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Wed Oct 30, 2019, 08:37 PM

WWII mystery

At a fellow DUer's suggestion, I'm cross-posting this here from the Lounge, hoping someone here can help me in my search for a particular Colonel Anderson from WWII.




Yesterday while going through a box of old letters and photos of my step-mother's from WWII (she served with the American Red Cross in India), I came across a photo that intrigued me. I searched the Internet for information about Maybelle Hostetter, who is shown in the photo with a Colonel Anderson.

The writing on the back of the photo wasn't clear as to whether it was Hostetter, or Anderson, or both, who died in General Saunders' crash. I found this about General Saunders:

(website snip) ~It was during his years as an All-American tackle at West Point that Saunders' coal black hair earned him the nickname “Blondie”.

In September 1944, General Saunders’ B-25 crashed while taking off from an air base in India. When it was reported Blondie's plane didn't reach its destination, General Curtis LeMay, who was there to replace Blondie, ordered a search of the area. While flying over the jungle, General LeMay discovered the wreckage about 3 miles from the base. After directing the ground search party to the crash site, LeMay and his pilot landed their plane and walked the 3 miles through the jungle where they found Blondie barely alive and suffering from a crushed ankle from one of the B-25’s engines. Blondie spent the next 2 and-a-half years recuperating in a hospital. He was retired in 1947 after losing a portion of his leg to the accident. General Saunders died November 16, 1968.
~

In the article no mention was made of any passengers, whether casualties or survivors.

I've found no information online about Colonel Anderson, but I found information about Army nurse Hostetter at the website Together We Served. On her TWS page it says in part: "Circumstances of Lt. Hostetter's death are not known at this time. However, many nurses were lost due to jungle related diseases including malaria and amoebic dysentery." Her date of death is given as September 18, 1944 - which is the day after the date given on the back of the photo.

I think Lieutenant Maybelle Hostetter probably died as the result of injuries she sustained in the plane crash. The more times I read what's written on the back of the photo, the more I think Colonel Anderson may have too.

I've run out of search ideas for this particular Colonel Anderson. Anyone? Anyone?

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply WWII mystery (Original post)
frogmarch Oct 30 OP
radical noodle Oct 30 #1
frogmarch Oct 30 #4
DURHAM D Oct 30 #2
frogmarch Oct 30 #5
lapfog_1 Oct 30 #3
frogmarch Oct 30 #6
flotsam Oct 30 #7
DURHAM D Oct 30 #9
DURHAM D Oct 30 #8
flotsam Oct 30 #11
Beartracks Oct 30 #10
frogmarch Oct 30 #12
frogmarch Oct 31 #13

Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 08:56 PM

1. This is probably not the same person but...

I found a WWII Col Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson BUT there's a photo that he signed "Andy." You might want to check it out. It's as close as I could come to it. The photo he signed is down several paragraphs in the article.

https://warhawkairmuseum.org/blog/col-clarence-e-bud-anderson-wwii-triple-ace-and-2019-warbird-roundup-guest-speaker/

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Response to radical noodle (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:35 PM

4. Thank you

I will go see if it could be him.

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Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:01 PM

2. Regarding Maybelle...

I found this on ancestry -

Name: Maybelle Hostetter
[Maybelle Pace]
Gender: Female
Birth Place: Estancla, N. M
Marriage Date: 29 Dec 1940
Residence Place: Colorado Springs
Death Date: 28 Sep 1944
Death Place: India Crash
Obituary Date: 5 Oct 1944
Obituary Place: Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States of America
Father: Whiter Pace

Spouse: John Hostetter

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:37 PM

5. Wow

That's our Maybelle, and this confirms she did indeed die in the crash!

Thanks very much!

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Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:23 PM

3. "On an administrative flight shortly before returning to the United States, in September 1944

Blondie's B-25 crashed. LeMay helped move an engine off Saunders' crushed ankle. He spent the next 2 1/2 years in the hospital and was retired in 1947.

https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/105711/brigadier-general-laverne-g-saunders/

Given that this was an "administrative flight"... one could assume that both Anderson and Hostetter died in the crash. Not conclusive but very likely Anderson and Hostetter likely were staff to General Saunders and accompanied him on this "administrative flight".

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:43 PM

6. Thanks for the link

and for the info too. I will try to find the names of Saunders' staff and see if that might take me somewhere.

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Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 09:53 PM

7. Just for fun

I believe a B25 crew was normally 5-6 men depending on variant. Your main question seems to be could a commanding general smuggle his girlfriend onboard and I'm guessing yes. To know more I would ask how many were onboard at the time of the crash and where was the aircraft headed. I betting that A. it was less than a full crew and B. the destination would avoid any hostile contact. I think he brought his girlfriend onboard for a milk run with unfortunate results and have no reason to think he also died in the crash since in a crash an unsecured passenger is the person most at risk.

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Response to flotsam (Reply #7)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 10:40 PM

9. Not sure it matters but according to the obit

Maybelle is/was married.

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Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 10:38 PM

8. I assume you are aware that Gen. LeMay was

George Wallace's running mate in 1968. He was a jerk. Actually now that I think about it Pompeo reminds me of him.

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 10:45 PM

11. LeMay was nuttier than a fruitcake!

There are no innocent civilians, so it doesn't bother me so much to be killing innocent bystanders.
Curtis LeMay

If we maintain our faith in God, love of freedom, and superior global air power, the future looks good.
Curtis LeMay

I think there are many times when it would be most efficient to use nuclear weapons. However, the public opinion in this country and throughout the world throw up their hands in horror when you mention nuclear weapons, just because of the propaganda that's been fed to them.
Curtis LeMay

I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.... Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier.
Curtis LeMay

Not a guy I admire...

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Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 10:42 PM

10. Is that your step-mother's handwriting?



========

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Response to Beartracks (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 10:46 PM

12. I assumed it was at first

because everything else in the box appears to have been hers, but now I think the handwriting is my dad's - and not just because he's in the hospital staff photo. His handwriting was small, like on the photo back, whereas my step-mom's was larger and more slanted to the right.

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Response to frogmarch (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:46 AM

13. WTF

Using a magnifying glass, I just noticed that in the photo, Col. Anderson is cupping a hand over Lt. Hostetter's breast.

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