Chickasaw County

2nd Lt Raymond J. Drewelow
Born 06 Mar 1919
Died 05 Mar 1944


2nd Lt. Raymond J. Drewelow
March 06, 1919 ~ March 05, 1944

2nd Lt. Raymond J. Drewelow was in the pilot’s seat when his B-24D Liberator bomber took off with a squadron on March 6, 1944. The squadron’s mission was to bomb Japanese targets in the Hansa Bay vicinity of New Guinea. They disappeared in a thunderstorm.

The missing airmen were listed as missing in action. Upon the close of World War II, a search by the U. S. graves registration unit failed to discover the crash site and the men were declared killed in action on January 25, 1946.

Early in 1989, European tourists who were hiking over a mountain rage in Mandang Providence, New Guinea, reported that they had seen the tail of an old bomber among the brush. The tail number was still legible and the U. S. Army identified it one which belonged to the “Ready, Willing and Able” squadron. During July and August of 1990, three teams from the Army Central Identification Laboratory out of Hawaii conducted an investigation at the crash site. The recovered remains were identified by DNA. 2nd Lt. Drewelow’s remains were among those recovered from the site.

The crash site was located approximately 100 feet below the crest of the mountain, evidence that the bomber had been flying low during the thunderstorm and crashed into the mountain side.

Seventy-five members of the crew’s families attended an interment ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on December 6, 2001. 2nd Lt. Edward M. Sparks of Alton, Kansas was interred in one casket; the other nine crew members including those of 2nd Lt. Drewelow were interred in a second casket.


Lt. Raymond Drewelow  

Mass of Christian Burial: 10:00 a.m.  Saturday, October 5, 2001
St. Joseph Catholic Church - New Hampton
Visitation: One Hour Prior At Church

On March 5, 1944, 2nd Lt. Raymond J. Drewelow, age 24, son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Drewelow, New Hampton, was reported missing in action.  Raymond was a pilot in the Army Air Corps and was shot down over New Guinea.  Now 57 years later his remains have been positively identified.  

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, October 5, 2001 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in New Hampton with Rev. Carl Schmitt celebrating the mass.  Lector for the mass will be Mike Carlin.  Music will be provided by Sr. Lorraine Loecher.  Interment will be in the Calvary Cemetery.  Pallbearers are Fae Stine American Legion Post #38.  

Raymond was born March 6, 1919 on a farm near Fredericksburg.  He attended school in Fredericksburg and New Hampton and graduated from New Hampton High School in 1936.  He worked on the family farm until the fall of 1939 when he enrolled at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

In March, 1941, Raymond enlisted in the Army where he served with the 113th Cavalry, Fort Bowie, TX until he transferred to the Army Air Corps.  The Air Corps was a part of the Army at that time.  On May 24, 1943 he received his wings and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant at Lubbock, TX.  In May 1943 Raymond married Freda Hindman in Little Rock, AR.  She died in 1999 before the DNA results were known.  Raymond was shipped overseas Dec. 10, 1943 and was reported missing over New Guinea March 5, 1944.  He remained on "missing in action" status until January 1946 when the Drewelow family was notified by the Army that, according to regulations and the passage of time, "a presumption of death must be assumed."  That was the last official communication from the government until the DNA request was received in March of 1999.  They later received word that a match had been made.

At the time of his death survivors included his wife; Freda (Hindman); Parents;  Andrew and Mary (Coleman) Drewelow; two brothers; Robert Drewelow (Loretta) of Waterloo and Roland Drewelow; five sisters; Rita Troyna of New Hampton, Ruth Bussard of Vancouver, WA, Ramona Canbelle (John) of Vancouver, WA, Rosemary Aubin of Scottsdale, AZ and Rosella Hopkins.

Currently deceased are his wife; Freda on September 17, 1999, parents; Andrew Drewelow in October 1966, Mary (Coleman) September 1987, one brother Roland Drewelow in 1978; one sister Rosella Hopkins in 1981.

Visitation is one hour before the service at the church.  

Source: Nashua Reporter, Nashua, Iowa, Thursday, October 4, 2001