2nd Lieutenant Warren Maxon of Jewell

 
     Warren Maxon (son of Glen Maxon, brother of Phyllis Reisetter), 2nd Lt. in the Army Air Corps was stationed in Panama during WW II.   Panama, not often thought of as part of the WW II war effort, at the high point over 60,000 American soldiers were stationed in and around the Panama Canal Zone.   The canal was the vital economic and military link between the Atlantic and the Pacific fleets.   Since 1939 conflict between American troops and President Arias of Panama peaked and waned.   Seen as a Nazi and Axis sympathizer, Arias issued a list of condictions for allowing US. troops to remain in Panama.   A timely coup ushered him out of office.   Though never attacked, surveillance of the Zone was a 24/7 operation.

     On December 13, 1944, 2nd Lt. Maxon was flying in formation with two pilots in a P-39 Aerobobra fighter plane.   During bad weather, exercises were conducted in various steep turns and right and left echelons between 8,500 and 9,500 feet.   At 150 mph, the formation entered heavy clouds.   Only two planes emerged.   Once landed at france field in the Zone, Operation searched immediately.   Bad weather delayed the search.   The conclusion that no exact cause for the crash was determined, it was written that 2nd Lt. Maxon was inexperienced in "transitioning from visual to instrument flight."

     But this was not the end of 2nd Lt. Maxon's story.   In 1989 a Special Forces Group that worked for the Civil Military Operations (During the US invasion of Panama under President Bush sr.), received a report of human bones along with plane parts at a crash site from an illegal Panamanian hunter.   Needing more eveidence before an authorized search could begin, a year later the same hunter approached a military party with a rusted radio plate dating bach to WW II.   Infantry soldiers, crews in Chinook and Blackhawk helicopters located the site at coordinates NA 6600 9938.  The marking on the tail fin (42-20880) was readable and two of the 30 caliber machine guns still had live rounds in their chambers.  What happened?   Only God knows.