James Rothwell White

Sgt    37130388    615th
1916 - 1944

Tail Gunner aboard 42-39893


                                                               Oakland cementery, Moberly, Missouri, USA
                                                               1916 - 1944

     James was born May 8, 1916, Moberly Missouri.
     He attended Southeast Park school and married Mae Lewis in Oct 24, 1941
     He was married to Mae Lewis White.

     He entered service on January 5, 1942.


     He received training at Sheppard Field, Tex., Selfridge Field Mich., Harlingen Gunnery School, Tex.,
     Lowry Field, Colo., Ephrata, Wash., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Lewiston, Mont.


     He left the United States sometime during the first part of November 1943.
     In 1943 he arrived in England to join the 401st BG

     His last mission, Jan 11, 1944, Target: Oschersleben, the aircraft had a fire in No. 4 Engine.
     It went along for about 5 minutes with this fire and then opened bomb by doors.
     Then plane left formation and turned to right, It stayed with Wing formation for about 3 minutes.
     Then plane started coming apart. Parts came off it, Ship then exploded.
     I believe that James was still in plane and didn't survived this.

     He was awarded with a Purple Heart Medal

Mission to Oschersleben, germany, fire in No. 4 Engine, plane left formation and turned to right and exploded

Casualty questionaire

Told by 2nd Lt. Donald Charles Sprecher , Pilot.

- Name of crew member : White , James Rothwell
- Rank : Sgt.
- Serial number : 37130388
- Position : Tail Gunner.

- Did he bail out ? : No.

- If not, why not ? : He was dead.

- Last contact just prior to loss of plane ? : Just before first enemy attack.

- Was he injured ? : Yes.

- Where was he last seen ? : At his position.

- Any heresay information ? : He had remained in his gun position for one hour or more sitting stiff
                                                      and never changing position or firing at enemy planes attacking.

- Source ? : Other crewmembers not certain which ones.

- Any explanation of his fate ? : Believe to have been killed on first attack. Could not contact him afterwards
                                                          nor did he do any firing after the first attack.

- Total number of missions of above crew member ? : No knowledge he was from another crew.

     Sgt. James R. White, 27, tailgunner on a Flying Fortress, based in England was killed in
     action in the European theater on Jan 11, according to word received yesterday by his
     parents, Mr. and Mrs. L.G. White and his wife, who is now living in St. Louis.
     Word had been sent Jan 24 by the War Department that Sgt. White was missing in action.

     Besides his wife, the former Miss Mae Lewis, and his parents, Sgt. White is survived by
     a brother, Pvt. Elbert V. White, serving with the Army in the Southwest Pacific;
     two sisters, Miss Margarite White and Mrs. Charles Wray and a niece, Donna Sue Wray.

     The Monitor-Index received a letter from Sgt. White on Jan 11, the day he lost his life.
     It was written on December 26.
     In it he pointed out that he was a former carrier helper for O.J. Myers and asked about
     various members of the staff.

     "Sometimes I wish I were back there working." he wrote, "but of course that is when I
     get scared.
     Some raids are easy and some are tough. I am supposed to be an old-timer, but even
     old-timers get scared.
     the first raid was like duck hunting but I found out these damn ducks shoot back.
     But I like my job and the men are a swell bunch of guys.

     My skipper is one of the greatest men, there is.
     He said I'm the best tail gunner there is, even if I am the scaredest.
     Our hours are long and tiresome, but we're always ready to go on a mission and pray to
     God above that we'll live to go on another".

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