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First Name: Henry

Last Name: Younge

Birthplace: Copiague, Suffolk, NY, US

Gender: Male

Branch: U.S. Army Air Forces (1941 - 1947)

Home of Record: NY
Middle Name: Lawrence

Date of Birth: 25 December 1924

Date of Death: 26 May 1945 (Official)

MIA Date: 16 April 1945

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 01y 09m 06d

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Henry Lawrence Younge was born in Copiague, Suffolk, NY on Christmas Day 1924 to Dr. Lawrence John and Florence Agnes Gaines Younge. He had three other siblings, Jewell Forney, Elizabeth Ruth, and Jeanne Marguerite Younge. He graduated from Amityville High School then enlisted in the US Army on 20 Aug 1943 in New York City. Following training in Florida, Syracuse University, Nebraska, and Kansas, Sgt Younge went overseas in February, 1945, and was stationed in Guam. He participated in eight successful missions.

Sgt Henry L. Younge (42031151) was one of eleven aircrew flying in a B-29 Super Fortress, aircraft M-34 (AAF Serial No. 44-69871), from 30th Bomb. Squadron, 19th Bomb Group. It was his ninth combat mission. They departed North Field, Guam about 1730, 15 April 1945 on an incendiary bombing attack on Kawasaki, Japan. Landfall was reached about 0030, 16 April 1945. M-34 approached the target from the South over Sagami Bay. As the aircraft approached Yokohama Point, the aiming point on the bombing run, enemy searchlights illuminated the B-29. A few seconds before release of the bombs, the aircraft suffered a direct hit by anti-aircraft fire from ground batteries. The pilot, 1st Lt John L. Schofield Jr., was wounded slightly in the shoulder.

The bombs were released on target at about 0047. Immediate breakaway was made across Tokyo Bay. A fire that had begun in the bomb bays was fanned by a slipstream caused by the failure of the bay door mechanism. The bomb bay doors would not close. As the aircraft approached the shores of the Chiba Peninsula, fires had begun in engines No. 2 and No. 3. The aircraft began losing altitude rapidly as the fires became more intense. The interphone system failed breaking contact with those crewmen in the forward compartment. The order to bail out was given. All crew members in the rear compartment bailed out including Sgt Younge who was the tail gunner. Soon after, the flaming aircraft went into a spin and crashed in a valley. The details concerning the subsequent capture of the four survivors is unknown.

The only known survivor of this crew to see the war end, 1st Lt Warren H. Ransler, wrote "Casualty Information No. 5439" dated 10 April 1946 from which these details surrounding the loss of his B-29 were taken. I edited the contents of the letter but not the facts.

The following is a summary of events taken from a report of action also written by 1st Lt Warren H. Ransler on 10 April 1946, and sent to the Commanding General, Army Air Forces, Washington, DC. The subject of the letter was, "Prisoners of War Transferred from Kempei Headquarters o/a 10 May 1945." Ransler stated he previously sent information regarding POWs that were members of his crew and their disposition by the Japanese to the Judge Advocate General's Office through agents of the War Crimes Commission. He described how M-34 (AAF Serial No. 44-69871) was lost in action on 16 April 1945 over Japan. I edited the letter but not the facts.

Lt Ransler stated that he was brought to Tokyo on 5 May 1945 after evading the Japanese for 19 days. He wrote that a group of 50-100 prisoners were to be moved from Kempei HQ, Tokyo to some unknown location between 6-11 May 1945. On 6 May 1945 Lt Ransler believes he heard the voice of Sgt Henry L.Younge, a tail gunner on his crew, answering roll call. Within a day or two Younge was transferred with other POWs to an unknown location. Later, Ransler learned by hearsay that two other members of his crew, Sgt Anthony F. Scolaro and Sgt Bertram L. Ware, had been in Kempei and had also been taken out during the 6-11 May 1945 period. In another letter written by ex-POW 1st Lt Fiske Hanley, (398th Bomb. Sq., 504th Bomb Grp, B-29 #42-24864) shot down 27 Mar 1945, confirmed that Sgt Tony Scolaro was imprisoned in the cell with him as a POW at Kempei.

Ransler never learned where these men were taken, but he wrote that all the POWs were told they were to stand trial as war criminals. According to an Aircraft Missing Report dated 16 April 1945, all members of M-34 were declared missing in action. One year later a news article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY) of 17 April 1946 stated that Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Younge, the parents of Sgt Lawrence (sic) Younge, were notified by the War Department that their son was killed in a prison camp during an air raid on 26 May 1945. Other news articles in 1946 about Sgts Anthony F. Scolaro and Bertram Lee Ware indicated they also died in the same air raid of 26 May 1945.

Sgt Younge was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and he may be eligible for the POW Medal and an Air Medal.


Crew of B-29 Superfortress (#44-69871):

Schofield, John L., 1st Lt, Pilot, Tennessee, KIA

Baker, James E., 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot, Illinois, KIA

Bartholomew, Donald L., 2nd Lt, Navigator, Indiana, KIA

Currier, Joseph G., 1st Lt, Bombardier, Maine, KIA

Hartrich, Robert E., M/Sgt, Engineer, Tennessee, KIA

Kronick, Archer S., S/Sgt, Central Flight Controller, New York, KIA

*Ransler, Warren H., 2nd Lt, Radar Operator, NY, POW/Survived the war

**Scolaro, Anthony F., S/Sgt, Radio Operator, Illinois, POW/Died in Captivity

Vogola, Francis J., S/Sgt, Right Gunner, New York, KIA

**Ware, Bertram Lee, Sgt, Left Gunner, Maryland, POW/Died in Captivity

**Younge, Henry Lawrence, S/Sgt, Tail Gunner, New York, POW/Died in Captivity

* 2nd Lt. Warren H. Ransler was a POW and the only crewman to survive the war.

** These three airmen were POW's who died while in a Japanese prison camp during an air raid on Tokyo on 26 May 1945.


The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY) - 17 April 1946, Wed - p. 13

Lawrence Younge, Air Force Sargeant

Amityville, April 17 --- Mr. and Mrs. L.J. Younge of Amity Harbor have been notified by the War Department that their son, Sgt. Lawrence Younge [Sgt Henry Lawrence Younge], captured by the Japanese after the Superfortress of which he was tail gunner, was lost, was killed in a prison camp during an air raid May 26, 1945, seven weeks after he was captured by the enemy. Following training in Florida, Syracuse University, Nebraska and Kansas, Sgt Younge went overseas in February, 1945, and was stationed in Guam. He participated in eight successful missions. He was born in Copiague and attended school at Lindenhurst before going to Amityville High School. In addition to his parents, he was survived by three sisters, Mrs Jewell Torns of Lindenhurst, Mrs Betty Clement of this village and Jeanne Younge of Amity Harbor.

Compiler's note: It was closer to six weeks after he was captured than seven.

[Bio by GML470]

Honoree ID: 105020   Created by: MHOH




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