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Kentucky National Guard Memorial

Honoring Their Sacrifice

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Sharpe, Elmer (P2, C4, L10)

sharpe elmer EKU Spc ClctnsStaff Sergeant Elmer Sharpe was born in December 1921.  He joined the Kentucky National Guard at Harrodsburg, Mercer County, on 13 January 1941, and was inducted into federal service on 17 January 1941. He was called to federal active duty with his unit, Richmond's Company H, 113th Medical Regiment, 38th Infantry Division.

Sharpe was a graduate of Harrodsburg high school class of 1940. After his high school graduation he participated in a Citizens Military Training Camp held at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana in August 1940. He was recognized with a Second Order of Merit out of some two thousand youths participating. Sharpe was attending Eastern Kentucky University during the 1940-41 term when he was called onto federal active duty.

While on active duty Sharpe was transferred to the U. S. Army Air Corps, eventually being assigned to the 1345th Army Air Force Base Unit, stationed at Kurmitola, India. Newspaper accounts report that he deployed overseas in January 1944.

Sharpe was initially listed as Missing in Action when the transport plane in which he was flying was lost on a flight between India and China, his official date of death is 4 July 1945.  His body has never been recovered and he was declared dead a year later.  He is memorialized in the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippine Islands, on the "Tablets of the Missing."

Sharpe was the Radio Operator on a Douglas C-54B Skymaster Aircraft with serial number 42-72370. The aircraft departed from Barrackpore in India on a mission to Kunming, China. The C-54 is a four-engine transport aircraft based on a DC-4 civilian airliner. His aircraft is believed to have crashed in unknown circumstances in the region of Kunming, Yunnan Province, China killing all five crew members on July 4, 1945. The other crew on the aircraft were:  Cpt Edwin N. Brissey,  F/O Hugh C. Ferris,  Cpt Lewis H. Magin Jr., and S/Sgt James W. Stooksbury Sharpe was posthumously awarded the Air Medal for his participation in more than 150 hours of operational flight over the dangerous Assam-China Air Routes Also knows as flying the Hump. The Hump was the name given by Allied pilots in the Second World War to the eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains over which they flew military transport aircraft from India to China to resupply the Chinese war effort of Chiang Kai-shek and the units of the United States Army Air Forces based in China.

    S/Sgt. Elmer Sharpe Declared Dead

    Eastern Progress October 5, 1946 Page 4

    Staff Sergeant Elmer Sharpe, formerly of Harrodsburg, has been declared officially dead by the War Department: Sgt. Sharpe had been awarded ribbons for service In the China-Burma-India Theater.

    He had been listed as missing since July 4, 1945, in the same area. Sgt. Sharpe was graduated from the Harrodsburg high school in the class of 1940 and was a member of the Harrodsburg Christian Church. He volunteered for service while attending Eastern in 1940-41.

    He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Stella Simpson, Louisville, and two sisters, Mrs. Harry E. Shewmaker, Dayton, Ohio, and Miss Beatrice Sharpe, who is with the Veterans Hospital at Dayton. (NOTE: Sharpe's sister Beatrice served with the Women's Army Corps during World War II. )

 

The Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund, Inc., is a recognized 501(c)(3). EIN 26-3705273
 

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