target with Whitescarver on his left. As he pulled up from about 75 feet, Whitescarver flew toward and under Luehring. Luehring thought there might be an enemy aircraft on his tail and he pulled left. He did not see Whitescarver again.
1stLt Broadfoot reported: He saw a P-38 do a wing-over and crash into a hill about 3 miles west of the Heho air strip. It began from below him, climbed to about 300 feet then crashed in a vertical bank. It exploded in flames. Simultaneously, a parachute fully opened less than 100 yards from the burning P-38 crash. He saw this from about 1 mile north of the crash.
2ndLt Hargis reported: After the raid on Heho, he climbed after his second pass, and saw a P-38, with about three feet of yellow flame coming from the left engine. The P-38 pased under him and out of sight. He lowered his wing and could not see the P-38. He believed it to be 2ndLt Whitescarver.
2ndLt Jarvis reported: They departedthe Heho air strip target and held a westerly course about 2 or 3 miles. He saw a P-38 cross just above and behind Lt. Broadfoot in a SE direction. He glanced away and saw a flash followed by the silk of a parachute where the P-38 was. He turned left, saw the chute open and flew directly over it at about 100 feet. The P-38 hit in a wooded area and was burning. The chute was hanging in a small tree and the harness was on the ground to the north. He could not see a pilot and there was no movement visible where it landed.
WHITESCARVER, JOHN T., Second Lieutenant, # 0-749135, USAAF
John T. Whitescarver was born on 20 August 1916 in Pittsburg, Kansas, to William Harvey Whitescarver (1873-1947) (Illinois) and Anna B. (Gooden) Whitescarver (1877-1931) (Ohio) (married 2 October 1901). His father subsequently married Hilda. John T. married Juanita L. Palmer (1916-2002) on 11 September 1943, in Thurston, Washington, presided by a Minister of the Gospel. The State of Kansas census of 1956 shows him living with Juanita at 102 East Forest, Apt 1-C, Pittsburg, Kansas.
He enlisted in the USAAF at Springfield, Missouri, on 16 November 1940. He completed his training as a fighter pilot and earned his commission and pilot wings. He survived the parachute jump but, was captured by the Japanese. He was imprisoned in the Rangoon Cantonment (former British prison) and was liberated about 2 May 1945. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force. He died 14 March 1981 and is buried in the Mount Olive Cemetery, Pittsburg, Crawford, Kansas. Image next page.