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Wassell, Charles P.

Charles Wassell  U.S. Army Air Corps WWII
Charles Wassell U.S. Army Air Corps WWII

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Date of Birth: 12/10/1921
Died On: 5/19/1944
Street Address: Loudon Woods
Service Number: 0-6907998
Branch of Service: U.S. Army Air Corps - 375th Bomber Squadron 308th Bomber Group

Veteran Code: KIA-36

Charles Parkin Wassell

Charles Parkin Wassell was born on December 20, 1921 in Pennsylvania to parents Frank Lloyd Wassell and Mary Wassell. He had three brothers Harry, Frank and George and two sisters Betty and Patricia. The family moved to Rye in 1936 and were members of the Presbyterian Church and they lived on Grace Church Street. In December of 1938 he was involved in a car accident and although the car was severely damaged he was not hurt seriously.

Charles enjoyed swimming, participated in school plays, was awarded by Coach John Walsh his Varsity Basketball and Football letters and graduated Rye High School in 1939. His Family moved to Westport, Ct soon after his graduation. Charles served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.

Charles P. Wassell and his three brothers chose to serve their county. He enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Forces in 1942 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant as a pilot to the 308th Bomber Group, Heavy, 375th Bomber Squadron. Members of the 375th had to complete three phases of training prior to moving overseas and entering combat. The flying personnel spent most of October in transition training with the B-24, training combat crews as well. Meanwhile, the ground echelon was acquiring, organizing and processing personnel and supplies at Wendover Field.

With the training complete and the personnel and supplies processed, the 308th Bomb Group and the 375th BS officially transferred to Fourteenth Air Force in China early in 1943. Lt. Wassell and the air echelon began flying its brand new B-24D Liberators from Morrison Field, Florida on 15 February 1943. Traveling by way of the South Atlantic Transport Route through Central and South America, the Azores, Central Africa, Arabia and finally India; while the ground echelon traveled by ship across the Pacific Ocean.

Charles squadron was stationed in China and made many trips over the Hump between India and China to obtain gasoline, bombs, spare parts, and other items they needed to prepare for and sustain their combat operations. The 375th supported Chinese ground forces; attacked airfields, coal yards, docks, oil refineries and fuel dumps in French Indochina; mined rivers and ports; bombed maintenance shops and docks at Rangoon, Burma; attacked Japanese shipping in the East China Sea, Formosa Straits, South China Sea and Gulf of Tonkin.

On 19-May-44 Second Lieutenant Charles Parkin Wassell's plane went missing while on a mission. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

His death was especially devastating to his parents , now living in Westport, CT, because his brothers Frank and Harry had also been killed. All three Wassell brothers had died within 15 months of each other. Charles gravesite is in the Philippines at the Manila American Cemetery.


★ World War II Victory Medal★ Purple Heart★ American Campaign Medal★ Army Presidential Unit Citation★
Army Good Conduct Medal★ Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal

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