7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 21, 2019 8:58 PM by Reid Baron

    Seeking military record of Captain Thomas Chambers

    Reid Baron Wayfarer

      Seeking the military record of Thomas Chambers, Captain, 14th USAAF. He was a member of the AVG American Volunteer Group, received the Chang Kai-Shek Chinese Service Medal in 1942, and the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1943. He may have flown the Hump in CBI (China, Burma, India), may not have been a fighter pilot. Thank you in advance for any and all assistance.

        • Re: Seeking military record of Captain Thomas Chambers
          Elliot Schneider Navigator

          Reid,

           

          I found this for a Thomas E, Chambers can you verify any of this information if this is the correct individual. Not sure especially since you mentioned him being in the China-Burma-India (CBI).

           

          Second Lieutenant (Air Corps) Thomas E. Chambers (ASN: 0-791070), United States Army Air Forces, was captured by German forces after his aircraft was shot down on or about February 22, 1943 and was held as a Prisoner of War until his return to U.S. Military Control at the end of hostilities in May 1945.

           

          Thanks,

           

          Elliot Schneider

          2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking military record of Captain Thomas Chambers
              Reid Baron Wayfarer

              Hello Elliot and thank you for your help,

              I had also come across this info while doing a Google search for an MACR (missing action report), but there is also some info I do not understand. Can an officer be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross while in captivity? Because I have good info. that Lt. Chambers received the DFC with inscription on the back, “Thomas Chambers, Captain USAAF, 14th AF. April 18, 1943,  China”.

               

              Here is his MACR: 2nd Lt. Thomas H. Chambers (O-797468) of the 373rd Bomb Squadron, 308th Bomb Group, was captured by the Japanese after enemy aircraft downed his B-24 over Haiphong on 15 Sept 1943. He was repatriated after the war. This is according to missing aircrew report (MACR) 2355.

               

              There may in fact have been more than one Thomas Chambers in the CBI working with the AVG during this time.

               

              Thank you again,

              Reid

              1 person found this helpful
              • Re: Seeking military record of Captain Thomas Chambers
                Reid Baron Wayfarer

                Hi Elliot,

                I do not believe this is the correct Thomas Chambers as his middle initial is not E. It is either Thomas H. or Thomas A. It is possible those who posted info on the Internet about Thomas Chambers transposed his middle initial, as the A. and H. may look the same on a computer monitor depending on the font used, and they may also sound the same to someone with minor hearing loss.

                I do not believe Thomas E. Chambers in the WWII European Theater is the fellow I am looking for, but thank you again.

                Regards,

                Reid

                  • Re: Seeking military record of Captain Thomas Chambers
                    Elliot Schneider Navigator

                    Reid,

                     

                    Found him with additional information of fellow crewmen.

                     

                    Pilot  2nd Lt. Earl B. Johnson, O-735385 (KIA, BR) Pasadena, CA

                    Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Thomas H. Chambers, O-797468 (POW, survived) Paterson, NJ

                    Navigator  2nd Lt. Jack D. Quarant, O-797390 (POW, survived) New York, NY

                    Bombardier  2nd Lt. Joseph R. Manella, O-734953 (POW, survived) Milford, MA

                    Engineer  T/Sgt Earl S. Vann, 34305605 (POW, survived) Murfreesboro, NC

                    Asst Radio  TSgt Herschell R. Nelson (KIA, BR)

                    Asst Engineer  SSgt Abe Trachtenberg, 13081374 (POW, survived) Ashley, PA

                    Radio/Ball Turret  SSgt William L. Lambert, 33212423 (KIA, BR) Pulaski, VA

                    Waist Gunner  SSgt Paul Cybowski, 32554616 (MIA / KIA, BR) South Plainfield, NJ

                    Tail Gunner  SSgt Frank D. Robbins, 37219214 (KIA, BR) Wichita, KS

                    Crashed  September 15, 1943 at 2:30pm

                    MACR  2355

                     

                    B-24D-95-CO "Mohawk"

                     

                     

                    Try requesting his records at the NPRC in St. Louis using SF-180 they citation maybe in the OMPF file of the service member.

                     

                     

                    Thanks,

                     

                    Elliot Schneider

                    2 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Seeking military record of Captain Thomas Chambers
                        Reid Baron Wayfarer

                        Elliot,

                        Thank you once again.

                        Interesting that it is so difficult to find any mention of Thomas H. Chambers as an AVG pilot, other than his capture and survival entries.

                         

                        There is a new wrinkle in this search:

                        Am now in the possession of photos of the front of Chamber's single breasted officers dress jacket with ribbons and medals, with details of said ribbons and medals. The back of his USAAF wings state his name as Thomas A. Chambers, while the back 0f his CAF wings clearly state 0056  AVG. This likely means 15th AAF.

                        Will keep looking, plowing ahead.

                        Have a great Thanksgiving.

                        Best Regards,

                        Reid

                        1 person found this helpful
                  • Re: Seeking military record of Captain Thomas Chambers
                    Lisha Penn Navigator

                    Dear Mr. Baron,

                     

                    Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

                     

                    We searched the World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General’s Office (Record Group 407) and located History for 1941-1945 of 14th Army Air Force; and Background Files to the Study "History of the China-Burma-India Theater: The American Volunteer Group”, 1943 in the Records of the Army Staff (Record Group 319). Some records are digitized and available in the Catalog but not all. For access to and/or copies, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

                     

                    We searched Records of Joint Board (Record Group 225) and located Microfilm Publication #1421. In this publication, please see the description of JB 355, Serial 691 on Roll 19 that includes information about the Flying Tigers.

                     

                    We suggest that you should obtain Thomas Chambers’ Official Military Personnel Files. OMPFs and individual medical reports for officers of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after June 1917 and prior to 1956 are in the custody of NARA’s National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA’s National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002.

                     

                    We also searched Distinguished Flying Cross; and Recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross (United_States) but were unable to locate Thomas Chambers on these websites.

                     

                    You may wish to see American Volunteer Group for background information about this volunteer  U.S. military group.

                     

                    We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

                     

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