14th Air Force, 308th Bomber Group, 373rd Bomb Squadron, Kunming, China HAIRSTON - Burma Roadster - 1943
Burma Raodster signed by Air Crews in Kunming, China World War II

BURMA ROADSTER - 30 March 1943

Lt. Robert Ervin Hairston

373rd Squadron, 308th Bomber Group, 14th Army Air Corp


The Burma Roadster of Lt. Robert Ervin Hairston, the original co-pilot of "Axis Nightmare".  He arrived in arrived in China 20 March 1943 and departed on June 1944, after 88 combat missions totaling 405 hours.  Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf and Air Medal with one Oak Leaf. (b. 1921 - d. 1991)

 The Chinese 10 Yuan note was signed by air crew members on Saturday, 20 March 1943.  The "X" indicates that the airman was, at a later date, KIA (Killed in Action) or MIA (Missing in Action).




Donald B. Smith – original co-pilot on “Temptation” - was co-pilot of B-24D “Temptation”, 42-24129,  on 15 Sep 1943 when it was shot down by enemy aircraft on a combat mission to bomb a cement factory in Haiphong, French Indo-China.  Second Lt. Donald Boyd Smith, O-793188, was not killed, however, the pilot, 1st Lt. William A. Rutledge was killed.  Donald B. Smith was captured and was released from a POW camp at the end of war.

X - Marvin J. Silvershatz – original navigator on “Axis Nightmare”, 41-24138  – On 21 May 1944 Capt. Silvershatz was the navigator of B-24J 42-73430 that crashed during combat mission near Yangkai, China.  Co-pilot was Yeh Chao Wang (listed below).  Possibly shot down by anti-aircraft fire. - KIA.  Marvin J. Silvershatz was born in 1919 and was from Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee.  The American Battle Monuments Commission lists Captain Marvin J. Silvershatz, O-791639, 373rd Bomber Squadron, 308th Bomber Group, Heavy.  He is listed "Missing in Action" and date of death as 20 May 1944.  He received the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart and Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. -

Junior G. Hull – original co-pilot “Dippy Dave”, 41-24143 - Lt. Junior G. Hull survived forced landing after mechanical problem.

X - Burdette A. Pearson – original pilot on “Tail Heavy” 41-24125, Capt. Burdette A. Pearson, O-1699366, was from Madison, Wisconsin. He died 1 December 1943. - KIA

X - Max M. Nichols Jr. – original bombardier on “Tail Heavy” 41-24125 - 1st Lt Max Montague Nichols is listed on Missing Air Crew Report on 10 April 1946 - KIA

Ralph W. (unable to read last name)?

X - Chas S. Drake – original navigator on “Tail Heavy” 41-24125. 1st Lt Charles S. Darke, O-791575, is listed on Missing Air Crew Report on 10 April 1946  - KIA

X - William A. Rutledge – original co-pilot on “Tail Heavy” 41-24125 - was pilot of 42-24129 “Temptation” 42-24129, on 15 Sep 1943 when it was shot down by enemy aircraft on a combat mission to bomb cement factory in Haiphong, French Indo-China.  Co-pilot 2nd Lt. Don B. Smith says that Rutledge bailed out and was probably shot and killed while parachuting.  The French found his body. He was from Sharpsburg, Iowa. - KIA

X - Yeh Chao Wang -   Chinese co-pilot (not US Army) – 2nd Lt. Wang flying with Capt. Silvershatz (listed above) crashed 21 May 1944 during a combat mission near Yangkai, China. - KIA

Ken J. Breitschopf – UAL (United Airlines) - survived the war, retired from UAL, (b. 1918 - d. 2012)

X - Clark R?

X - Dennie Beasley Jr. - pilot of C-46 that crashed flying cargo from Kunming, China over the Hump into India on 23 Oct 1943

Jim Nolan – original bombardier on “Axis Nightmare”, 41-24138. 2nd Lt. James F. Nolan, from Elmira, NY, survived the war, (b. 1918 - d. 1979)

Tony Tilotta -  2nd Lt. Anthony J. Tilotta, O-680767, survived the war, (b. 1919 - d. 1998).