Charles Newton Gentry was the son of Isaac Newton Gentry and Pearl Elizabeth Davis. He was born as a twin to his sister Mary Ellen; they became motherless the next day and were reared by maternal grandparents James and Ellen Davis. His father in 1928 married widow Mayme Nicholson Cross. At age seven the twins’ father passed in 1932 with their grandfather James Davis having passed in 1930. Now living with their grandmother, she in ill health felt it necessary to send the twins at age 16 years to live with their Aunt and Uncle W J Norton in Umatilla, Florida. The grandmother passed in 1942. After high school Charles enlisted into the US Army on 26 Jun 1943 at Camp Blanding, Florida. Serving as a radar operator on a B-29 his plane exploded bursting into flames while at sea. His body was not recovered after the explosion over the Pacific.
His name is engraved at The Court of the Missing at the Honolulu National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
Corporal Gentry was assigned to the 39th Squadron, 6th Bomber Group on Tinian Island. On 12 February 1945, he was an observer on a radar search mission for Japanese shipping between Tinian dn the Japanese empire. Forty five minutes after takeoff they crashed into the Pacific ocean, there were no survivors. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
On February 12, 1945, the B-29, 42-24842 on Mission 4504 left Tinian as part of a formation of 12 aircraft. One in their formation aborted and the position was filled by Lt. Casaurang, pilot of Kuebler’s plane. Approximately 3 minutes later Casaurang’s plane developed engine trouble and they left the formation. A fire was observed by other planes in the formation. Witnesses said that shortly after the flame seemed to go out a new fire was seen to break out all along the starboard wing. They were at about 700 feet above the ocean when the second fire was observed. Shortly thereafter the plane was seen to nose down toward the surface of the ocean, explode and crash.
A plane from the formation returned to the scene of the crash and instructed his crew to notify Air-Sea Rescue. He was instructed to remain in the vicinity pending arrival of rescue assets. While searching and waiting, the pilot noticed only a small amount of and one inflated but unoccupied life raft. Of the 12 onboard, there were no survivors.
Beller, Robert J Sgt Radio Operator 37565796 SD
Brown, Harold M Cpl Left Gunner 16032244 IL
Casaurang, Bernard A 1Lt Pilot O-724593 CA
Cima, Ralph R Cpl Radar Operator 16107147 IL
Duca, Flavio M Cpl Right Gunner 31212992 MA
Gentry, Charles N Cpl Passenger 34788668 FL
Josephson, Edward A 2Lt Co-Pilot O-823609 PA
Kestner, Louis T, Jr FO Bombardier T-5546 PA
Leland, Richard V Cpl Fire Control 39727088 CA
Robbins, Fred B T/Sgt Engineer 15104767 OH
Scarisbrick, Richard J 2Lt Navigator O-2060593 OH
- Rank: Corporal
- Date of birth: 16 January 1925
- Date of death: 12 February 1945
- County: Knox
- Hometown: Knoxville
- Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
- Division/Assignment: 39th Squadron, 6th Bomber Group, Very Heavy
- Theater: Pacific
- Conflict: World War II
- Awards: Purple Heart
- Burial/Memorial Location: Lynnhurst Cemetery, Knoxville, TN; Honolulu National Cemetery, Hawaii
- Location In Memorial: Pillar XIV, Bottom Panel
- Contact us to sponsor Charles N. Gentry
Click a thumbnail below to view at full size.