Ok, guys so hope I'm not driving you all crazy as this story is doing to me.. I just recieved the accident report & as everyone has told me Uncle Dick was not listed on it. SO, how did the ArmyAirforce account for his body? What happened to his dog tags? It doesn't make sense to me..
He was counted, and accounted, by using his dog tags; not the paper form reporting the plane missing. One should have remained with his body when it was buried in China. I don't know where the second one would have gone.
I don't remember if you said his family received formal notice of his death, but such would have been generated by his unit or by personnel at his "home station." In the case of 341st BmGp' personnel, their commander would try to send a personal letter of condolence, with simple or in depth description of circumstances. On a few occasions this did not occur, because the Commander was among the dead or missing.
For reasons as yet unknown, Dick Arbogast was not listed on the crew list for this plane; what would be called a manifest if he had been aboard a transport aircraft. I have no information to support my thoughts, but I think there are two possible explanations:
1) He "hitched a ride", possibly at the last minute, or
2) Since the destination base (Kweilin) is responsible for filing the report and simply used the mission crew list from when the plane departed on the sea sweep the day before.
In either case, the administrative personnel apparently didn't know he was on board the plane when they initiated the MACR.
Why it wasn't corrected most probably has to do two things. First, the plane was soon found and the men were recovered and buried. Second, the 14th AF was in the middle of the Japanese ground offensive which was forcing evacuation of American bases, one after the other. Then the error was not noted and/or corrected after the war, possibly because of the time demanded for accounting for the hundreds of men still missing.